Sunday, November 21, 2010

A world away

I've been in the Philippines less than 48 hours and saw the Gin Blossoms within hours of landing. The surreal moment of the night was watching them sing about the 405 in a room with thousands of Philipinos. The country loves American music and you'd think you were watching the Beatles on stage given how excited the crowd was.

After getting, or attempting to get a full nights sleep and waking up around 4:30am local time we made it to the Shangri La beach resort and I was able to take in my first day of snorkeling. It was like I was swimming in the world of Nemo, seeing sea anemone, clown fish, barracuda fish, fluorescent fish, emperor fish, fish the size of your finger, to fish as big as your arm. I had no idea you'd be able to see clearly through the ocean. At one point I was being circled by what seemed hundreds of fish and then they all swam off.

Under water the fish would get inches from your hands and face and would just check you out. It's as if I was swimming in a giant fish tank, which if you think about it, that is pretty much what the Ocean is. I've never had the desire to scuba dive but after getting a taste of what you can see scuba suddenly sounds interesting. A few times I'd see fish swimming among the sea life on the floor of the ocean and I'd swim down from the surface about 10-15 feet and just hang out with them. So peaceful and remarkable that the fish had no problems swimming with people.

Today I'm dealing with a little bit of a sunburn, wondering why I keep waking up at 5am and can't believe I have nearly two more weeks here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Spidersuit CD!!!

Announcing the new release from Spidersuit.

the Pigeon

Featuring yours truly on drums.

This is my first CD with Spidersuit and the packaging looks amazing. The CD also just went up on iTunes and you can find it here.

My drums were recorded in 4 different recording sessions over an elapsed period of over a year so this is a long time coming. I'm proud of my performances and can't wait for all of you to hear the CD. Special thanks to Pete, Ellen and Tom for letting me join their band.

And although this is just a small independent release it's pretty cool to think that the dreams I had as a kid of releasing an album continue to come true. And now with Spidersuit I have my 2nd CD.

Check it out on iTunes and email me your mailing address if you want a physical CD.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We have a hit!!!

I've been at GOGII less than a month and the very first product I was able to work on is already a hit on the iTunes App Store. We launched last Thursday and made it to Number 3. Top 10 less than 24 hours after launch. It's very exciting to be part of this team.

So if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or know someone that does then tell them to download our free app.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Asia At Club Nokia

This past Friday night I was able to see a band I never got a chance to see when I was a kid. Years ago on their second tour Asia had a live special on MTV called Asia in Asia. This was broadcast live from Japan and occurred the day before my 11th birthday. Here is a clip from that show that I stayed up until the wee hours of the night to see. They later broke up and went through numerous line up changes.
Some 27 years later I was finally able to see the original line up live at Club Nokia. Strangely I had a number of friends independently at this show as well. So we had a good little group at the show with Natasha, myself, Brian and Jay (from my apartment), and another couple of friends of ours Liz and Steve.

The stage was minimal with only the instruments and a small video screen above the drums. The only thing the video was used for was to show the album cover for the song they were playing.

This was a surprisingly enjoyable show with a great vocal performance from John Wetton, an expectedly good drum solo from Carl Palmer and of course some great acoustic solos from Steve Howe of Yes fame.

For a low key show in a small venue this is probably one of the best theater shows I've been to in years. Great music, a great environment and a crowd that really showed respect for the music, which isn't something you see much as shows these days.

Club Nokia
Los Angeles, CA
August 27, 2010

I Believe
Only Time Will Tell
Holy War
Never Again
Through My Veins
Don't Cry (Geoff Downes & John Wetton)
Steve Howe Solo (2 songs)
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Geoff and John, ended with full band)
Open Your Eyes


Time Again
An Extraordinary Life
End Of The World
The Heat Goes On (w/ Carl Palmer drum solo)
Sole Survivor

Days Like These
Heat Of The Moment

Monday, August 23, 2010

Old is new again

Well after having my car for nearly 7 years I decided it was time to get a new car. I wasn'tplanning on doing this right now, but after too many repairs this year, tires, alternator, belts, and then warning signs for a new clutch I decided to do what my Mom always did. When a car starts to break down, don't fix it, just trade it in for a new one. :-)

