This will be brief. March was a great month for me, I got to see my friends quite a bit and go to a few shows. Joshua Radin was a great way to start out the month - probably one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Period. The sound check passes were way cool, Josh is such a nice guy and even Zach Braff was in the house! Oh and meeting Meiko was the icing on the cake, her cd was one of my most listened to discs last year so it was a pleasure.
As for local shows, I caught Hyperflo twice and also hung out with everyone at Chris’s birthday party, really good times.
Craziest weekend was definitely 20,21,22.. The 20th was Hyperflo @ CCL and we all proceeded to hang at my place until we all passes out in the wee hours of the morning (6ish?) Waking up and dragging my ass downtown at 10:30am was ROUGH. But Loree and I had tickets to Howie Day, which I’ve been looking forward to for months now. We had big plans to shop on Michigan Ave (where our hotel was also), eat at this great Tapas restaurant, catch the show, drink, etc. Well, we didn’t exactly get to ANY of that. Partially my fault being that I was exhausted still from the night before and trying to recover from THAT. We got downtown and stopped at TGI Fridays for some lunch and proceeded to drink long islands for… oh.. FIVE HOURS at the Friday’s bar. What are the odds that Dave was there eating at the same place we were?! The show was great, from what I remember of it (LOL) and even tho I was seeing double from the alcohol, Loree proceeded to drag me around Chicago at various bars and we had a great time. Matt came out and saved us both from ourselves, those pesky curbs, and boys trying to hit on me (yuck).
Sunday? Was 100% the roughest hangover I’ve ever had in my life. It was a PAINFUL train-ride home and a rough afternoon. But overall, one of the funnest weekends I’ve ever had.
The rest of the month was spent relaxing and trying NOT to drink myself stupid. I’m not sure I’ll have as much luck next (this) month.
If you’re friends with me on Facebook, obviously there are plenty of pics from the month up there. Holla.
Ok I’m about a week late on my February update - but whatever. This is just my own little outlet and it’s not like anyone really reads this anyway. (sshh I kinda like it that way).
So February was probably one of the busiest, craziest months for me in a long time. But GOOD busy and not uggghhh busy like December was.
The first couple of weeks were pretty mellow actually - I was just busy preparing and anticipating my weekend vacation to Phoenix towards the end of the month. I was helping out a friend for about a month watching his cat and she sadly passed away while I was watching her. She was a sweet kitty and I’m glad she at least seemed happy & content the last month of her life in my care. To be fair, she WAS about 21 years old and I’m assuming it was just old age, since she didn’t seem to have a sickness or whatnot. (RIP Anne Frank)
The second weekend I had a small get-together at Shark City for my bday - which was fun as hell! Actually that whole weekend was so fun thanks to my homie Josh. He hung with me and even took me to Wildfire to eat before we went to Sharks. It rocked, that place has the best food ever! I saw a bunch of peeps I hadn’t seen in YEARS, it was really great. Thank you everyone who came out!
We’ll just skip right over Valentines’ Day since it’s a stupid, useless holiday anyway and go right to my BIRTHDAY. And right to the Mudvayne/Nonpoint show! Was a great show and I think I missed Mudvayne the last 1 or 2 times there were in town (which is unheard of b/c I try to NEVER miss them) so I was totally psyched for the show. And with Nonpoint?? psssh heck yes! It was at the Pearl Room in Mokena, which is about 50 minutes from my place and I travelled there by my lonesome to meet up with some friends. I ended up being the only girl there (as per usual at a Mud show) - OH except for seeing one of my girl friends for about 5 minutes during the show & after at the bar - but other than that it was just me and the boys. Which always proves to be entertaining and this show was no exception. I toughed it out in the mosh pit for the majority of the show and got STOMPED on. The bruises on the tops of my feet are just now going away 3 weeks later.
Nonpoint played a great set and to be honest, I was probably more excited about their show than the Mudvayne part. Only because I KNOW Mudvayne puts on a good show and that I’m going to love it every time. But I haven’t been a big fan of Nonpoint’s last couple albums and I wasn’t sure if they would play any old stuff that I would know. But they definitely brought out some kick ass stuff when they opened with Mindtrip, then went on to play Victim, What a Day, Bullet with a Name on it and even their cover of In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. (yes we will not talk about how I feel about bands covering Phil & Genesis at this juncture. We could be here a while) Let’s just say that I let slide and Nonpoint does a decent job so it was moderately cool.
