Monday, October 25, 2010

Bad Religion, The Aggrolites, and the Power of Music

October 22, 2010 I saw Bad Religion play at the Starland Ballroom. It was seriously one of the most gnarliest nights I've ever had. It was just me and my brother. We spent the past couple weeks prior to the show listening to Bad Religion. We were amped! We've also been listening to The Aggrolites; they were playin too that night. It was Off With Their Heads, The Aggrolites, and Bad Religion.

We left the house at 5, went to Lens Crafters to get my glasses adjusted (like that helped! I'll explain that later), and off we went to the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, NJ. We got there quick! In two hours. Hey we got there on time!

So we get to the venue. Last time I was there it was PACKED! Streetlight Manifesto was playin and if one more person got into the place, it would've exploded like an over-filled water balloon. Anyways the show didn't start yet and people were still comin in. We're walkin around and we see Brian Baker's guitar case! We were stoked! It had his number and his address. I didn't know he still lives in Washington DC. For those of you who don't know, he was in Minor Threat (DC band). I thought he would've moved to LA or something.

The first band comes on, Off With Their Heads. The place was still half empty. The people who didn't arrive though missed a good band, cause they friggin rocked! My only regret that night is being ignorant and not looking them up. They were really good! They kinda sounded like The Explosion to me. My bro said They sounded like Squirtgun. Whatevers though, I tip my hat off to them.

They finish their set and my bro and I go by the stage where they pick up their equipment. I yelled, "YO!" The bassist saw me and I gave him a thumb up and a hang loose for an awesome job. I see him later that night and shook his hand. He was cool.

The next band started to get ready, The Aggrolites! My bro looks at the stage and freaks out. We approach the stage and there he is, the lead singer/ lead guitarist, Jesse Wagner, gettin ready. We yell for his attention, he gave us a thumbs up. That night we turned into little girls about to see Justin Bieber. They were fun! A pit breaks out where I was standing, I join in. I was singin along with the songs I knew. Oh yeah! I saw this small chick with patches and a bullring piercing. She was friggin cute! One of her patches was a Less Than Jake patch, I thought that was pretty cool. And my bro thought she was a lesbian. So she was in the pit also. Everyone was havin fun. They finish and go to bring back their equipment. We call Jesse over again and he waves at us again but runs back with his guitar in his hand. But he comes back out and goes to me and my bro. We got to shake his hand! " Thanks for comin out guys!" And we got to meet the bassist Jeff Roffredo too!

Next up Bad Religion! A tall dude with white hair comes up on stage and starts messin around with the guitars. We thought it was Greg Ginn (founder of SST Record and Black Flag). But it wasn't. Greg Hetson comes on stage, he was literally right in front of me! Then everyone else comes in, except for Brett Gurewitz. "WHERE'S BRETT?!?!" I yelled a thousand times and got no response. It turned out he was working back at Epitaph.

BOOM! They play Sinister Rouge. "Coming back for more!" My mind was goin nuts! Then they played We're Only Gonna Die! Next song comes up, I run into the pit. My heart was pumpin and I was amped! I run in and DOOF! I get punched in the face and my glasses fly off. I catch it, run back to my brother, and run back in. It was a crowd of 6' 5" people. And I'm 5' 6". It was craaaaazy! Pushin and shovin in a circle. Even just tryin to stand, you were constantly bein pushed. But how can you stand still when Bad Religion is playing? I see that chick again! She was in there too! She had to be at MOST 4'10". And her glasses were still on!

I was singin along with the songs, singin my lungs out. Everyone was goin insane. It was chaotic where I was chillin. They end the set and go off stage. I go to my bro and get my glasses. They come back on for an encore! A dude makes a run for it and hits the stage. He jumps off! But gravity and his fat ass kept him from jumping far and high and ended up landing close enough for the bouncers to grab him and escort him out of the venue.

The show ends, and it's safe to say this was the gnarliest concert I've ever been to. The bands playin played just as good, even better than they sounded on the records. People pay $100+ for tickets to see bands play from a distance. I was standing right in front of them. They were no more than 10 feet away. For $35 for a ticket. For $35 dollars I got to see legends play. Even though I didn't really know Off With Their Heads, they kicked ass too. And when I was there, there wasn't a worry in my head. It was all about having a good time. All the stupid little things that I worry about wasn't there. I felt great. Music blasting in my ears, goin crazy to the songs, singing along, it's therapeutic for me. The sound of great music, washin away all the worries, all the insecurities, the stupid bullshit that runs around in life, for that 2 minute or 3 minute song. That's the power of music.

