Girls With Guitars; Rocking out and Lookin Good

Jump back to Nina, Age 17.
There I was walking to my local music store to buy new guitar strings. Bella, my 6 string, had suddenly become a 4 string because some macho douche bag had tried to impress me by “tuning her” so he could play some shitty song he wrote. Well he broke my A string and my G string (hold your comments; I’ve heard it before, not funny.) I enter the store, ready to get my new strings and then go home to play some new songs I had written. The clerk was a fat middle aged man in a Steve Vai t-shirt and the worst mutton chops I had ever seen in my entire life. He and the pimpled young man in the store were discussing wrestling and who was better. The bell rang as I entered and they looked at me like I had three heads. Mr. Mutton Chops gave me an unctuous smile and greeted me with “Hi sweetheart, what can I help you with.” I told him I needed a pack of Elixir strings for an acoustic guitar. He sold the pack to me, asking very condescendingly if I “knew how to put them on.” I assured Mutton Chops that yes, I did indeed know how to put them on.
“So are you a beginner?” He oozed.
“No, I’ve been playing for a year and a half.”
“Aw, how sweet.”
I left that shop feeling dirty, and very underestimated. In his eyes I could see that he imagined I would probably sit there, in a red fluffy teddy, trying to restring my guitar, realize I had no idea what I was doing, and then break down in tears wishing I had gotten a lesson in stringing guitars. After that I would just use the broken strings to tie up some of my attractive female friends and…well…you get the point.
And now to Nina, present day.
It is very difficult to become active in a band, because nobody ever really things you can play. I’ve been playing since I was 16 and I’ve become one hell of a good rhythm guitarist. Most guys have the misconception that I either, can’t play very well, or only play lesbian singer/songwriter music. These are the problems with being a female guitarist in a male dominated music scene.
I get a bevy of different responses when I tell other musicians that I play guitar.
“Oh, that’s nice. Like Jewel? She’s got a pretty voice.”
“Aw, how cute.”
I know that this is never the response that guys get when they play guitar.
Fortunately for me, there are many good factors to being a female guitarist. When they actually find out for themselves that I can indeed play the guitar like a mother fuckin’ riot, I get a hell of a lot of respect from them. Some, I dare say, even find it attractive to see a girl rocking out.
Playing the guitar has made a huge impact on my life because it gives me a whole other outlet to express myself. I’m glad that I picked up playing the guitar, and I hope to do it for the rest of my life.
So up yours Mutton Chops.

Open Mic with Bear F'N Frazer

Boo Ya! Did I scare ya? I doubt it, because I couldn’t scare anybody away from the greatest column that the world has ever seen, now can I? Damn right, I can’t! Anyways, I hope everybody has had an incredible winter break and is ready to kick off the new semester with a bang … a big bang … a bang bigger than the one Oday and Qusay got!

When we rang in the New Year, some people thought the media should have stressed that a satellite landed on Mars. Bottom line is that it wasn’t, so shut up! The first most talked about story of the year was the beautiful marriage of Britney Spears and her childhood friend, Jason Allen Alexander. Supposedly, they were dating and suddenly, decided to get hitched in Las Vegas on January 2nd. She needed a marriage license, filed for it, and wam, got married, only to get divorced a few days later. Now, there are two theories I have developed. The first one is that she really was in love with this guy and did it “spur of the moment,” only to have her manager tell her, “if you don’t break it off, then your record sales will drop down,” and let’s face it, every male is in love with Britney, so knowing she is taken, she is less appealing, therefore concert attendance drops, as well as her albums. See, this totally messes up the “I have a chance of scoring with Britney” cycle. This is why I believe my second theory is more accurate. See, not too long ago, Britney did an interview with Diane Sawyer where Sawyer got Spears to admit that she has “experimented” with a few drugs, most noticeably the famous club drug, ecstasy. She has been a pretty big party animal lately and has been influenced by alcohol. I figure that she was really wasted one night from the ecstasy, coke, or alcohol, and she just saw a friend she hasn’t seen a while, enter Jason Alexander. She really missed him, she was upset about what has been going on in her life, and Alexander cheered her up. They decided to get married, get a lime green limo, and wear their normal clothes (Also, Britney Spears is close with her family, so why wouldn’t you want the family present, unless you are really wasted?). They sign their marriage license and Britney’s signature was a little distorted. I mean, you could tell it was her handwriting, but a sloppier version (Yep, she was probably wasted). Then, go to some cheesy chapel, pay fifty bucks, and become husband and wife. Then, you have your wild passionate monkey sex and wake up the next morning, only to say, “WHAT THE F— DID I DO?” Britney’s manager yells at her, gets it annulled within 48 hours, the media is all over it, and really isn’t a bad move, because it keeps Britney’s name in the media (however, Alexander had sex with one of the most popular icons in America). Obviously, Britney has some personal problems and musical issues too (her last two albums sucked). I only have one word for the pop princess: rehab. And, I have two words for Jason Alexander: good job.

