Friday, September 26, 2008

"I couldn't hold it no more"

This is just too good to go unnoticed. Cops: I can hear you now: "Ooooooooh (sounding like little girls)!"

But the real question remains: Where did they stick the breathalyzer?

Flatulence gets DUI suspect charged with battery -
"SOUTH CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) -- A West Virginia man who police said passed gas and fanned it toward a patrol officer has been charged with battery on a police officer.

Jose A. Cruz, 34, of Clarksburg was pulled over early Tuesday for driving without headlights, police said. According to the criminal complaint, Cruz smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and failed three field sobriety tests before he was handcuffed and taken to a police station for a Breathalyzer test.

As Patrolman T.E. Parsons prepared the machine, Cruz scooted his chair toward Parsons, lifted his leg and 'passed gas loudly,' the complaint said.

Cruz, according to the complaint, then fanned the gas toward the officer.

'The gas was very odorous and created contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Patrolman Parsons,' the complaint alleged.

He was also charged with driving under the influence, driving without headlights and two counts of obstruction.

Cruz acknowledged passing gas but said he didn't move his chair toward the officer nor aim gas at the patrolman. He said he had an upset stomach at the time, but police denied his request to go to the bathroom when he arrived at the station.

'I couldn't hold it no more,' he said.

He also denied being drunk and uncooperative, as the police complaint alleged. He added he was upset at being prepared for a Breathalyzer test while having an asthma attack.

The police statement said he later resisted being secured for a trip to a hospital that he requested for asthma treatment.

Cruz said the officers thought the gas incident was funny when it happened and laughed about it with him.

"This is ridiculous," he said. "I could be facing time."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shut Yer Piehole, Second Helping

I posted some time ago that artists need to get a brain and leave their politics out of their professional lives. This past week, there is a case in point.

Jill Greenberg, both acclaimed and infamous photographer, was hired by The Atlantic Monthly to shoot John McCain. Greenberg, a ferocious Democratic supporter, photographed McCain in a very unflattering fashion, going so far as to alter the pics to give him blood-dripping shark's teeth. To reiterate, she did all this on her own for a paying client.

The fallout for her is that A), her client was forced to issue a personal apology to the picture's subject, McCain; B), she was not paid by her client for her work, and may be sued by them; especially interesting, C), she lost the respect of many in the pro photog community; D), she was dropped from her high-end agency, Vaughan Hannigan, affecting her future work. She was picked up by another agency, but has now branded herself as an activist for liberal causes. How do you think that will play out in right-wing circles (i.e., nearly all high-end corporate gigs) when considering her for projects, especially now that she's well-known for pulling these stunts?

Another curious thing: this Mensa reject is Canadian - not even an American. What a fool.

This is akin to us musicians standing up and saying at gig, "Here's to John McCain winning the election over that asshole Obama." Meanwhile, you're playing at the wedding of the daughter of the head of the local Democratic party. Or how's about professing your love for Jesus at a gathering of Muslims. Nice move, genius. Where's your next gig?

The question remains: For what are you being paid? If the client asks for shark's teeth on McCain, fire away if you are so inclined. But if they're looking for a middle-of-the-road shot in your style, give them what ask for. Or turn down the job. We're talking about professional responsibility, not social engineering on someone else's dime.

So, take as much interest in politics as you like, I encourage you to make an informed choice. But, in public, entertainers need to leave it alone. News Forum

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Holy CRAP I'm in the wrong line of work

Hugh Laurie Gets a Raise - 'House' star may also get a producing credit - Zap2it:
"Hugh Laurie will reportedly become one of TV's highest-paid stars under the teams of a new deal with Universal Media Studios.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Laurie's pact will keep him with his hit FOX drama 'House' through the 2011-12. The trade paper says Laurie's new salary would be in the roughly $400,000 per episode, or more than $9 million per season.

Laurie, whose original 'House' salary was only in the mid-five figure range, may also get a producing credit of some sort. The Emmy nominated star's last salary bump had come in the summer of 2006 when his per-episode rate increased to $250,000-$300,000.

Even after the new deal, Laurie's salary will still lag behind his network cohort Kiefer Sutherland, who makes roughly $500,000 per '24' episode. Both FOX stars can only envy exiting 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' star William Petersen, who makes a reported $600,000 per episode."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pink Floyd keyboardist Wright dies

Pink Floyd keyboardist Wright dies -
"LONDON, England (AP) -- Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd, died Monday. He was 65.
Richard Wright (right) and a reunited Pink Floyd earn cheers at 2005's Live 8.

