Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Austin City Limits 2009

Yeah, I know I’m late. Better late than never though. Slideshow below. I only took my camera to the final day of ACL. The weather was less than optimal for enjoying the weekend, and I probably will not be paying for ACL tickets again in the future. Lackluster lineups combine with the inability of Austin to really support the kind of crowd the festival draws to leave me rather disinterested in going again.

That said, Dave Matthews put on a hell of a show, as did Pearl Jam. It is well known that I will do stupid things to see either of those groups live. The end.

A few words.

I almost entirely forgot I even had a blog. School has been keeping me busy. Anyway, I’ll cover all my bases again.

First off, the election. I did end up going out and voting, credit my Mass Communications professor on that front. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for McCain or Obama, and my reasons have been stated at least a dozen times so I won’t rehash them. As far as a reaction is concerned, McCain had less than a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this election. Our government is cyclical, much like the rest of the natural world. The pendulum swung right of center for several decades, and is now headed back to the left. Ultimately, people get sick of extremes, and rightfully so.

My concerns with the upcoming administration are quite simple. Obama has not once shown even an inclination to counter injustices fostered within his own party. Having zero history in that regard is a point of great concern for me, as it opens the door to the possibility of having Pelosi and Reid calling the shots. The nation is painfully aware of the results of a single party rule, and history has shown that such never works out well in the long run. With no doubt, I hope for the best possible future for our country. That said, I fear this “change” will simply be in the direction from which our constitution is trampled.

Next up, school is going pretty well. That whole thing where I do most of my homework takes up entirely too much of my time, and I still really don’t see the point. American Literature is easily the most boring course I have ever taken. Fortunately, assuming I pass, it is the last of my literature requirements here at Texas State. At this point I’ll be happy to take a C and move right along.

In preparation for the likely renewal of the “assault weapon ban”, the sunset of which was supposed to be marked by mass hysteria and skyrocketing homicide across the land, I went ahead and invested in a new Colt AR15A3 Tactical Carbine. Given the insane price jumps seen on “pre-ban” equipment between 1994 and 2004, I’d say it’s perfectly reasonable to expect at least a 200% increase in value over the next 18 to 24 months. In the meantime, I’ve finally got something that makes my huge stack of M16 magazines useful. I may even save up for a new upper receiver and start shooting NRA matches again.

Finally, I’ve got my Fender Bassman head up for sale on craigslist. If I get a buyer, I think I’m going to look at buying another electric guitar. We’ll see.

Bonnaroo 2008

Pearl Jam

Originally uploaded by Anthony J. Martinez

Were I to express my thoughts and feelings on Bonnaroo in one word, I’d probably just say “ummmm.” Mostly because “totally freaking stupendously awesome” would still be a vast understatement. The entire weekend was a giant musicgasm. It was like every single band took Rock ‘n Roll Viagra™, and gave their fans hours of extended play.

For me, it all started with one hell of a painful, and occasionally rainy, motorcycle ride from my apartment in San Marcos, TX. Not having acceptable camping equipment, I pulled off I-35N in Buda, TX and paid the folks over at Cabela’s a visit. Nearly $300 later, and I had a nice one man mountaineer tent and a self-inflating sleeping mat. Both fit nicely in my left hard case on my motorcycle. Entirely too many hours later, through the brutal heat and ridiculous winds, I made it to my brother’s apartment in Pine Bluff, AR.

A few short hours later, I was awake and on the road again with a very sore backside and angry knees. Something like ten hours later, I rolled in to Manchester, TN and met my friend Johan and his wife Lynsey at the finest retail establishment ever – Wal-Mart. A case of water for the weekend, and a metal candle holder were purchased. The latter to put under my kickstand, and keep the bike upright in the mud. It worked like a charm, and cost less than $2.

Once camp was setup, we popped open some beer, and proceeded to make the long walk from our campsite to Centeroo. Thursday offered a decent glimpse at the things to come. Thousands of people. Hundreds of musicians. Plenty of venues, and of course more weed than the DEA would know what to do with. After some walking around, the group decided sleep was required before the real fun began, so into my micro-sized tent I went.

At Bonnaroo, the sun rises at 0500. I’m almost positive that 99% of those in attendance didn’t notice, but I’d also bet I was the only person there fresh out of the Army and used to waking up at first light. There were, of course, a few soldiers here and there. Johan and I had no problem visually identifying them through either tattoos, haircuts, or other tell-tale signs of .mil-ness. Anyhow, by 0800 the temperature and humidity inside my tent had risen above my comfort level, so I stepped outside and used my motorcycle as a lounge chair.

