iWin, Craig’s Drum Video


iWin

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^ I never thought I’d buy one of these ^

Somewhat ironically, this archaic little gadget (iPod Shuffle) just helped me step up my game! I can already feel the difference in my demeanour. In the last few years up ’til now, I’ve been using my iPhone for pretty much everything: phone, text, camera, videocamera, video games, email, fractal generator, recording studio, painting easel, list-maker, budget calculator, alarm clock, pizza timer… music player.

This is where I started to notice a real problem. The music player in iOS is a piece of crap. In the latest iOS, it headphone command response is unreliable, and sometimes it does this weird thing where a chunk of audio goes missing a few seconds before the end of the song (some sort of buffer problem, I imagine). It seems like every new updated version of the IOS has just as many “un-provements” as improvements.

More importantly, I get sick of touching that stupid little screen all the time. And, MOST importantly, I started to worry about depending on that radioactive little fucker just to have tunes in my earbuds. Wi-Fi, cell data… carrying the phone in the back pocket all the time is bound to be causing some sort of ball cancer, hip deterioration or colon tumour.

Fuck that shit, I say! So I got this iPod Shuffle today. Now I can TURN OFF MY PHONE as much as I want, while still enjoying all my favourite tunes. Alas, this iota of increased independence already feels glorious and it’s only been an hour or so.

Another advantage, because I got the “Shuffle” edition, is that I no longer have the option of browsing through songs in search of that “ultimate song for this particular moment.” This is a good thing. Have you seen that TED Talks video where the dude explains how too many choices make us humans into an unhappy lot? Watch it by clicking here. Do yourself a favour, like I have, and become less scatterbrained. Somehow.

Once upon a time, many years ago and before my acquisition of this Holy Grail known as “smartphone,” I had several devices on the go at the library one day, and my friend and fellow guitar player Darren Wren told me, “Sean, you have too many gadgets in your life.” I agreed. Eventually along came the smartphone into my life and with it, simplification. Of a sort. Everything in one gadget, instead of too many to carry. Now I seem to be going in the opposite direction again? There seems to be a fine line of contradiction here.

Advantage number 748: I can now delete all the music off the phone, which means more room for photos and whatnot. Advantage number 839: my music listening will not be interrupted by notification noises. Booyah!


Craig’s Drum Video

Once upon a time, like 1994 to be exact, and approximately during the unwinding of Sadistic Humor (that old Kamloops thrash metal band that I still brag about to this day), Craig McKay (our drummer) made this kickass epic 20-minute drum solo video that he composed & performed. This was in the days of VHS (pre-YouTube). I digitized & uploaded it a few days ago and you can watch it here.


End of report.

SL

Frozen Finger Blues


Frozen Finger Blues

Music brings me to some strange places sometimes. After a Crushing Complex writing session Friday night, Justin “Land Pilot” Perfilow and myself figured, let’s go decompress at the Central. So, while shooting the shit in regards to all things metal with the tortured wails of karaoke in the background, I get an unexpected text around midnight. Apparently the band that was booked for the Saturday morning Santa Claus Parade’s downtown float had to cancel at the last minute, and they needed a replacement.

Wolf 359 to the rescue! I didn’t know that weekends actually have mornings, but this one even came with a breakfast included. I’ve played guitar in cold weather before so I knew my fingers would be a little unhappy, but it was worth it, singing our “Frozen Finger Blues” set as the people waved us through the procession. The last time I surfed a moving vehicle while playing & singing was when we played on the 2141 in the summer. All that teetering around with guitar in hand sort of reminded me of jamming with wobbly-pops. We played some of our favourite tunes by Bo Diddley, Johnny Cash, Beck, and Jimi Hendrix.

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^ this gnarly old classic towed our float! ^

 

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^ snazzy Wolf 359 banner made by Ali ^

 

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^ Ali elf & another elf friend getting festive ^

 

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^ Wolf 359 getting ready to sleigh. I mean, slay. photo by Tanya Orozco, edited by SL. ^

 

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^ Bustin Jentley getting ready for acoustic frigidity ^

 

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^ Tanya & Ali tearing down after the floaty festiveness ^

 

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^ me & my Santa Claus Parade ribbon ^

 

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^ the things that catch my eye ^

 

Happy Festivus. Santa Claus is real!


