Monday, March 4, 2019

Beware the Ides of March

All right gang, d-day, March 15th. That's when I go under and get my left ACL reconstruction surgery. What is with it with March 15th? I remember this being an auspicious day in the past; I know there's more than only this memory, but my D.U.I. court date / trial was set for March 15th in which I lost. A lot of anticipation and grave changes lead up to and after that date. I believe this surgery to be no different.

As threatened, I went ahead and bought a NEW computer on self-credit due to probably being stuck at home a whole lot during the ACL recovery process. Hopefully I'm not too deep in the hole this month financially because of which and at least break even. We'll see, hopefully if my BRGA students keep showing up and my tax guy, Tax Guy Mike get's me a sizable refund, I should just make it. Undoubtedly surgery will cost some money (don't really wanna say arm and a leg, cause... well, my leg, y'know?), but I don't think I'll see those bills until April. I adhere to a strict month to month income/expense balance. Hopefully the computer arrives before surgery, that would suck to put together if I'm crippled.

I've been on a filming rampage since December's gigs, and I'm looking to stick to a consistent YouTube and Instagram single angle upload schedule for 2019. Uploading to YouTube on Tuesdays and uploading to Instagram Tuesdays and Fridays. I've been periodically "fileting" (trimming) the larger YouTube videos into shorter, 1 minute clips to be featured on Instagram. I guess it's obvious to some, but news to me, but I'm noticing that being aggressive on these various platforms (mostly Instagram for the young'ins) may be extremely beneficial.

Subsequently, I've made a BRGA Instagram, which is synced to the BRGA Facebook page, as well as a Console Instagram, which is also synced to the Console Facebook page. I'm looking to develop and stick to a system, and hopefully streamline the whole process.

On Feb 7th I did a gig with Last Resort on the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe. I had never been on a military base like that before, it was a trip. Truly a world of its own. I can see how that bubble -- the military bubble -- is what it is. You could live here for years and not really know what life is like outside of it, for better or for worse.

On Feb 12th I got suckered into doing an open mic (you know how I loathe those), and so I invited everyone to come play. Many birds with one stone, all the bands under one roof. Perhaps a precursor to Brian-Fest. Anyway, the impetus for this open mic meeting was for Console to test out the backing tracks idea, and by golly it fucking WORKED. We got some footage, upon reflection I re-iterated something that I witnessed from a previous gig that still was apparent in this gig; bass and other guitar needs to be a little more stage present, boring to watch... but, beyond that, another realization was that if we played to the same tempo all the time, it'd be easier to put together a video from multiple performances. GENIUS. End result, backing tracks were a huge success.

I also debuted a rag-tag assembly of dudes to help me realize the Hawaiian Punk Rock Band. It went all right. Looking to polish them up and see if we can try and pin down better shows? It'll take some rehearsing though...

Upon the success of the Console backing track night, I became completely convicted in using the backing track path. Now there is no doubt that this won't work. Instead of producing unique mp3s for every single amalgamation of present instruments versus missing instruments however, which is the only way I knew how to realize what I wanted, keyboard friend told me to look into a "multi track player" and "stem tracks." This was the answer! But, upon trying to realize that on my tablet, 3 hours of meticulous stem tracking and loading into mutlitrack player app, turns out it won't work that way. So, I decided to dedicate a laptop specifically for backing tracks and just use it exclusively for live backing track purposes. More $$$...

A day after the successful open mic on February 13th some sample stickers came in for my various recreational groups. This was my first time making my own stickers even after all the countless bands I had been in, unfortunately many of the bands up until this point either A) never made it to this point, or B) didn't have a brand/logo to manifest itself as a sticker. Anyway, the results from were great, and I'll be looking to mass produce more of those stickers when the time comes.

February 13th was also the first time I went to a comedy show here on Oahu. It only took me 6 years! I have always had this fantasy of being a comedian, but when it comes down to it... I think I'm too much of a wuss / I'm not actually that funny. Regardless, the comedy show was fantastic, it exceeded my [low] expectations, and it's definitely something I'll be attending (probably not doing) again in the future. In fact...

I got sold tickets to a touring comedian's for the next day at a discount price and brought my woman with me. Coincidentally I ran into one of my BRGA students on the way to the show in the elevator to the venue -- they were going to the same show! The show was great, and I didn't regret buying the tickets and spending valentines night at the comedy show.