Friday hit me with a nice variety of tunes. We started off catching Steel Train, followed by Adele. When that was a wrap, we wandered over to see Les Claypool break down some ultrafunky bass riffs before we hopped stages to watch The Raconteurs. Claypool was the only one I’d ever heard, but everyone was pretty awesome. Adele has one hell of a powerful voice. Steel Train kept things pretty tight and was generally enjoyable. Les Claypool kicks some serious bassist ass. I want to see a bass-off between him and Flea. The Raconteurs really turned the awesome knob up a few levels for the day though, and set the stage for the greatness to come – Metallica. Of course, before Metallica we attempted to see Willie Nelson, and did for a minute – from about 800m away. Seems everyone else had the same idea, at the same time. Oh well. Chris Rock was funny, even my opinion of his political rants is “what a dumbass.” Fortunately, my ability to cease caring helped things out, and I just toggled the give’s-a-shit switch to the off position anytime someone started talking politics. I was there for the music, and Metallica delivered a heavy dose of metal Friday night. Aside from some random drug-addled soul puking all over my free Metallica poster, it was perfect. Perfect.

When Metallica wrapped things up, again the group required sleep. Yet again, when the sun came up the temperature quickly rose with it. Funny how that works. I have a love/hate relationship with my favorite nuclear ball of gas. Saturday was a heavy hitting day of musical bliss. I’m not even sure I can ramble enough to capture the level of excellence. In short, everyone turned the awesome dial to 11. No, scratch that, they turned it to 12.

Bands I was unlikely to have seen without outside influence (Tegan and Sara, or Cat Power) actually put on a good show. I was sufficiently impressed. Of course, for me the real fun began with The King of Blues himself, B.B. King. If you were at Bonnaroo this year, and you skipped BB entirely, get out of your chair, and do push-ups until your eyes bleed. Only then will the angels of music forgive your sins. The man is 82, and still definitely has the power to make Lucille cry. Unfortunately, there was a scheduling conflict that cut my second B.B. King experience short. If you made the Bonnaroo schedule, and decided to put Ben Folds on at the same time as B.B. King, you too should be doing several hundred push-ups. I’m not joking. If you require motivation, I’d be more than happy to put my SGT hat back on and provide it. I’m not happy about that. Still. At any rate, Ben Folds was pretty awesome, and the crowd was very into it. I skipped out early on his set to get a decent spot at Jack Johnson, not because being surrounded by screaming teenage girls was something I wanted (I can get that at home, just spend a day with my sister), but because Pearl Jam was on after Jack Johnson. For a number of reasons, including one quite attractive little blond, I’m rather glad I even bothered to go to Jack Johnson. He’s pretty good at what he does too, I approve. Hell, I might even teach myself a few of his songs. Certainly can’t hurt things any.

As soon as Jack Johnson finished, my friends (including the previously mentioned blond and her friend) pushed our way to within about 5 standing rows of the security barrier between Pearl Jam’s VIPs and the rest of the crowd. Considering the fact that Pearl Jam was what made my MasterCard fly out of my wallet and order tickets to Bonnaroo in the first place, I was very pleased with my position for the concert. A concert that exceeded anything I could have imagined. Pearl Jam played almost every single one of my favorites, and went on an hour longer than they were supposed to. They may have even pissed Kanye West off, for which they deserve additional applause as far as I’m concerned. The fact that my voice was mostly in tact the following morning is nothing short of a miracle. I’m not sure I’ve ever yelled that loudly, for that long, ever in my life. I’ve gotta thank the people I was with, and the people I was around for letting my Pearl Jam experience kick as much ass as it did. Their set was the perfect end to the first of many a Bonnaroo to come.

So there you have it, if next year’s Bonnaroo line up is even 60% as awesome as this year’s, I’m going. Of course, I’m going in a much larger tent (or an RV) and I’m going on four wheels, but I’m going. If you’re a TX friend, or hell a friend from anywhere, you need to put it on your calendar. Call it a pilgrimage if you must, but every music loving friend I’ve got owes it to themselves to get to Bonnaroo. Trust me, you won’t regret it for a second. Photos posted here

Off to Bonnaroo!

I’m packed and ready to roll towards Bonnaroo. With gas at $4/gal, I’m riding the SV there. Tonight is San Marcos, TX to Pine Bluff, AR to stay with my brother. Tomorrow I wake up early and finish the last half of the trip to Bonnaroo. Photos/etc will definitely be posted afterwards.