Mudvayne’s set was awesome and I think they only played 1 song off the new album (which, in a way is a bummer since the new album is AWESOME, but in a way I was fine with b/c I would rather hear old shit). I won’t go into every song the played cuz you can find set lists other places I’m sure, but it was a killer show and I had a blast. Afterwards we went to the bar next door and hung out with the new guitar player from Nonpoint - he’s a friend and ex band member of a friend that was with us. Totally cool guy and we all had a great time. But alas, I am old AND I had to work the next day, so I bailed about 1:30. Slightly early I heard because only moments later my boys were invited upstairs to hang out with more of the bands and I missed it. I actually wasn’t too disappointed - as much as I love rockstars, my days hanging out backstage or on a tour bus are LONG gone and I don’t even really have that urge anymore.
The bad thing about my birthday weekend was that even before the Mudvayne show, I was starting to feel sick. So staying up late for the show just made it that much worse and I came down with a bad cold. But there was no recovering possible because I was headed to Arizona the next weekend! So I took as many meds as I could to try and knock it out and I thought I had done a decent job. Until vacation time came around.
Friday the 21st I headed to Phoenix to see Steve and my other friends who are (still) living there. I’ll sum up the weekend by saying that it was absolutely amazing to see my friends and to just sit in a room and hang out with them. It had been close to probably 6+ years since the 5 of us were all in a room together hanging out. It felt very at home and I miss them all so much. Of course I was sick ALL weekend - but I took meds, ate good and got a lot of sleep while I was there so I did what I could. It was the best weekend I have had in years and I’m sure I’ll be going back to PHX sooner rather than later.
I spent the remainder of February sick and trying to get better. (It’s actually now March 8th and I’m STILL very sick and trying to get better. I don’t know what the deal is!)
Overall February was great and busy and crazy and great some more.
First month of the new year down! January proved to be a great month for me, compared to December. Maybe it’s my general disinterest in the holidays, or my loathing for cold weather; either way, December was rough for me and the further from that nasty month I can get, the better. Further from the emotional roller coaster I was on, and closer to Spring, are two positives for January for me.
And I still have a job, thank goodness! This economy seems to be affecting almost everyone and FLOR has weathered it so far like champs. We made minor cuts in personnel, and one of my good friends was affected, but overall I hope that we are in the clear and I can stop holding my breath waiting for “the” phone call. Our workload definitely hasn’t slowed any and I spent a big chunk of January working day & night preparing for our Spring catalog launch. It was a huge task and it went really well, thanks for asking.
I’ve been unable to make it to TWO concerts in the past month and it was very disheartening to have to cancel them. I missed Mudvayne at the end of December due to Jason’s nose surgery and me having to help with the dogs. And Anberlin / Madina Lake last weekend because Tyler and Joe were both sick. I was more upset to miss the Anberlin show to be honest. I was looking forward to seeing them AND Madina Lake (ex-Blank Theory twins, who I’ve been a fan of for years). But alas, I have a show tomorrow night and a couple in Feb & March. It will make up for it. I will go into more detail in another post. I’ve decided to talk about my upcoming concerts at length and I wanted to separate it from the rest of this nonsense you’re reading right now.
A couple friends and I have decided to dive into the world of starting our own media studio. Of course it will be side work and a side project for now, but hopefully it will turn into something more down the road. We’ve chosen a brand and we’ll be setting up our site soon. Stay tuned for more info on that.
Tyler had double ear infections for a couple weeks this month, which knocked us both out when it comes to energy. He’s just finishing his antibiotics and seems to be good to go. He use to be sick a lot the first few years of his life (mostly ear infections), but he’s been fairly normal in health this past year, so it was rough. Other than that, he’s become more and more independent and comes up with the funniest things to say every day. He also gets to start school this year! He will be 5 on May 1st and kindergarten registration is on Feb 26th. I’m not sure that I’m ready for him to be in school, but I guess it’s not up to me! He’s going to start this Fall and I’m sure he’s going to love it. I can’t believe how big he is. /ok end Mom rant
My most exciting decision of January is to take a small vacation in a few weeks to Phoenix! I can’t wait to get out of this cold weather and to see all of my friends. I’ve never been there and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of pictures when I return. I’ll be gone Feb 20 - Feb 23.
