Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tonight just got a little better.

Taco and Margarita night! How can you go wrong?

Special thanks to Doug and Em for supplying the Orange Liqueur.
It only took a little over a year for me to use it.

Now a message from my cat that loves to paw his thoughts into my keyboard while I'm on it:

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Welcome to my blog / Liz and Luckie Strike.

So I'm new to this blogthing... I actually was inspired to do it from my friend Liz. Though I don't expect my blog to be nearly as exciting or insightful, I realized through reading Liz's blog that this is a cool way to communicate to whoever is out there, things that mean a lot or not much at all to the blogger, but for the reader it could inspire someone to live their life to the fullest instead of watching it slip by. At least that is what I get from reading Liz's blog. Like I said, I really don't expect my blog to be that great, but either way I'm inspired by her so, I'll do my best.

It just occured to me that I should just write my first blog about how Liz and I met and became friends. (Since she is the one that introduced me to this bloggyness.) I think this'll also give you a little history of me as well.

A long time ago in a music scene far far away...

I remember the first time I saw Luckie Strike. They just had a this weird mixture to their band. When I saw them play, I realized right off the bat that they were not just another local Sacramento band. They had a professionalism to them. Some kind of tenure they had fulfilled. I later realized that this difference between them and any other band in Sacramento was something that could only be earned by touring. There is something that happens to a group of individuals after spending countless hours in a van together with the very occasional shower to clear the air, (as well as give you a slight moment of solitude) eating fast/gas station food and sleeping on floors that haven't been swept or mopped since whenever. I know this sounds like some kind of self-loathing life to live, but there is this sweet part of the day that makes it all worth it. It's the moment that the first string gets strummed, the first snare gets beaten into a pounding cadence, the lights start burning, pulling the sweat out to rehydrate the clothes that drank the same drink the night before. The moment the first breath is pushed through the banged up, beer and cigarette scented screen to the diaphragm of the microphone vibrating it to be amplified into the loudest voice in the room. In this moment it's all worth it. The starving, the bills that are late again, the missing of loved ones, all worth it.

It's this dedication to a musical collective that changes the way that a band plays when they hit the stage. It's no longer just a couple people trying to play "rock star" for a night. It's a real life BAND! This was the first thing I saw when I saw Luckie Strike. The other part to this weird mixture, was through all the real lifeness to this band, there was this silliness! Not like the "oh they are a joke band" kind, but the "they've got this inside joke that has got to be the funniest thing ever" kind. It's the kind of thing that you see in a group of people you don't know and think "Man I wish I could be a part of that!" As it turns out, with the people of Luckie Strike it was just as easy as walking up and saying hi. No sort of proving yourself, or passing the test was necessary to be accepted. Just Hi.

A while after I met all of them, I was asked to come hang out in the studio with them and I got to sing backups on the song "How The Story Goes". You can hear it on their myspace. I remember feeling so special to be able to hang out with such awesome people and to be able to sing with them. But that was just it. They were so easy to be friends with. I'm pretty sure anyone that wasn't an asshole would be accepted as friends.

I remember a moment of astonishment when Liz told me she was a fan of my old band "Diseptikons". Diseptikons was by far the fastest and hardest band I've ever been in. We pretty much just wrote songs to be either fast or hard, that was kinda the goal. Of course we'd try to throw in a hook here or there to make things catchy, but that was the rarity. There was this one show we played at "Bo Jangles" in Sacto, and I was walking out to my car to get something and as I was walking out, Liz was walking in. She had X's on her hands, a bandanna on her head, and came up to me and said "I'm gonna tear it up in the pit tonight!" I was like "Liz? Is that you?" which she followed with a scream "Woooo Dispetikons!!!" and just ran into the club. I was shocked and amazed but I soon realized that Liz has way of breaking down any preconceptions about herself.

After Diseptikons split, I kind of fell of the map for a while. I had just ended a long term relationship and put my band to rest, so I felt like it was a time to find out who "Jaycen" is. I didn't really hang out with to many people or go to shows for a while. I basically just sat in my apartment, drank wine and recorded a string of depressing acoustic songs that I'm sure will never see the light of day. I was also working a pretty stressful job at the time and was basically using the money I made to make myself "happy" while wasting my life away as a corporate slave. Working way to many hours and not living.

A while later I was determined to pull my self out of my self discovering/ working life, with the hope of renewing my life in music, but in the way that I saw Liz and company do it. Whole heartedly, with sweat and gas station food. Little did I know that it was not far off. I got asked to join "Pipedown"(an already touring band) and soon got the taste of tour life, the good and the bad that goes with it. I'll skip over all of that experience and save it for another blog maybe.

After "Pipedown" disband, all I wanted was to be back on the road. I had heard that Liz was playing with Allegra and Twig(Diseptikons singer) in the reincarnation of "Angoramachinegun". I some how weaseled my way into this band playing guitar. At first it was tons of fun. I was excited to be in a band with Liz. I liked the music. It was more on the indie side and I got to play guitar which was cool. (I played Bass in Pipedown and Diseptikons.) Going to practice was always fun. Liz just has a way of filling a room with positive energy. Unfortunately the rest of the band was kind of the opposite. It became more about partying/"getting big" and less about music/ having fun. It was no shock to me when Liz said she wasn't going to be a part of it any more. I just look at it as a few great months that I was able to be in a band with Liz.

Well now I have to wrap up this blog because I have to go to a band meeting... Fortunately for me, the band I'm in now is very much like what I saw in Luckie Strike. A group of friends making music and having fun!

To: Liz, Mel, Bubba, and Dre,
Thanks for inspiring me to be a better Musician and Friend!

Note to self: I hope all of your blogs are not going to be as long winded as this one.