Day 308

Day 308

Originally uploaded by Anthony J. Martinez

Sat outside and played some guitar on a surprise day off. Clearly I was born in the wrong decade, because I continuously write songs that would have been Top 40 hits in the 70′s. Perhaps that’s a product of the music I listen too, but people always say you write what you feel. If that’s the case, I’m also quite clearly some sort of hopeless romantic (at least as far as lyrics go.) No doubt about it, I’d have competed directly with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page for groupies in the 70′s.

An alarming trend

Not too long ago I was met with the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Over the course of this deployment I have come into contact, either directly or indirectly, with numerous people that had never been exposed to the sonic joys of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, or even Metallica. My initial feelings upon each instance of this insanity were a mixture of horror and shock. Those feelings were followed by a sense of doom, and confirmation that the world was in fact nearing its end.

History has produced quite a lot of excellent music, in a variety of genres. By the same token, there has been an even larger explosion of complete crap, which for some reason has grown increasingly popular. In an attempt to save the world, I think I shall go on a mission to spread the seeds of diversity through a selection of good music. I do, after all, have a .org – so the proliferation of good music will be my mission and my cause. If you wish to join the fight against horrible music, by all means do so – but the second I see Fergie pop up in one of your playlists, I’ll nuke it faster than a 2000w microwave.

Last Day


Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Well tonight is my last night at home, so I think I’m just going to play guitar, eat good food, and have a beer or five. I got a few good shots of Victoria the other day, and have posted them up. I didn’t get to do quite as much recording as I’d have liked while I was home, but weather and other things I can’t control got in the way of a lot of my plans. I did manage to do a few live cuts on my latest song, which you can find if you go here and scroll down. Well, my guitar isn’t going to play itself. If you’re still around and want to see me before I leave, stop by the house, I’ll be here till the morning – then I’m gone till whenever I come back.

Day 114

Day 114

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Just another day in the sand. I actually walked to lunch today, and I’m still not a fan of walking that far for food that bad. Two more songs graced my brain with their presence today. One of a decidedly slow tempo, and likely depressing tone. The other is upbeat blues-rock. Funny how they both hit me at the same time. I’ll scribble some notes down, and churn out some likely unimpressive lyrics eventually. Good thing I never make any claims that suggest I’m a “songwriter” – just a guiarist.

Day 99

Day 99

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

So 99 days ago, I shaved my head and got ready to board a flight that would ultimately be cancelled due to a tornado. At that point there were many songs on my iPod that hadn’t even been listened to yet. Such is no longer the case. On that long, uncomfortable flight, I rated a bunch of songs. Since, I have rated many more. Today, I worked out in my tent, pushups/situps/crunches, and a few other things with some exercise bands (yay for rubber tubing). When I decided I’d had enough, I ate lunch (tuna, apple sauce, some crackers, and an oatmeal cream pie if you must know), and then laid down on my most awesome cot and put the iPod’s shuffle to work on the whole song list.

After about an hour, I got bored with rating songs I hadn’t rated yet, and pushing next through songs I’m not sure will be allowed to remain on my iPod. So I pulled out a chair, and started reading Light, Science and Magic – 3rd ed. Definitely interesting stuff, and I can’t wait to try some of it out when I get home. Heck, I’ll probably come up with some in-the-field method to try some of it here. We all know patience is my most impressive strength….

Day 98

Day 98

Originally uploaded by macktruckturner

Apparently I missed an explosion today, either I had my headphones up too loud, or I really just can’t hear anymore. After my shift, I took today’s photo, though I failed to get the result I was going for – I’ll make another attempt with a different approach some other day. When that mission was accomplished, I broke out the BR864, my Macbook Pro, mic stand, microphone, and of course my trusty Alvarez RD-20S. Never before has a song so quickly popped into my head as a tune, and found it’s way to a recording. Vocals probably won’t happen out here, unless I get really bored – but the music is recorded and ready for a touchup here or there when I get the chance. There are definitely some things I HATE about GarageBand, but overall it works, and being on my laptop it’s always with me.

In other news, I got a bunch of boxes today. The majority of which were from the Scheiner’s, good people that have been our friends for a log time – and shown a lot of support for me throughout my enlistment. Also worth noting were the boxes I got from both The Jaska’s and my sister. An awesome book on creative lighting, from The Jaska’s, along with a very nice card. The older of my two sister’s is on a mission to fatten me up, though I doubt it will be of any success until I’m at least 40 – she sent a lot of food, and some most interesting photos from her trip to Cancún. Sorry Natalie, crocs are still way cooler than labradoodles. I very nearly forgot to mention I got the my DVD with the final episodes of Lost, and all I can say is OMG. That is all.

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