Overall January has been good. February is a PACKED busy month with concerts, my birthday, my vacation, new business, and school registration. LET’S DO THIS!
Since I seem to have drummers on the brain lately, I thought I would go ahead and list my favorite drummers.
#10. Alex Rodriguez of SAOSIN
I’m struggling to find a decent video to showcase the amazing drumming from this band and their self-titled album. It’s even hard for me to put this as my #10. Being an ex-drummer myself, I am always aware of drums in a song, more than other instruments, etc - a lot of songs and albums have great drumming - but rarely do I find an album that really convinces me that the drumming is the absolutely BEST part about an entire album. But for Saosin and their self-titled album, the drumming is SO great that, in my opinion, it actually carries it.
As for this video, there are no quality audio videos for my favorite song “Collapse” and the CRAZY drumming that takes place around 2:40 of that song… BUT a close second would be their song “It’s Far Better to Learn”. This video is from their DVD “Come Close” (which is awesome) and you can see the drumming beast at work, his fills just make me nuts.. Enjoy!
#9. Matthew McDonough of MUDVAYNE
Matt is an absolute madman on the drums and ANYONE who listens to Mudvayne knows that. But even past the non-stop double bass, Matt is actually an amazingly talented drummer. It’s not just about speed for this guy and he’s so fun to watch!
This video is Matt drumming for the video of their song “Dig” from back in the day. It shows his skills pretty well.
#8. Shannon Leto of 30 SECONDS TO MARS
It is very very very very hard to distract me from Jared Leto when I’m watching 30STM (that is the understatement of the year), but if anyone could do it, Shannon could. I could watch this dude drum for HOURS and not get bored. Not much else to say, he’s incredible, just like all the others on this list. And I love his kit.
This is an AMAZING video of a drum solo during a show - accompanied by the Street Drum Corps (who are awesome, I’ve seen them several times). Enjoy it. Isn’t 30stm’s stage set-up & back drop amazing as well? LOVE it.
#7. Branden Steineckert formerly of THE USED
It hurts to talk about Brandon a bit. He has been one of my favorite drummers / musicians / band PEOPLE since I discovered The Used back in 2001. In 2006 he was kicked out of the band and has since joined Rancid. He is absolutely a killer drummer, captivating to watch, and seems like a really nice guy. The Used will always be one of my favorite bands, but they have definitely fallen a notch or two in my mind since Brandon has been gone. It’s just not the same.
There are about a million videos out there worthy of showing Brandon’s talents. I chose one of their song “Taste of Ink” because it’s my favorite (and because I found it humorous that Brandon has a Rancid shirt on.)
#6. Aaron Gillespie of UNDEROATH
The only original member of this stellar band, Aaron Gillespie is an all-around incredible talent. He’s the drummer from Underoath, as well as the SINGER (they have a “screamer” also). And also has a very successful side project band called The Almost, in which he is the lead singer. To hear the mixture of RAD complicated drumming and solid singing come out of this dude is just jaw-dropping. I can never believe he acutally does BOTH and does them so well when I see him play. He is one inspiring dude.
Damn, there are so many cool videos. I chose this one so you can see him singing and playing. It’s called “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” and it’s from their debut CD in 2004 “They’re Only Chasing Safety”. You can probably see the drumming much better than the singing (but that’s the purpose of this post, the drumming).
#5. Chad Sexton of 311
I’ve been a 311 fan for many many years and Chad is such a great DETAILED drummer with so many cool layers to his style that I absolutely love it. Obviously 311’s music isn’t the type that would greatly showcase a drummer like other heavier rock bands would, but he’s still a huge influence on me. He is so controlled, smooth and precise it’s awesome.
This video starts out a little slow, but it’s a GREAT example of his talents to the drumming world. Just wait until around 1:40. WOW
#4. Taylor Hawkins of the FOO FIGHTERS
Taylor Hawkins earns this spot and probably one MUCH higher even. Such an awesome drummer and not just in the Foo Fighters. Another reason that I love Taylor so much is his contribution to one of my favorite bands and albums Coheed & Cambria - they enlisted Taylor’s skills in the studio for their 4th album, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow. One of my FAVORITE ALBUMS ever. And c’mon now - who wouldn’t love a guy who started off as Alanis Morissette’s drummer?? haha..