We head out of the venue, thank God I didn't leave my sweater in the car like i wanted to. Plus probably would've gotten sick. My shirt was soaked in sweat, 40% of which probably wasn't my own. We get in the car and head to White Castle. Split a sack of twenty with fries and onions. It was one of the best nights I ever had.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's for next month?

i realized that these past couple months i've stuck to doing two things for a month. did that make sense? july and august all i did was work and play bass. september all i did was listen to Lagwagon and read Scott Pilgrim. now all i do is play guitar/ bass and drums. month's already over in 2 weeks. i wonder what's goin down next month.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

razor burn

to shave or not to shave?

that is the question. it's been on my mind for a while now, shave the signature stache? take out the chin hairs? shave off the sideburns? i was thinkin usin the 1 guard and shavin my head. take out the sideburns and keep the stache and chin hair. i could finally look like the pseudo-mexican that i am. and seein how winter's comin soon, i'm gonna be wearin a hat all the time anyway. even during the summer i was always wearin a hat. i'm now known for the red baseball cap and the black... i don't know what my other hat is called... and my black "other" hat.

hurray for indecisiveness!

Monday, October 4, 2010


"Unity, as one stands together"
- "Unity" by Operation Ivy

It's blacks vs whites. The religious vs athiests. Bloods vs Crips. The liberals vs the conservatives. The Shiites vs the Sunnis. Team Edward vs Team Jacob. It's bullshit.

Everyone's preachin about peace, love, and unity. "Love, not hate!" "Love thy neighbor." But everyone still has a problem with each other. "God hates gays!" "It's those lazy Mexicans!" "Religion has to go!" "Those black people are criminals!"

Yeah? You want unity? So in order to obtain it, we gotta take out the "bad" groups? Well... ok, then let's start shall we? Let's take out the religious people. Especially the catholics. They're just a bunch of ignorant, closed minded people who believe in nonsense. Let's take out the Americans. They're all lazy fat-asses with nothing better to do then blame other people for shit. Let's take out the punks. They're all just a bunch of no-life elitists who live in the gutter their whole life. Let's take out the Italians. All they do is work out, get tanned, and party. Let's take out the hippies. They're just a bunch of burnouts who don't contribute to society. Let's take out the vegetarians and vegans. "Affection, not dissection! Meat is murder!" They're all hypocrites holdin animals in cages at home when they're tellin us they should be free.

Do you see how ridiculous this sounds? It's not only stupid, it's friggin prejudice. I've heard atheists say again and again, that religious people are a problem. They're ignorant. They force their beliefs on everyone. And then they go on about the "nonsense" they believe in. They call it all fake. On a couple occasions, when someone found out my religion, I was told it was all lies. That what I believe in was stupid. That everyone in my faith forces their beliefs on everyone else. "Oh. So what, are you gonna try to convert me?" SHOVE OFF! Do you see what you are doing? You're doing everything that you said was wrong about the religious person. People aren't gonna find out about my religion unless they ask, because I don't go forcing my beliefs down other people's throats. Ok, fine. You're stating your opinion. Why are you saying it in a confrontational manner? I've got nothing against atheists. Because they do raise up good points about the ridiculousness about religious people.

But that's everyone. Eeeeeeeeeeeeevery group has their large percentage of assholes. EVERY GROUP! Every race, gender, sub-group, age range, and every other clump of people in society. I could go on and on about every friggin group out there. But if you ask me, it's not about what someone is labeled. I'm not gonna judge you cause you're gay. I'm not gonna judge you cause you're atheist. I don't care if you're African. I don't care if you're a hipster. Does anyone else realize, that all these people in these groups.... are people? We're all the same guys! We all eat when we're hungry. We bleed when we get hurt. We piss when our bladder is full. All these labels mean nothing.

If anything, to me, there are two main labels. The assholes and the cool people. Anyone can be an asshole. Anyone can be cool. Just because you're an asshole, doesn't mean you're Catholic, punk, or Italian. And just because you're cool, doesn't mean you're Jamaican, Muslim, or ghetto. Being a good or bad person has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion or anything. I am proud to have the friends I have. They're diverse. I have friends who are atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Jamaican, Guyanese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican, Mexican, punks, rude boys, scene kids, hipsters, and many many other groups. They're all really good people.

"You think I give a shit?
If you're a socialist?
If you're a capitalist?
We've all got to exist
on this planet with nowhere to run
The millions of brainwashed must open their eyes
We are one"
- "Nowhere" by NoFX

We're sharin the same planet. How bout we... I don't know... put all our bullshit aside, and learn to coexist. We can't take out this group and that group because not everyone there is the same. As I said every group has their large percentage of idiots.

"Without people, you're nothing."
- Joe Strummer Punk Rock Warlord