Here is one of the last pics of my old car and a couple of pics of the new one. Yes, it is basically a new version of my old one. Upgrading from a 2003 530i to a 2011 528i.I didn't think the drive and experience would be so drastic. My previous car was very nice and I had no complaints about the car it self. But this new car drives has both an amazing ride, and is decked out with outrageous technology. Starting with the navigation, smartphone, blue-tooth, and it even has a hard drive for time-shifting radio and for ripping CDs to your car. Some of these things I didn't even know they were doing.

The first road trip will be to Las Vegas in October. Can't wait.

Here is a link of the car I picked up today, down to the exact colors and options..

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Rush Vacation before I turned into the Working Man...

After 6 weeks of vacation I head back to work tomorrow. I'll be joining Gogii, a start up that currently builds a free texting application for smart phones call textPlus. I'll be their VP of Engineering and will be working to both improve their current product line and expand their portfolio of products and services. So on my last week off I had planned a little vacation and was able to see Rush twice on their Time Machine tour. First in Los Angeles and then at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver Colorado.

I went to the first show with my friend Brian
from Helio/Virgin/Sprint and who is also a resident of the lovely Mansfield Estates. I had just joined the House Of Blues Foundation Room so Brian and I were able to get access to the VIP area at the Los Angeles show. I had great seats and towards the end of the show I caught one of the shirts Geddy Lee threw into
the audience. The shirt featured Geddy on front dressed as the character from Gershon's that was the movie featured pre-show and during the intermission.

On Thursday I flew out to Denver to meet up
with Brett. I stayed at his place my first couple of nights and we took in a lot of mountain driving. First on the back roads to Manitou Springs and then after a couple of hours of driving our destination was rewarded with an old school video game arcade straight out of the 1980s. We played Tron, Asteroids, Joust, Galaga, Q-Bert, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Pole Position and maybe even a few others. We got the high scores on nearly every game we played with Brett taking the #1 spot on some and me #1 on others. EED and DAV lived on.

After a late night dinner with Brett and his wife Sandy, we headed back to Brett's for some late
night gaming on the Xbox 360. Friday Brett and I headed to Rocky Mountain National park. I had done this a few years back with the family when we there for Brett's wedding, but this was one thing I wanted to do again. We spent most of the day driving through the mountains and saw some Elk and Moose along the way. Took some great pictures and at the peak we were over 2 miles above sea level close to 13,000 feet.

Friday night concluded with another dinner and more Xbox gaming. We had a great time and although he turned 40 the following Monday I felt like I was able to be a part of his 40th birthday celebrations. Brett and Sandy were off to a family vacation on Saturday so I was dropped back off at the airport to meet up with Terry and Geoff, Terry's other brother in law.

Once we met up we headed to Matt's, a friend of Geoff's and had lunch at Cherry Cricket, as featured on Man Vs. Food, and then we took in a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field with a pre-game event at Lodo's for a Texas Exes meet up. A little pre-game drinking with UT alumni.

We had a great time at the game even though the Rockies ended up losing. The game went into the 10th inning but at the end of the day the Milwaukee Brewers came out ahead.

On Sunday we took in brunch at a place called The Buff Restaurant in Boulder. We took in a tour of the Coors Brewery, saw the grave of Buffalo Bill and had dinner at another little place in Boulder.

That night Terry, Geoff and I got a hotel and did some late night drinking at Buffalo Wild Wings and topped the night off with some Coors (Yellow Belly) and Coors Light (Silver Bullet) back at the hotel. Listening to music, telling stories, and acting a lot like we did when we all lived in Austin when we were in college.

Monday was the primary reason for being in Denver. The Rush show at Red Rocks. After sleeping in we are started our day once again at the Buff Restaurant in Boulder. Afterwards we headed up to the Estes Brewery in Estes Park and took an air tram to the top of the hill above Estes Park. After a couple of hours of sight seeing we were off to see Rush.