American Idol 3 started on January 19th with Simon, Paula, and Randy deciding on which contestants should make the show. I have to say that I was shocked on the third episode, as only 13 hopefuls from Houston were invited to Hollywood (about 30 to 40 each were picked to represent New York and Atlanta). There a few things on the show that caught my eye. I mean, obviously, it is going to become harder to pick the best singers because I’m sure the best singers were drafted for American Idol 1 and 2. The judges complain about this so much, well damn! This isn’t rocket science! You drained every good singer for your past shows, so expect some no talents who can’t sing! Secondly, you got some of the most worthless scum of humanity trying out, and when they get put in their place, they think they are still an incredible singer and the judges don’t know any better. I mean, what the F—? You have a bunch of these bad singers appear on the show and say that, “I want to be on American Idol because the show is so good!” Then, after their crappy ass audition, they come out and say, “I hate American Idol! The show sucks and because I’m not on it, it is going to suck even more! I could have made myself a lot of money if I were picked. I can dance, act, and sing.” Honestly, these people needed a bigger wake-up call. American Idol isn’t about acting or dancing, but singing. It’s all about the singing. And, you got these moronic assholes who go on the show saying how they could have made themselves a ton of dough. I say screw that. If money is the only thing you care about, then there will always be a job for you working the corners of 32nd Street.

Sorry for getting on that tangent. I’m just sick and tired of these greedy hooligans only caring about every dollar that comes in their pocket. Simply, they are pathetic sellouts. All I know is that true talent do what they love regardless of the money, and that’s the truth. Simon and Randy have been funny nonetheless, and Paula is beautiful as always (although she kinda looks stoned nowadays). I remember this girl singing on the show and she seemed like a nice girl with a dream, but a terrible voice. When they laughed at her, it looked like she was about to cry. Hesitantly, she said, “I tried my best. That’s the only thing I can ask for and have God by my side.” Simon replies with one wiseass comment, “Well, God must have taken the day off.” That is so wrong to say … but I’ll be the first to admit that I was rolling on the floor.

I suggest that everyone saves up some money and goes to the local Sam Goody or Best Buy soon because some slammin’ albums are about to come out. On February 3rd, Incubus’s “A Crow Left of Murder” will be appearing on the shelves, featuring their hit single, “Megalomaniac.” It’s probably no secret that I’m a fan of Incubus. As a matter of fact, I’m still ticked off that somebody took my “Make Yourself” CD last year … I used to vibe off of that everyday. I’ve seen these guys in concert too, and let me be the first to tell you, the music they put out is definitely quality. It doesn’t matter if it’s electric or acoustic; they make the experience and music worthwhile. Now, even if you’re not a fan of Incubus, never fear, because Godsmack, Taproot, Papa Roach, and Slipknot are currently in the studio working on their latest works. Also, keep an eye out for Cypress Hill’s newest album, “Till Death Do Us Part,” on March 23rd. The first single, “What’s Your Number?” should be playing on radios at anytime.

I decided that dedicating a whole paragraph to celebrities that I don’t praise isn’t just mean, but downright wrong. So that is why I have decided to dedicate one solid paragraph to the individuals whom I … let’s just say, those celebrities who I can’t quite figure out, but I will take an honest stab to these questions that I’ve been pondering for a while. Does Jerry Falwell really look like a fat farm animal? No, I don’t believe so, but he does look like a pig that has been taking steroids. Is Clay Aiken really a homosexual? I’m not sure, but he really does like styling his hair. Which American Idol winner has a better voice, Kelly or Ruben? Doesn’t matter, if you stuff a muzzle down both of their throats, then they will sound the same. What is Michael Jackson’s deal? I don’t think anybody knows Michael Jackson’s deal … or at least wants to know his deal. Do you think Saddam Hussein could have found a better hiding spot? Sure, in a dumpster in New York City … nobody cares about bums until they sleep on their lawns or benches. All right, and lastly, will R. Kelly ever get with the Mary Kate and Ashley? By my watch, he has four months to try because once they turn 18, they will be too old for Mr. Kelly.