 

End of report.

SL

CrCx, Glasses, SadHum, Missionary Position


 

Breaking Glasses

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^ found art. must have fell out of a moving truck ^

Do you ever feel numb, like even the best music (and maybe everything in life) is on the other side of a very dull glass? Well, I’m feeling the opposite tonight. It’s like I just woke up again. I finally figured out how to easily run YouTube and my microphone both thru Ableton at the same time, using some sort of “aggregate device” scenario… So now I’m belting out IRON FUCKING MAIDEN at the top (bottom) of my lungs, with my voice mixing along with Bruce Dickinson – and Paul Di’Anno (Killers is undisputable) – and actually hitting some of the notes and improving my tone.

Idol worship and choosing favourites has always seemed kind of immature or unrealistic to me, especially considering my longstanding belief that “if one person can achieve it, so can anybody else, including me.” That said… if I ever had a “top favourite” band it was Iron Maiden, back in high school days. Now tonight, Powerslave sounds just as amazing to me as it did way back then. The mix and the songwriting and – everything – is just super frickin’ great about that song and that whole album.

So anyways, this sentimentality hit an interesting elevation… when I was singing along with “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “Prodigal Son,” I felt like I was PART OF SOMETHING LEGENDARY, as if my voice was connecting me directly to a massive historical collective monolith. I felt like I was onstage, being more alive than usual. Singers are lucky. I’m still used to being mostly a guitar player, even though I’ve been increasing vocal orientation for a few years now. Vocalizing is a whole ‘nutha level, I tell you. Lovin’ it! I can see why karaoke is so popular.

I should be sleeping but I’m too wired. All of this inspiration was brought about by yet another new development yesterday in my own real-life band Crushing Complex, when Matt McLaughlin augmented our brutality with his vocal talents by ripping some vocal tracks on our new demo recordings! It looks like we now have three vocalists in our band, with a pretty sweet – I mean brutal – mix of dirty gnarly vocals and melodic stuff. Matt was bringing some really cool bluesy phrasing to some of the melodies, which sounds even better when harmonized.

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^ Matt singing “fuck that” on a Crushing Complex tune ^
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^ Matt McLaughlin, Crushing Complex lead vocalist ^

Matt actually sang with Crushing Complex when the band existed in its prior incarnation a few years back. This new phase of the band actually feels like a brand-new band though, with all new tunes and more emphasis on groove and lower-tuned guitars. Still lots of interesting timing & dark tonalities and whatnot.
In the interest of “that’s how I roll,” I think I’ll put a list of all the cover tunes I’ve been singing along with for vocal practice the last couple of nights:

  • Iron Maiden – Powerslave
  • Iron Maiden – Hallowed Be Thy Name
  • Iron Maiden – Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Iron Maiden – Prodigal Son
  • TV On The Radio – Happy Idiot
  • The Cranberries – Linger
  • The Offspring – Self Esteem
  • The Doors – Lover Her Madly
  • The Doors – Hello, I Love You
  • The Doors – Break On Through
  • Type O Negative – Love You To Death
  • Fear Factory – Recharger

 


Missionary Position

On the topic of Iron Maiden, but an unexpected twist… I bet you’ve never seen this little gem before now:

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^ a crazy novel written by Iron Maiden vocalist ^

I found this at a book sale in the mall one day, many years ago. Lent it out to a bass player friend a while back, and just got it back. Gonna read it again. It is some wacky shit, I tell you!


 

SadHum Farewell Vid

Oh, yeah… One more thing: there’s another Sadistic Humor video up on YouTube as of yesterday, for all the old Kamloops thrashers or anyone else who might enjoy it:

Click here.

This one is from our farewell gig. Last show we played, January 1994. I played better guitar when I had hair. Those were the days.

A Jane’s Addiction lyrical quote:

“They may say ‘Those were the days,’
But in a way, you know for us these are the days.
Yes, for us these are the days.”


End of this report.

SL

 

 

 

 

 

More Low End, Rediscoveries


More Low End

Crushing Complex just got a major boost yesterday with the addition of Justin Bentley on bass. The new practice recordings already sound way better!