Here is a GREAT video I found. It’s Taylor and DAVE GROHL drumming together! Gotta love Dave. They are just both bad-a$$ drummers if you ask me.
#3. Morgan Rose of SEVENDUST
One of my drumming heroes and a major influence in the heavy rock drumming area. When I see Sevendust live, Morgan Rose is ALL I SEE. I cannot take my eyes off of him, he’s so interesting and entertaining to watch. He always has a sweet kit too - HUGE, but he makes use of all of it.
Check him out playing “Denial” at House of Blues - Watch those arms go!!! He’s awesome, hands down one of the best drummers ever. My signed drum stick from him is a prized possession.
#2. Travis Barker of BLINK 182 fame
The only reason Trav isn’t my #1 is because if it WEREN’T for my #1 drummer, I would never have gotten interested in playing drums in the first place. BUT when you talk about amazing drummers, favorite drummers, etc, Travis IS my #1. He’s also an incredible person and someone I look up to greatly. I don’t even LIKE Blink 182, nor have I ever really liked ANY of the musical projects he’s been involved in, but the SKILLS this guy has are unbeatable. I just love to watch and hear him drum.
This video is one of my favorite things about Travis - he takes these ordinary rap or dance songs and drums to them - which I think is so inspiring. It’s different and original and THAT is why I love Travis Barker. I find it humorous how I go from a guy who plays this enormous drum kit and ROCKS the sh*t out of it, to a guy who (normally) plays a 4-piece in a punk band.
#1. Phil Collins of GENESIS and solo career fame
I have loved Genesis, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins since I was little. Genesis was my FIRST favorite band, one of my FIRST concerts, and the single reason I wanted to be a drummer. Phil Collins may have gained his fame and recognition from being the singer of Genesis, along with his hugely successful solo singing career; but first and foremost, Phil is a drummer. And he is nothing short of PERFECT. I cannot say higher things about Phil Collins, his talents, and the influence he has had in my life. As a drummer, as a music lover, and even as a person. Genesis changed my life.
There are hundreds of videos of Phil and his drum solos. It is my favorite part of his tour each night, when he takes his spot behind the kit and him and Chester Thompson go at it. Pretty amazing for a man who is deaf in 1 ear, and almost deaf in the other. This video is from his solo tour DVD and it’s 8 minutes long. I suggest you watch all 8 minutes. :) You will get 1:30 into it and you will understand why he is #1.
50 Ways to Help the Planet is a great, simple web site that has some quick easy steps you can take to improve your imprint on the environment.
Of course they don’t ALL apply to everyone (#6 regarding diapers no longer applies to me - THANK GOODNESS. #31 Recycle unwanted wire hangers - I haven’t had wire hangers in years) but there are some that I should make more of an effort to apply to my life. I only scored 18 out of 50 and I saw at least 5 that I could probably use more of in the future.
Take a look and see if there aren’t a few easy things you can do to help out.
Well, it’s back to work today after the holiday time-off. As much as I love structure and returning to a normal schedule, I wasn’t happy when my alarm when off at 6:15 this morning. I hit snooze a few times and tried to lay there quietly, as to not wake up Tyler too early. Actually, it’s never because I’m worried of waking HIM - he gets plenty of sleep. It’s that when he DOES actually wake up, he runs into my room and demands that Mommy gets up and helps him put together his spaceship, or makes him breakfast, or whatever short list of demands he can think of first thing in the morning. And when I haven’t hit snooze enough times to prolong my wake, I’M NOT READY TO GET UP AND NO I DON’T CARE WHERE YOUR WALL-E TOY IS. But as 6:45 rolled around and I drug myself out of bed, I realized something that prompted an audible sigh of relief: HE’S NOT HERE.
Tyler is at his grandparents’ house this week because his sitter is closed. I had totally forgot and was intentionally being quiet so I didn’t wake him and force MY day to start. So as much relief as I felt, him being absent always leads to a sad feeling when I don’t start my day seeing and taking care of him. I was pretty blah this morning by the time I reached work, but I’m finally starting to snap out of it.
A good dream about Panda Express (and orange chicken) and a phone call from a best friend (Sara) helps turn things around. And finding out that we have TWO days off this week, instead of one? BONUS. It’s all good. I’m going to try and end this year on a positive note.
Happy New Year!