That’s all I have this time. I know some of you may be thinking that I don’t like these celebrities. Truth is, I’m not that bad of a guy. I love all these icons the same, especially Mary Kate and Ashley. But until they turn 18, they can’t see me!


For Whom the Bell Tolls IV

Well, I am glad you all liked my last article so much. Then again, I could just attribute it to the porn aspect as I well know that’s what some of you appreciated to most. At any rate, I will be doing my traditional reveiw for this week, but look for another rousing personal essay next week!

Literature: Dude Where’s My Country?, Michael Moore. As a Michael Moore fan and (as most of you well know) a professed liberal, you might already know what I am about to say: Amazing! Moore truely has a way of astounding me with his humor, wit, and insight. In his latest book he berrated the Bush Administration for not only the war, but it’s policies on many other issues. He brings in a good deal of reputable fact, plenty of numbers (which on some level reassuers everyone), and a good deal of off the cuff sarcasm. He is both profound and profane, and ashamed of neither. While some of his sentiments are to me (a moderate) a bit off, on the whole the book is strong in it’s convictions and humble in it’s approach. Moore has succeeded in illuminating the mind of the average American with both morbiod realities and inspirational truths. Star Rating: 4.5

Movies: Nowhere in Africa: This film is in German, subtitled (dubbing is inherently evil!) and absolutely wonderful. It takes place in Kenya during the second world war and is narrated from the point of veiw of Regina, a young Jewish girl who escapes Nazi Germany to live as a refugee in Africa with her mother and father. The movie is filled with ethusiastic landscapes and music, as well as the typically complex relationships between family members, races and the heartwrenching realities of the Holocaust. It is profound and deeply human. The simplicity of the child’s observations are moving. The relationship between the two parents that was so simple in Germany is at once complicated by the realities of war and reinvented with the help of Africa. This is perhaps one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. It doesn’t try to be either glamorous or shocking and the honesty of the film is portrayed in both the direction, the acting and the script. Go rent this movie, it’s out on DVD now! Star Rating: 5

Wasted Words 18

Recommended download: ThrowdownFamily

So, who watched the Super Bowl Sunday? Not me, as I couldn’t care less about football. I sure have heard a lot about the half-time show and Janet Jackson incident. Personally, I don’t understand what everyone’s getting so upset about. It’s a breast, and it wasn’t even fully exposed. She was wearing a nipple shield which prevented most of it from even being seen. Now the FCC are talking about dishing out fines. Give me a break. Kids see nearly the same stuff in the lingerie section of the JC Penny’s catalog, or even worse things in their fathers stash of Hustler magazine (trust me, I know). Oh, and don’t get me started on Justin Timberlake. He’s claiming it was unintentional, which is a total bullshit cop-out. If you’re gonna pull something like this at least have the balls to own up to it rather than apologizing and claiming it was accidental.

A good tour to look out for this summer will be No Doubt & Blink 182s CO-headlining tour. Apparently there’s still other supporting bands that will be added, though none have been announced as of yet. The tour kicks off on June 1 in Indianapolis, Indiana. I know I’ll be there to catch this odd pairing of bands.

Speaking of odd combinations, Dashboard Confessional will be heading out on tour with Thrice and the Get Up Kids. The tour is set to begin May.

An update on Further Seems Forever: It was noted a few weeks ago that the vocalist, Jason Gleason, would be leaving the band. Apparently he is sticking around long enough to finish the album the band is working on, then he will be moving on. This sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?

Along with several reissues, Bad Religion have a new album on the way. Titled The Empire Strikes First, the album is expected to be released on June 8.

Sorry so short this week, I’m running late again. It’s been a very tiresome week for me due to some changes that took place.

Thanks for reading. Until next week, I’m out.

Big Day Out 2004 – Perth Australia

(By Guest Author Jonathan Brodula)
For those not familiar with the Big Day Out tour here’s the weblink:

Here’s the report:

The big day out is certainly a lot better when you get everyone’s perspectives of the day as opposed to your own. My day started at Gyroscope and the car was getting thrown around corners at speeds just to be in time. In a few years these guys will probably get a gig on the main stage (or a later spot on the small stage) in Perth as they’ve got quite the catalog of songs already. After a quick look at the main stages (Skulker/Sleepy Jackson) and my first encounter with the ‘D Barrier Nazis’ (A five minute wait just to get in to a VERY empty area? What a load of shite… things would get better however) it was up to see the Persian Rugs for a brief moment just incase said Nazi’s decided to hold things up for the Hoodoo Gurus.