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^ Crushing Complex is now a 4-piece! ^

Rediscoveries

New efforts have inspired some revisiting of old music. I’ve been looking for metal/rock/punk stuff to sing along with for vocal practice, as well as potential cover tunes in that genre. Have you ever heard the Crumbsuckers? Their album “Life Of Dreams” is totally amazing and if you haven’t heard it, you can go to YouTube and listen to it right now. It’s punk. It’s metal. It kicks ass. Amazing riffs and solos. Gnarly vocals. It sounds as good to me this week as it did 25 years ago!

I was singing along with Iron Maiden and The Doors on the YouTube tonight, when Type O Negative came to mind. What an amazing treasure this song is right here: “Love You To Death” by Type O Negative. You know that feeling when you hear an old familiar song for the first time in a very long time… even though it’s so deeply familiar, every twist and turn is revealed as a surprise. Shivers. Epic.

I also must say that one of the nicer bonuses of being a musician, and learning cover tunes, is the new level of appreciation for some old, previously uninteresting tune. Suddenly I’m playing “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters for audiences, and loving it? Yes! Bringin’ back the 70’s!


 

Over and out!

SL

 

Crushing Complex, Buckyballs, Sadistic Humor Video

Navel-gazing, part 9 of 1000,000,0000.


Vocal Practice / Crushing Complex

Well, if I’m going to be anti-social and not go out and enjoy the night life, the least I could do is practice. Gotta love a breakthrough session. Open-G and Open-D tuning combined with a brass slide and blues harp made for a pretty interesting vocal practice session tonight, especially considering that I stay in E-Standard about 98% of the time.

Singing the blues (some Jimi Hendrix, Bo Diddley, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin) got me warmed up for some metal vocal practice, with Fear Factory’s “Recharger.” Rad tune, combining clean and dirty vocals & epic lyrics.

Which brought me to the next task: Crushing Complex vocal practice & writing! Crushing Complex is a metal power trio with Craig McKay on drums, Justin Perfilow on 7-string guitar & vocals, and myself on 8-string guitar & vocals. We’ve reformed and are writing a bunch of new material in a “groove-tech” style. Stoked on our new tunes, aiming for a springtime live appearance!

Here are a few photos of last week’s studio session:

^ Crushing Complex vocal session ^
^ Crushing Complex vocal session ^
^ Crushing Complex vocal session ^
^ Crushing Complex vocal session ^
^ Crushing Complex vocal session ^
^ Crushing Complex vocal session ^

Stay tuned for more metal…


Hi-Heel Buckyball Klompen

Ain’t it funny how a favourite item can be forgotten and become part of the scenery, the furniture… have you heard of buckyballs? Not the fullerene molecules, but the magnetic toy metal ball-bearings, fun for making shapes and amorphous globs, etc. Tonight I found my Buckyballs stuck to the wall bracket where I’ve been ignoring them for the last few years. Joy! I ceremoniously constructed my classic cone shape but added a new element – an interjecting plane.

^ buckyball cone, bisected ^
^ buckyball cone, bisected ^

Next, I messed with it some more:

^ buckyball cone, dismembered & bisected ^
^ buckyball cone, dismembered & bisected ^

Amazing, I know. But a few squishes later, a fortuitous surprise took form: a high-heeled shoe!

^ buckyball reunion brings about a hi-heel shoe ^
^ buckyball reunion brings about a hi-heel shoe ^

… just like one of these:

^ one disco hi-heel ^
^ one disco hi-heel ^

…and also similar to a wooden clog:

^ klompen ^
^ klompen ^

Here it is from another angle, ‘cuz I’m generous like that:

^ buckyball reunion brings about a hi-heel shoe ^
^ buckyball reunion brings about a hi-heel shoe ^

Melophoria 2

Here’s a couple more photos from Melophoria 2:

^ Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by Sean Luciw ^
^ Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by Sean Luciw ^
^ Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by Sean Luciw ^
^ Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by Sean Luciw ^

Sadistic Humor Video

GUESS WHAT? The video digitization from VHS (as previously mentioned) is going swimmingly (quality limitations notwithstanding), and the first one is now up on Youtube. As of, like, a few seconds ago. You’re the first to know! Here is the link: Sadistic Humor on YouTube. Featuring Grant Hartley on vocals, Craig McKay on drums, Trevor Mason on bass and me (Sean Luciw) on guitar, playing the IOOF Hall about 1991, I guess. Enjoy.

