Sunday, February 22, 2009

Playa Dawgs - Round 2

So apparently all the pictures and videos from last weeks historic Playa Dawgz first live performance at Bad Boys Beach Bar in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico were accidentally erased. It sounds suspect to me, but hey what do you do.

So anyway, another Saturday means another opportunity for the Playa Dawgz to hijack the stage from JJ and the Nasty Bastards at Bad Boys Beach Bar. This time however, a few pictures were captured and even some video.

We played 3 songs this time. Sabbath's Paranoid again, went really well, tight, and Andy could again easily pass for the the prince of fucking darkness! Next was the newest addition to the set, Smokin' In the Boys Room. We do the original Brownville Station version justice but honestly I think we were more inspired by the later Motley Crue version! It wasn't quite as good as we had done it in practice, but none the less we kicked the shit out of it! And last we once again ended off with ZZ-Tops's La Grange. Good tune, crowd pleaser, rockin', what can I say it's a 12 bar blues song!

All in all, the evening was a great success, fun was had by the Playa Dawgz, the crowd, and i'm sure even the Nasty Bastards. After we finished playing and reveling in the glory, we had a few beers and chatted up some of the poor buggers on vacation that have to go home soon. Suckers. I met this one guy who was wearing a Drive By Truckers shirt. I was impressed as you don't meet a lot of Truckers fans, especially here. Cool guy, we talked rock for a while. I didn't hang out to long as the night was still young, my liver was still fairly dry, and there was hockey games to go watch.

Next week we are looking to add Billy Idol's Rebel Yell to the set. We'll do 4 songs if JJ will allow it, but 3 again for sure. Not sure which one we'll drop if we have to. I guess we'll wait and see what happens. Either way it should be a hoot! It's great to be doing some playing again, and with a couple of great guys Andy and Eric. Unfortunately Eric is heading back home to Minnesota in a couple weeks, so I think we only have 1 or 2 Saturdays left with this line up of the Playa Dawgz. Andy and I will be continuing on after Eric leaves, hopefully finding another guitarist worthy of completing this trio of "bark" and destruction!

And for the videos... of course you can barely see me, but that's nothing new to me as a drummer. We always seem to be hidden behind someone, or something in nearly every shot. It's all good though, thanks to Rick for the videos:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birth of the Playa Dawgz

So as many of you know, I'm living in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and have been for nearly a year now. Still involved in music back home to a degree through the web and such. I try to do as much playing as I can down here, though it's not always easy especially for a hard hitting ex punk drummer like myself. Guitar players down here are a dime a dozen, and all believe they're the next coming of Stevie Ray Vaughn. Don't get me wrong I love Stevie, but there was only one. Any musician who's not one of the sort of guitar players will know exactly what I'm getting at here, but that's for another post all together.

I've been jamming with this guy Andy, who runs the dog shelter that I volunteer at sometimes, Peanut Pet Shelter. He has this little dingy, dirty, stinky, back room that we jam in. He plays bass, and I'm on the drums, or sometimes guitar if there's no one else. Just the two of us, nothing to exciting but a fun way to spend an evening with a few beers. Well his friend Eric is down from Minnesota for a month. Eric is a really great guitar player and we've been practicing a couple songs to play at Bad Boys beach bar.

Bad Boys has a house band, JJ and the Nasty Bastards that play every Thurs and Sat and have guest musicians throughout the night. They play mostly standard cover songs like, Sweet Home Alabama, Mustang Sally, Old Time Rock and Roll, Margarita Vile, ect, ect, ect,. So we threw together Black Sabbath's Paranoid, and ZZ Top's La Grange and went down to Bad Boys last night. We took the stage to start their 3rd set, about 7:45 or so. This bar actually closes at 9 or so, weird I know, but I think it's because it's right on the beach and most of the night life is up on 5th ave, or down near the night club scene so it makes sense. Also "some" of the clientele is, let's call them....... blue hairs, or older than dirt, you get the idea. So needless to say by 9:00 when the band finishes "some" of the customers are tired and need to head home to bed and get their dentures out! (just kidding)