Once at Red Rocks we walked around the park grounds and were able to hear Rush's soundcheck which featured the songs Presto, and Faithless. We met a number of people from out of town including a couple from Texas. A little rain shower and then a beautiful but faint rainbow emerged. And all of this happened about 30 minutes before the doors to the venue opened.

Once we got inside we all just took it in. The Rush show is always a great spectacle with great music and on this tour they were playing their best selling album, Moving Pictures, in its entirety. The Red Rocks show had some technical difficulties with the into movie and it seemed the high altitude might have given the band a couple of challenges during the set. A few missed cues here and there, which is odd for a Rush show, but nevertheless a great show and if you ever get a chance to goto Red Rocks then do so. A visually stunning venue.

Rush played the same set in both Los Angeles and Denver.


The Spirit Of Radio
Time Stands Still
Stick It Out
Workin' Them Angels
Leave That Thing Alone


Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt
Vital Signs
Drum Solo
Guitar Solo -> Closer To The Heart
2112 / Temples Of Syrinx
Far Cry

La Villa Strangiato
Working Man

Tuesday morning Terry, Geoff and I all headed to the airport said our goodbyes. A great way to finish out my stretch of time off, and now after a great week of escape its back to reality.

Rush closed their show with a song called Working Man. So as I start my new job on Wednesday and it's time to "Call Me The Working Man".

I took quite a few pictures so here are links to the different photo albums from the trip.

Manitou Springs / Rocky Mountain National park

Denver Weekend

Estes Park

Rush at Red Rocks 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kings Of Leon - Hollywood Bowl

First off Happy Birthday to my sister, Lisa! It is number 30-something for her, but who's counting :-)

Tonight I took Natasha to a sold out performance by Kings Of Leon at the Hollywood Bowl. You really can't beat the great Southern California weather. I live close enough to the Bowl so we didn't have to drive or deal with parking and the weather was between 60-70 degrees the entire night. We left around 7pm and got home around 11:30 and spent the entire evening outside.

The walk takes about 20 minutes and we were inside and seated towards the tail end of one of the opening acts, Built To Spill. Another band, Futures, played before but we missed their set.

It's hard to believe I saw Kings Of Leon play the first show of the day in a tent years ago at Bonnaroo and now they are headlining and selling out the world famous Hollywood Bowl. They played 4 new songs tonight and surprisingly they went over well for being unfamiliar material for the audience.

Highlights for me included The Bucket, Use Somebody and the new songs Immortals and Southbound. And the surprise of the night they saved until the very end. Pyro!!!

Kings Of Leon
July 12, 2010
Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, California

Taper Jean Girl
My Party
Be Somebody
Molly's Chambers
Four Kicks
The Bucket
Sex On Fire
On Call

Knocked Up
Use Somebody
Black Thumbnail

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A mini Vacation

A couple of weeks back my friend Ron hit me up and asked if I'd be willing to meet him in Las Vegas the last weekend of June. Let's call this required minimal arm twisting considering I was wrapping up my job at Virgin/Sprint and I'm always looking for an excuse to head to Vegas. I drove out Friday June 25th and we met up that afternoon at the Palms. Since I had stayed at the Palms the last couple of times in Vegas I was able to get our room comp'd for the entire weekend.

After a few drinks in the room we headed down to the pool and then out for some dinner at SW (see my last Vegas post) and some late night gambling. Nothing too crazy and it was great to catch up since we hadn't just been able to hang out as two guys in many years.

Saturday we took in some more drinks, some more time at the pool and then was able to see a special concert at the Paris hotel with Cheap Trick presenting The Beatles Sgt. Pepper in it's entirety. The show featured a small backing symphony, background singers, an Indian Ensemble (for Within You Without You) and of course Cheap Trick.

The set started with I Am The Walrus, ran through all of Sgt. Pepper, Cheap Trick were able to play a mini greatest hits set and closed with some additional Beatles songs. We got tickets last minute and due to some extra seats in the front section the ushers upgraded our seats so the front section would be filled.