^ Sadistic Humor live at the IOOF ^
^ Sadistic Humor live at the IOOF ^

 

End of report.

SL

Remembrance Day & an anti-war song by Skullfinger

^ someday I hope a peaceful world society will become a reality ^
^ someday I hope a peaceful world society will become a reality ^

I imagine Remembrance Day is full of mixed emotions for many people, meaning something a little different for each person. You can call me a dreamer but I think the world can be a nice place, free of violence. Too many misguided actions. Killing in the name of what? Us vs. Them is a horrible thought pattern. Don’t believe the hype. The impression I’ve gotten is that a lot of war’s misery is propelled by nothing more than greed for money, only disguised as something more honourable. Many people suffer for the benefit of a very few. What an ugly game!

Two years ago I wrote a song on Remembrance Day, called “Remember.” It was fuelled by the aggravating dilemma between “honouring the sacrifices of veterans” (very good) and “glamourizing war” (very bad). I think I realize that not every war is fought for the same reason, so it is not okay to paint every situation with the same brush. Some things are worth fighting for.

^ My Grandpa survived WW2... not unscathed, but managed to remain a good-spirited fellow nevertheless! ^
^ My Grandpa survived WW2… not unscathed, but managed to remain a good-spirited fellow nevertheless! ^

With this song, I chose an anti-war stance. I’ve changed the title to “Cannon Fodder” to get the point across a little more clearly, and it’s due to appear on the upcoming Skullfinger album, “Turn Down The Quiet.” As far as genres are concerned, it’s basically a metal song with machine-gun snare drums, 7-string guitar, and heavily-layered vocals reminiscent of Ministry or Devin Townsend. The guitar solo section reveals my heavy Megadeth influence. It’s kinda brutal. Lyrics at the bottom of this page.

^ A cannon. Try not to stand in front of it. Or behind it, for that matter. ^
^ A cannon. Try not to stand in front of it. Or behind it, for that matter. ^

Today I was fortunate enough and attentive enough to capture the sound of the jets flying overhead & I added it to the beginning of “Cannon Fodder.” Have a listen on Soundcloud.

^ album cover art for
^ album cover art for “Turn Down The Quiet” by Skullfinger ^

Here are the lyrics to “Cannon Fodder”…

Remember Remember Remember
War War War War War
Remember Remember Remember
War War War War War
Remember Remember Remember
War War War War War
Remember Remember Remember

War is a liar
A dirty liar
Wants to throw your babies
Into the fire

Guns are for hire
To greedy liars
They want to throw your babies
Into the fire

Somebody’s laughing all the way to the bank
All because of your allegiance
All because of your allegiance

Imaginary borders
We could have been friends
But I’m following orders
We kill to defend

Let your country poison you
Dismember you
Let your country starve you
Dismember you

Cannon fodder cannon fodder
This ain’t about freedom
You sorry sucker
Cannon fodder cannon fodder
This ain’t about freedom
You sorry sucker


End of rant.

PEACE!

SL

Musical Plentitude


Hallowe’en

Had a blast onstage with the Caitlin Goulet Band (5-piece) last Saturday night at The Office. Lots of great costumes, good old-fashioned wholesome singalong lyrics…

^ me playing my Strat Oct. 31/15 (photo by Jim Dupuis, edited by Sean Luciw) ^
^ me playing my Strat Oct. 31/15 (photo by Jim Dupuis, edited by SL) ^

Drums of Drone

“The Shell” (the debut album from Drums of Drone, now available thru bandcamp on cassette or digital download) just made its way into the Canada Post system  headed for college & community radio stations all across the nation. Booyah!


Big Sugar

I went and saw Big Sugar last night for the 5th time! They rock, of course. “All Hell For A Basement” is still my fave.