So we get up on stage and JJ introduces us as this new band in Playa called the Playa Dawgz. We bust into Paranoid. I don't really know what to expect from the crowd as this is a much heavier song than this bar is accustomed to hearing, not to mention the frequent Satanic references! I wasn't really paying attention to the crowd anyway. I wasn't nervous or anything, but when I perform I just focus, and tune everything else out that's not part of the music, its a science! We're rockin' out, it's loud, way louder than any of our practices, it great! After the guitar solo we head back into a verse, and I look over at Andy (who's doing the singing on this one - great job singing Ozzy, most people wouldn't dare trying to sing like the prince of fucking darkness!) and he's fumbling around in his pocket, telling us to keep going. Of course Eric and I keep on rockin', looking at each other with confusion on our faces. After playing through an entire verse without any singing or bass for that matter, Andy finally pulls out this crumpled piece of paper from his pocket, unfolds it and sets it on the floor in front of him. Ah yes, his lyrics! So we all have a quick chuckle as Andy jumps back into the verse! It was great! It was comical, yet we didn't miss a beat, and for the most part I doubt much of the audience even had a clue what was going on.

So we powered threw the rest of Paranoid and as I hit the last crash to end the song, the place erupted, went absolutely nuts like I've never heard before! It was crazy! This is a small bar and it sounded like a small coliseum after we finished the song. We quickly got our focus back and kicked into La Grange by ZZ Top this time Tony from the Nasty Bastards jumped in on guitar, as well as Skinny on keyboard. Not my favorite song by any means, but none the less we kicked the crap out of it and got a huge ovation again! It was fun. It was what I prefer to do rather what I have been doing here, music wise that is. We aren't the greatest players, but I like planning a couple songs, practicing a bit, and then performing them. We are going to do this every Saturday for the next few weeks while Eric is in town. Next week I think we're doing Smokin' in the Boys Room, and maybe Hells Bells by AC-DC. Should be awesome! I'll be sure to post some pictures and maybe even video if anyone captured any.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My new blog

I've started a new blog, Tech Blog Today to showcase new products, new technology, and stories about electronics, gadgets, audio/video equipment and more. Many of my posts will draw from my recording days and experience in the music business and how it relates to the equipment and technology involved. I hope the Steamroller Music readers will check it out, and perhaps even contribute their own product reviews and experiences. If you are interested in writing for Tech Blog Today, or for Steamroller Music for that matter, email me:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

New Music.... uhhh what's that?

It's funny how life takes a hold of us and steers us in directions that we didn't plan, or even necessarily think were options. I've been in a constant state of internal struggle with music for some time now. Back to my serious playing days, to my serious recording/producing days, and even my not so serious playing days. Music has always been a part of me in some way. It's in my soul, my skin, my dna. Even after selling most of my gear a while back so I could move to Mexico and be with my new born son, I have still had the music bug in my, I couldn't shake it. I suppose this web site, and this blog are an extension of this. The constant struggle between life, and music. One might argue that music is life, and I would have a hard time debating that point. However at what cost?

I have seen friendships, relationships, partnerships destroyed because of music. Is music, and one persons passion worth more than friendship? There is a rule in the entertainment industry that basically states, "there's no friends in rock & roll" or "in order to make an omelet you have to break some eggs". You get the idea. Essentially if you are going to "make it" you're going to have to piss off a few people along the way. I don't know, is that really true? I personally don't know a lot of people that have "made it". I used to know some people who then went on to have some success, perhaps I would even say they "made it". But I wouldn't say that I am really friends with these people anymore. Not that their was a falling out, or hurt feelings or anything, but just choices that people make. Priorities. Music is time consuming, money consuming, and above all else life consuming.

You always hear about bands touring for many months, or even years. Being away from friends and family and maybe even their children. And on top of that being with the same group of people for that entire tour. How do they cope? Drugs, sex, anger, sadness, a combination of all of these maybe. I'm not so much talking about the boys of Metallica, or The Rolling Stones. I mean they can just bring family with them, or fly home after every show. I'm talking more about the working band. The ones trying to make living, and barely doing so. Tour to pay the rent, support the family, that sort of band. Let's face it, not many bands are making money on record sales anymore. Touring is one of the only ways to make a buck for yourself and the record company anymore, aside from maybe video games, commercials and that sort of thing. The working band has always and always will tour.

What happens when the music's over? I guess you hope that you still have your friends and family. In a lot of cases I'm sure that people do. In other cases, who knows. Maybe that's why so many musicians keep going, reinventing themselves whether it be in writing, performing, producing, tv, etc. Hard to let go, and who wants to get a real job? I'm grateful for my time in music. I rarely made much money, but I have lots to show for myself. Lots of things I am proud of, things I look forward to showing my son when he's older and my daughter now. I always find a way to reinvent myself, and now is no exception. I have things on the go, and you haven't heard the last from me. I will finish this web site, I will have new music, both my own and others. Stay tuned, this is just the beginning.