Archive for the ‘The More You Know…’ Category

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I believe playing an instrument, any instrument, is necessary for a person to truly be a fan of music. Here’s why:

1. It’s constructive. Playing music is one of the best hobbies one can partake in. It can be fun at the same time. It improves dexterity and coordination, and even makes you smarter (“The Mozart Effect“). Plus, it beats sitting around watching mindless television.

2. It’s a creative outlet. Expressing oneself through music is one of the greatest attributes of mankind that dates back to the earliest times, so why not be a part of it?

3. The social factor. Playing music with friends and other musicians can be a fantastic experience. You can learn, communicate, and become friends with individuals who share your tastes. This is how some of the greatest bands of all time have formed, you know.

4. It provides personal satisfaction. There is no better feeling than writing your own song and being proud of it. Learning an instrument is a slow and difficult process, but it provides the greatest satisfaction. It is one thing you can only do by yourself, with hard work and dedication.

5. It lasts forever. It’s just like riding a bike; once you learn, you never forget. It is something that will stick with you the rest of your life. You can pass it on to friends and family, or just keep it to yourself. Either way, it will always be a comforting outlet.

So these are the reasons you should learn an instrument. Honestly, you don’t have to master the instrument, or even be that good at it. Just learn a few chords on a guitar, or a simple drum beat, or even a couple notes on that old, shitty recorder from grade school. Whatever it is, just have fun with it. You might even discover some talent. \m/

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The subculture known as “Straight-Edge” can be traced back to the early 1980’s hardcore punk movement. Those who follow commit themselves to a lifestyle without drinking, smoking, drug use, and sometimes abstinence from promiscuous sex. There are also some who include veganism, which is the act of refraining from use of any animal products.

I am not part of the straight-edge youth, but I have friends, and know others who consider themselves to be. It’s a personal choice, and it takes someone with strong convictions to hold true. I certainly have no quarrel with straight-edge; in fact, I have the utmost respect for them. And by “them”, I mean the ones who aren’t snobby douche-bags about it, and those who are actually remain straight-edge. Sometimes it bothers me when there are people claiming those values, yet don’t follow them in their daily lives. That my friends, is called being hypocritical.

One of my favorite bands, Earth Crisis, are avid followers of straight-edge. I found an awesome video from 1995 about the movement featuring interviews with the band and more.

So next time you meet a straight-edger, don’t be a hater. Show some respect for someone with strong personal convictions. Unless, of course they are the snobby douche-bag type. In that case, a hard right cross should do the trick. \m/

In the hardcore community, band clothing and merchandise is a big deal. Not only are the clothes bad ass, but it’s also a way to give and show support for your favorite artists. In my own quest for such clothes, I’ve come across some good sites for spending your hard earned cash.

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First, there’s All In Merchandise. This is a pretty popular site. They have a well organized site, and they offer a “Bargain Bin” with some good deals. As far as different band merchandise featured, there’s a huge variety of bands, including a lot of well-known bands as well as some lesser-known ones. A great site for someone looking for a variety of options.

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Next, there’s Cold Cuts Merch. This is a good site with access to some bands you won’t find on many other sites. They offer a good variety of bands, but sometimes they lack in variety within each band’s collection. However, one cool aspect of this site, is that they feature a blog which gives updates on merchandise and other news. Definitely worth checking out.

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And finally, there’s Hellfish Family. This is one of my favorites because of the website design and merchandise variety. They also have updates via their twitter account. It gets kind of confusing because they organize by record company/label too, but that could be a good thing if you know your labels. All in all, a really good site you should consider.

These aren’t the only sites out there to by band merch, though. Don’t be afraid to explore the internet, or Google what you want. To be honest, most of the merch I’ve bought have come from shows, not websites. Either way, your purchase is supporting the bands, and that’s what hardcore is all about. \m/

It is a noun, and an adjective. It is a genre of music, but even more so, it is a way of existing.

Hardcore can mean different things to different people. To some, it may mean an unbearable sounding music with a bunch of idiots flailing around at shows, but to others, it is an alternative lifestyle fueled by shows, music, merch, energy, and brotherhood. I side with the latter on this issue, because I can tell you from personal experience, hardcore music is life-changing.

It lets you channel energy and everyday aggravations into something positive and creative. It’s not about starting fights or partying until the sun comes up, but rather having a damn good time while throwing your fists in the air to some heavy tunes. It’s a freedom of expression not offered by any other type of music, yet also a responsibility to not let things in life stand in your way. Hardcore is about being resilient and strong, while still having a good time. At east, that’s how I see it. \m/

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Tattoos

Posted: February 7, 2013 in The More You Know...
Tags: , ,

I don’t know about you people, but I think tattoos are badass. Maybe not all of them, but most. I don’t have any myself, but I know I want one. I just haven’t had any good ideas. If I’m going to fork out the cash and live with it for the rest of my life, I have to like what I get.

However, because tattoos aren’t really considered “appropriate” for the workplace yet, I wouldn’t able to get anything that obnoxiously shows, like a face tattoo. As of now, I’m leaning more towards a large chest or back piece, or something on the leg. And Hot Rod’s in Martin’s Ferry will probably be the place I go. But again, I’m still not satisfied with any of my ideas. And I’m still broke. But one day I will be a badass mofo like this guy \m/

Vocalist for Harm's Way. Don't fuck with this guy.

Vocalist for Harm’s Way. Don’t fuck with this guy.

Hardcore music has been around for decades, dating back to the early 80’s in the years of hardcore punk, with bands like Black Flag, Bad Religion, and Suicidal Tendencies. However, the movement has grown and transformed over the years, branching off into different subsections of hardcore such as the straight edge, youth crew, punk, old school and new school. And from these branches come legendary acts such as Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, Madball, Cro-Mags, H20, and the list could go on and on.

There is another band I consider a legend in their own right, that is not usually mentioned with those other giants, and that band is Terror. Granted, they haven’t been around as long as the others; their first demo was released in 2002. But for a hardcore band, 10 years in the business is more than respectable. Plus, in just that 10 year span they’ve put out at least 15 records, demos, and live footage videos, while touring countless times across the country. They are a band that loves what they do, and have contributed more to modern hardcore than any other band I can think of.

Their last album, “Keepers Of The Faith” was awesome. Below is the video for the title track. Also, they have a new album, “Live By The Code”, set to release in April 2013. More info about that can be found on their website. Remember, if you listen to hardcore, you listen to Terror. \m/

I really do feel for these guys.

I really do feel for these guys.

I found a very interesting article on Heavy Blog Is Heavy about how it is to live, and eat, in a touring band on the road. In my days playing music, I’ve played a few shows out of the area, here and there, but nothing that could be considered a “tour”. However, I can still relate to this article. I’ve eaten unhealthy amounts of fast food, gone consecutive nights without much sleep, and smelled like a dirty, sweaty, piece of garbage, all in the name of playing shows. Although this particular article deals mostly with the food aspect, anything can happen, and it can be frustrating, like the picture above shows.

Eating especially becomes an issue, if like me, you’re trying to be a healthier person. Fast food is unfortunately the easiest route to take because it’s cheap, addictingly good, and most places are open late, if not all night. A positive note, I read in the article Taco Bell has a campaign to support up-and-coming bands with a free “Fourthmeal”, you know, the meal after dinner and before breakfast. The 2012 featured artists can be found here.

Overall, this is a very well written article, with interviews and research that gives a glimpse into the life of a touring band. So next time you go see an out-of-town band, remember how trying being on tour can be and show some support! \m/