And the remainder of Saturday was left for more gambling.

Sunday ended up being the highlight of the trip. After a late night of gambling the night before we were eating breakfast and Ron suggested instead of hanging at the Casino all day we venture out to the Grand Canyon. The drive is a little over two hours and takes you over the Hoover Dam. However the directions failed to mention that the last 13 miles of the road is dirt up to the top of the West Side of the Grand Canyon. My car made it, but definitely was making some strange sounds on our way back.

I had never been to the Grand Canyon so this was quite a treat. The journey was also a bit touching because the day before my grandfather died he told me about the Grand Canyon and how amazing it was. He was actually driving out to the Grand Canyon when he died.

We went to Grand Canyon West and did the Sky Walk. This is a horseshoe walk way that goes out over the Canyon so you can get a birds eye view into the Canyon through the see through floor. A great time and definitely an unforgettable memory. They wouldn't let us take pictures on the Sky Walk but they had their own photographer and here are a couple of those photos.

Sunday night ended with more gambling and almost got ugly for me. Let's just say I had put my very list chip on to the table for the night and ended up rallying for five hours to break even on my trip. I wrapped up around 3am and by the time I left the Casino, I had a VIP card and also the business card of a Casino Host. I guess they want their money back next time I come. :-)

We both headed out early Monday morning, Ron a little earlier than me, and after a little get away I was back home by 2pm on Monday. Considering the close proximity to Los Angeles it was nice to have a spontaneous getaway with a good friend that resulted in a trip neither of us will ever forget. Good times!

Monday, May 03, 2010

On Gene Simmons Family Jewels

This past February I went to a CD release party for Bruce Kulick, the former guitarist from KISS. At the performance Nick Simmons, son of Gene Simmons, got on stage and sang one song (twice actually). Gene Simmons' Family Jewels production was there to document the occasion and yours truly was front and center for the performance.

I just found out that A&E aired the episode last night. I found the episode online and watched the episode and there is a shot of me in full KISS Army glory :-)

Here is a picture I took of Bruce and Nick from the show , and below is a picture they took of me!

The show ended up being a great surprise and one of those things that you only get living out here in Hollywood. They played a couple of songs off of Bruce's new CD, and also played one KISS song from each album where Bruce played guitar.

Bruce Kulick
The Cat Club
February 1, 2010

Come Hell Or High Water (KISS)
Hide Your Heart (KISS)
Tears Are Falling (KISS)
Heart Of Chrome (KISS)
Hand Of The King (w/ Nick Simmons)
Hand Of The King (again w/ Nick Simmons. They played twice so they had enough video footage for the TV show)
No Friend Of Mine
I Walk Alone (KISS)
God Gave Rock And Roll To You II (KISS)

You can watch the full episode here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A little Vegas and staying busy in LA

I just got back into town from a mini-vacation in Las Vegas. The primary occasion was just a little get away along with a concert with a friend. I stayed at Palms Place, the same place I stayed at when I saw KISS in November. The concert I saw was Muse and Silversun Pickups at Mandalay Bay on Saturday.

Drove up Friday, gambled Saturday and Sunday and had one of the best steak dinners ever at SW Steak House in the Wynn hotel Sunday night. Check out the picture of the Funnel Cake dessert. Amazing!

After dinner I went to a couple of clubs, first the Ghostbar which is on the roof of one of the Palm's Towers. Their gimmick is they have a see through floor where you can look straight down 50+ floors. It was super windy so I didn't stay too long. After the Ghostbar I headed over to the Playboy club near the top of the other Palm's Tower. Great drinks, great bar and lots of Playboy logos along with waitresses in the classic bunny outfits.

I just got back to LA Monday evening. And this week is another full week. First I have band rehearsal with Spidersuit tomorrow night in preparation for our show at the Joint in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Wednesday night I'm seeing Them Crooked Vultures.