The Darkness was frustrating at first because of the Nazi’s crowd controlling/little girl death avoiding but entrance was FAR easier on the Orange side of the D Barrier. After missing Bareback and the majority of Black Shuck in the queue I must say I was treated to quite the show afterward with Justin Hawkin’s best David Lee Roth impersonation’s and the bass player’s gaze almost staring straight through you at times. The Black Eyes Peas brief appearance and subsequent roar from an approving crowd was the odd partnership that the BDO always seems to deliver. I’m a great fan of the rock revival and bands that take the time to give it their all for the pure enjoyment of the crowd.

Went for a wander and came back to line up for re-entry to the Black Eyed peas which of course was the usual fare with security (I’m sure there is a logical explanation for the d being 75% empty all day but it escapes me at the moment). Was great to see some hip-hop main staging it at the Big Day Out and was a welcome change but how Something for Kate gets main stage when 1200 Techniques doesn’t given the quality and all round fun of the latters set is also beyond me.

Butterfly Effect up next was my favourite crowd all day. Everyone was there to mosh and Perth FINALLY got it right when it came to the mosh pit. Water sprayed over the business area of the pit every 2 or 3 minutes and the people were there to jump to TBE’s ultra tight set all the way through. Can’t wait for Rockit after that!

Jet were neither a dissapointment nor a highlight for me. They were there, they played their popular songs and they got the crowd doing some risky things (Standing on the very top of that tree HAD to be the best seat in the house) to see their show. Hey just because they have a few catchy songs on the radio is no reason to dislike them but my burning question is… How the hell did the Vines get on the main stage and stink the joint up last year and Jet gets small stage, a big appreciative crowd and delivered a good set while NOT pretending to be stoned? Politics or stupidity? Then again considering ‘security measures’ this year Jet didn’t do too bad after all.

Wasn’t happy with the Nazi’s before Muse but I only have myself to blame for that. Decided against waiting and watched from afar. They played Citizen Erased early and that was enough for me and I went for a wander to the Boiler Room and saw hardly anyone! Looked over to the Hothouse to see Peaches starting and guessed that was the reason why. Hothouse? No fucking kidding! Peaches didn’t exactly make me want to stay either after working my way to a good spot. Not my thing when someone records with a full band (on ‘Kick It’) and just prances around the place on her own.

After much deliberation I decided Hoodoo Gurus were worth the wait in the line… until I saw it that is. Tried for a good spot in the licensed area but thought that a try on the Orange Stage side entrance to the D was worth it. Walked straight past the line and merged in 5 metres out. 5 minutes later I was in and rather perplexed. But I knew I wasn’t leaving for anything. Saw the Strokes whole set when I would have rathered Poison The Well and was surprised with the catchy nature of all their songs…albeit sometimes sounding identical. Their new album material is quite good and ‘Last Nite’ was a brilliant tune live. All the while Metallica’s stage was being set up and hearing the odd roar for the speakers getting wheeled out and the ten thousand or so boards of pyro being set up. What was coming next was surely going to be worth a phonecall to ALL of my mates that thought I was stupid for trying to get back into the D.

Metallica played the the usual for mine. Was hoping for a surprise in song choice somewhere there or a jam of some sorts but I guess all of that went out the window with Jason Newstead’s departure. Got boring fast and was waiting for something to happen… so Metallica had heart failure on their minds with the opening of ‘One’. A sidenote to those who pay attention to the band’s mannerisms… did James seem a little perturbed at the start during ‘Creeping Death’ when no one caught on with the ‘DIE’ warcry (or anything else for that matter)? Also did Lars seem snakey the whole time? For the most part the crowd inside the D barrier sucked for being there. I’d prefer the diehards crunching me while making an effort to be part of the show instead of punks just surging all over the place just ‘being there, man!'(being those who heard St Anger on the radio or just burned a copy of the CD from one of their mates for their Metallica knowledge. But hey more power to them for slipping past the Nazis on the gate!). ‘The Unnamed Feeling’ was the set highlight just for being something new and pretty damn sweet in my opinion.

End of show and I was rooted and well cooked around the outline of my Brisbane Lions jersey. No real regrets apart from missing the Muse mosh which will probably go on the list along with missing The Music last year and The White Stripes the year before that in due time but all in all a brilliant day given time to reflect on it.