Richard Wright (right) and a reunited Pink Floyd earn cheers at 2005's Live 8.

Pink Floyd's spokesman Doug Wright, who is not related to the artist, said Wright died after a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He says the band member's family did not want to give more details about his death.

Wright met Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college and joined their early band, Sigma 6. Along with the late Syd Barrett, the four formed Pink Floyd in 1965."
Richard Wright is at far right in the photo above.

Good News for Bad Spellers?

"Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


"REMEMBER when MTV had veejays who actually knew something about music and aired programs that focused on, um, music? Neither do I.

This week, the music channel-turned-Democrat agitprop machine celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Video Music Awards show by turning the spotlight on an America-bashing, Sarah Palin-trashing 'comedian' from Britain as host.

The freakish Russell Brand is famous across the pond for his booze and sex addictions (which earned him multiple 'Shagger of the Year' accolades). Oh, and he made headlines for gleefully dressing up as Osama bin Laden the day after the Sept. 11 jihadists struck on American soil.

Could MTV stick a bigger finger in the eyes of American viewers on the seventh anniversary week of those murderous attacks?"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Harry's New Toy - Zoom B2.1u

I found that surrendering to the masses isn't so bad after all. This bass multi-pedal is nice. I bought it specifically to fatten up the sound of my Ashdown single 15 combo while playing in 3 piece groups, and it does that handily - with other FX, as well.

So far, I'm still playing with the presets in the box. The Ampeg SVT/810e preset seems good on paper, so I started with that. Guess what? It actually sounds a bit thin. The fattest straight amp sound so far is the SWR model. Through the Ashdown, I actually got it to growl. The Marcus Miller sound is also a good one.

I had looks from all the other players when we went into a Sly and the Family Stone song and I buggered in the funk-wah. Hoo boy, where's my furry pimp hat?...

I needed to be careful of the flanger - this is a powerful effect in this stomp box with a lot of range, and can cut the low end tremendously if not set judiciously.

So far it's fun and useful. The only downside is the foot pedal - the stroke is too short to make fine adjustments, and I think I'd have been better off getting the pedal-less model.

More later...

I have succumbed to the mournful wail of bass multi-effects. Actually, I am just looking for something to fatten up the sound of the 3-piece groups with which I play, and my old pedalboard is just too big to bring out to these little gigs. I have no stage room to put it.

Enter the Zoom B2.1u or whatever the hell it's called. Must've been named by a crackhead or something, uttering sounds through his drool. But there it is.

The unit does a load of stuff, and the learning curve for programming it is high, indeed, because it does so much. I'll be commenting more on it as I get more familiar with it.

Wish me luck...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shut Yer Piehole

Don't you wish musicians could keep quiet about politics? Every time I hear a musician or, especially, an actor, spout pronouncements politik, I head for the gag bucket. Their stupidity and lack of knowledge about the subject is apparent and breathtaking. And this is true no matter which side they support.

The problem for entertainers is that discussions of politics and religion divide and anger people. And that's not a good thing when an artist is trying to develop and support a fan base. So in this sense, it's even more stupid than the things they say about each candidate.

From my perspective, I know that if I cover a song from someone who supports a candidate that I don't, then my effort will lead to that musician prospering from my work, and therefore I am, by proxy, supporting his candidate. So my rule: If anyone espouses politics with which I don't agree, I don't play their songs. Terrible situation, ain't it? And I don't like being put in that position.

I like the rock answer best: Shut the !@#$ up and play.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

That pesky rear port

The trend in cab design these days (and for the past decade, it seems) has been to place a port for low end frequency extension on the rear of bass cabs and combos. This can work well in some situations, especially if the player is mindful that he can tune the cab by adjusting the distance to or from the wall of the cab.

However, these ports can prove more trouble than they're worth. For example, in a reverberant room, the low frequencies (which is all that come from those ports) can travel down the walls in both directions, making the wall a big bass horn, increasing the volume to absurd levels in the audience, while leaving you, the player, unable to hear yourself. It can change your sound and make it "boomy." Perhaps the worst of it, other players onstage can be blasted with an overdose of bass. We want to be heard, but who wants to deal with volume complaints about the bass all night?

The solution is to get some material, like foam, and stuff-stuff-stuff those ports. Fill them up. It will make the cab/combo sound different, in most cases tightening up the sound. If you don't like it, just remove the foam.

On many recent jobs, just to control the volume I've had to stick my coat behind my amp (at least unltil I foamed the ports).

Try it and see. You may like the result.

Zebron and James