And then on Friday Terry is flying into town and we are headed to Coachella for a 3 day music festival.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My first letter to my Senator

I'm in the process of cleaning out things and came across the first letter I wrote to my US Senator, Barbara Boxer, here in California. And I'm sure my Mom will be proud of me once she knows what it was for :-)

Was it for Health Care? No...
Was it for Educational Funding? No...
Was it to get Ah-Nold out of the role of Governator? No...
Was it for Gay rights? No...
Was it for the Legalization of Pot? No...

So what was it for?

It was for funding of the Arecibo Observatory to support the efforts of S.E.T.I. Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. Here is a link to the PDF of the response I received back in October 2008.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Spidersuit Gig

Looks like Spidersuit returns with a gig at The Joint in Los Angeles on Thursday April 15th at 9:00pm. This will be my first show in 2010 and I'm looking forward to having some of my new friends see me perform. More details will be posted as I get them.

Ok. It took me three updates to this entry but we finalized the date and time for the show.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Things are getting busy

Here we are in February and the year is starting to get busy. First off between January and the first part of February I've been to numerous birthday parties. I'm discovering that is the thing single people do out in LA. Lots of dive bars, karaoke, dinners, and overall good times.

After the slowness of the holidays I'm excited that concerts of bands I like are starting to get back into swing. I was able to see Bruce Kulick, former guitarist from KISS, a couple of weeks back do a CD release party. He played one song off each KISS album he was on as well as a few of the tracks from his new CD. Gene Simmons' Family Jewels was also taping the event so maybe I'll be on an episode of Family Jewels in the near future.

On Wednesday I'll be seeing one of my favorite artists Bob Schneider out of Austin, Texas and I have a few more shows lining up over the next few weeks. Since my bands aren't playing I guess it's time for me to go see other bands play.

Having some down time on the home front I've decided its time to explore LA. There is so much to do out here and I'm looking forward to exploring. This past weekend I did brunch in the Hollywood Farmer's Market and this next weekend I think I might be going hiking in Runyon Canyon with some friends. The best part of all of this is so much of it is within walking distance of my apartment. I'm really enjoying the Hollywood location.

On the work front they are also keeping me busy. I've been on the road the majority of the year bouncing back and forth between LA, Warren New Jersey, and Overland Park Kansas. I was snowed in by a small scale blizzard in Warren last week and although snow is pretty, I'm finding there is no need to live anywhere other than the perfect weather of Southern California. My work travel schedule will be in full swing for another month or two and then I think by April things should return to a slower pace.

That's it for now.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's new?

Travel! It's been a crazy few weeks and I think the travel is going to be fairly intense for me for the next few months. Virgin Mobile was acquired by Sprint right before the holidays and I find myself in the middle of the planning for the transition. This is the fourth work week of the year and my third on the road. I'm actually writing this from the lovely Overland Park, KS Marriott hotel.

With that said I'm learning how to adapt to both my new single life and new work life. One of my best friends lives in Kansas (Sprint's HQ) so I get to see her and her family most of my trips out to Sprint. And late last year I made a few new friends when I stayed the weekend in NYC (near Virgin's HQ) and I've been able to meet up with them the last time I made it there.

Some fun things I've done recently included seeing Pee Wee Herman at the new Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. I was invited last minute by my friend Brian on his birthday. We went with a couple of other friends and had a great time. For those in Los Angeles I highly recommend the show. I was not a fan growing up and was surprised by how well done and entertaining the show was. We even got to stick around for a Q&A that lasted nearly an hour. We saw the last of his warm up shows before he had all the press come out for his big return to the spotlight.

Something I've found myself doing that has surprised me is I'm reading books again. The last time I remember regularly reading was back in elementary and middle school. I've gone through a couple of books in the past month and a few weeks ago when I was out with a friend at the mall I actually found myself buying more books to read.

In February I hope to be home just a little bit more so I can catch some live music and hang out with friends. One of my favorite artists from Austin, Bob Schneider, is playing the intimate Troubadour, and I think I'll be going to the 5th Annual WesFest at the end of February.

Oh and I shaved :-) For those on Facebook I think a couple of pictures have been posted. Now I just need a haircut... Haha.

Till next time...

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