^ Big Sugar in Kamloops Nov. 6 2015 ^
^ Big Sugar in Kamloops Nov. 6 2015 ^
^ Big Sugar in Kamloops Nov. 6 2015 ^
^ Big Sugar in Kamloops Nov. 6 2015 ^

Melophoria 2

Tonight saw more artsy activities and vinyl records spinning into the airwaves at Barnacle Records…

^ spinning vinyl at Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by Sean Luciw ^
^ spinning vinyl at Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by SL ^
^ spinning vinyl at Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by Sean Luciw ^
^ spinning vinyl at Melophoria 2. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by SL ^

My set list of the evening:

  1. Chet Atkins & The First Nashville Guitar Quartet – Someday My Prince Will Come
  2. Claude Denjean (MOOG!) – House of the Rising Sun
  3. Gary Numan – I Dream Of Wires
  4. Hal Aloma – Lovely Hula Girl
  5. Venetian Snares – Index Pavilion
  6. Black Pus – Nowhere To Run
  7. Venetian Snares – Ego D.S.P.

Crank The Noise

Running the Wavestation and the electric drums both into the distorted Matrix amp causes a chaotic noise battle… The loudest sound wins!

^ shredding the Korg Wavestation ^
^ shredding the Korg Wavestation. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by SL ^
^ Gary Faustman shredding the electric drums ^
^ Gary Faustman shredding the electric drums ^
^ shredding the Korg Wavestation ^
^ shredding the Korg Wavestation. photo by Gary Faustman, edited by SL ^

…signing off!

P.S. voting for the PAC tomorrow.

SL

Melophoria, Cuda, Jem, VV, u-Ziq

Hey, whatsup.


Vinyl

About 9 days ago I spun some vinyl at Melophoria, as previously mentioned. Spinning is super fun, & the other DJ’s played some really rad stuff. Here’s my set list from that night:

  1. Herbie Hancock – Rough
  2. Claude Denjean (MOOG!) – Come Together
  3. Dick Contino – Clarinet Polka
  4. Claude Denjean (MOOG!) – Venus
  5. Venetian Snares – Ego D.S.P.
  6. Webley Edwards – Fire Goddess
  7. Pipes and Drums And Regimental Band of The Black Watch – Medley
^ these are the records I played ^
^ these are the records I played ^

…and a bunch more photo edits:

^ vinyl orbit ^
^ vinyl orbit ^
^ vinyl lizard mirror ^
^ vinyl lizard mirror ^
^ vinyl (cheery shine) ^
^ vinyl (cheery shine) ^
^ vinyl (infrared laser) ^
^ vinyl (infrared laser) ^

Cuda

Walking recently, I had a chance to snap photos of this sweet classic… an old Barracuda.

^ amazing Cuda ^
^ amazing Cuda ^
^ amazing Cuda ^
^ amazing Cuda ^
^ amazing Cuda ^
^ amazing Cuda ^

Jem

There was a Jem on the wall – I had to try out the handle and strike a pose.

^ Jem rustic ^
^ Jem rustic ^
^ Jem soda ^
^ Jem soda ^

VV

Value Village (or any other thrift store or almost any location whatsoever) is ripe with photographic opportunity. Here is some sort of mesh thingy:

^ meshy whatnot ^
^ meshy whatnot ^

and some other stuff:

^ royal Nile chick ^
^ royal Nile chick ^
^ some kind of Christmas tree holder thingy ^
^ some kind of Christmas tree holder thingy ^
^ some kind of Christmas tree holder thingy ^
^ some kind of Christmas tree holder thingy ^
^ some kind of Christmas tree holder thingy ^
^ some kind of Christmas tree holder thingy ^
^ shiny sound thing ^
^ shiny sound thing ^
^ wig heads. 'tis the season ^
^ wig heads. ’tis the season ^

…and a really fancy motorbike:

^ attention to detail on this fancy motorbike ^
^ attention to detail on this fancy motorbike ^

I use Hipstamatic. A lot.


u-Ziq

I always meant to play guitar at Drum-and-Bass speed, but don’t get a round to it often enough. Well, today I did. I dug out my DJ? Acucrack CD but opted for u-Ziq instead. “Lunatic Harness” is great and I played along with it on nylon-string guitar. Fun and educational!

^ jamming guitar with IDM ^
^ jamming guitar with IDM ^

This is the end of this report.

SL