I had been flirting with the idea of expanding BRGA, possibly hiring someone / finding an office space. I inquired on a location sometime in January and FINALLY got responded to February 15th. Things were looking okay as far as pricing went, but, the deal breaker was the parking wasn't necessarily reserved, so, unfortunately I won't be moving into that space... still [softly] on the look out for a zone / trusted employee.

ICC contacted me about re-enrolling for Japanese classes, and as fate would have it I was just talking about how I should probably attend again otherwise I'm going to start losing my Japanese skills. I'll be taking my first class tomorrow! ($$$)

I went to yet another comedy show Feb 20th and regretably I think I returned to the comedy club too soon. I learned that it's best to check in periodically -- but not regularly -- because it'll give the comics time to come up with new material. I basically watched a real life re-run haha. I still had fun though... just a pro tip.

Aloha Karaoke Band had it's first rehearsal since the what feels like forever on February 21st. We were holding auditions but unfortunately due to some logistic misscomunication we weren't really able to audition the applicants. SHIT. In other news, the band is up to 73 songs (which I think needs to be more like around 150 songs before it can really be considered a karaoke band), and we got some branding material and technological tools in order to help better deliver the AKB experience. More on that to come hopefully.

Feb 22 - Got to see my niece and sister for an afternoon becoming the familial medical shuttle service. Here we are at Curry House.

Later that night Breaking Anchors did it's first like real rock show. We finally nabbed an event that would have an audience that might actually like what we're trying to do. We were the openers so it was kind of a dull start as far as overall vibe, but it was still great none-the-less. After performing, a fellow musician whom I had been acquainted with for years expressed how it was good to see me play again [in this scene]. Thanks for the shout out. Honestly, it had been far too long! Makes me miss the Leviathan days...

The rest of the night went well,  I managed to sell all of my stickers that I made as well as some CD's making back the money I made from my initial investment in merchandise. Subsequently I bought 50 more stickers.

I also thought about how Breaking Anchors would probably need to work on stage pacing next... we were kind of jerky between songs -- which is fine for what we were doing -- but for bigger/better events, it's something that'll require some attention.

Something else I also saw that night was they had smaller acts (acoustic acts) in between bands, almost as if to be entertainment between bands as they set up and broke down. I started thinking that maybe I can get on that with my solo backing track stuff... we'll see.

Still got foot wart.

Feb 26 Rock Opera Theatre had its first rehearsal since the Christmas show. It was nice to see the guys again. Still curious to see what they create as far as promo video with all the footage that was collected. I also pitched an idea I had floating in my head since our performance. I had this vision of possibly putting one of my guitar students (who is extremely talented) up on stage to perform a song or two with R.O.T., so I threw the idea their way. Initially it looked like the guys were all for it, but, upon sleeping on it, they eventually decided that it was too risky. Bummer. Anyway, after meeting up with them it also inspired me to think of pitching a re-branding of their logo. Their current logo is this...

And I'm looking to switch it to something like this...

I'll probably do what I did with my BRGA logo, sketch it up nice, then throw it on craigslist to see if some freelance graphic designer want's to pick it up. Mostly the hang up right now is $$$. When I have some cash to spare, this'll be something I'll be looking to do.

Feb 26 was always the night that Console attempted a second open mic night. Bass player was wasted and made lot's of mistakes. No big deal for an open mic, but, the overall performance audio is botched because of which. Not the end of the world, at least everything will be in time should we use the footage haha. I also tested out my own backing tracks for solo guitar stuff and by golly it WORKED. Lastly, the audio cable that we were using for patching the tablet into the PA was spotty (you'll hear it in the video if you watch it) which lead me to throwing another $20 away towards another brand / cable, but luckily the one featured in the picture works... for now haha

Feb 27, Finally recieved my guitar world magazine that I placed an order in for at the begining of January, better late than never? It's packed full of ads just like how I remember.

Towards the end of February Breaking Anchors got invited by a college kid at HCC to do a recording session. I got there late, and found out that we were recording our one song that had time signature changes. In short, I guess it was a good opportunity for the engineer-to-be to learn about the headache of recording a song with multiple time signatures. In hind sight maybe we should have picked a more straight-forward song? Oh well.

I got some goodies today from amazon. Got a webcam clamp for BRGA as well as an old school metronome and a GoPro clamp mount. Started working on the blog today and actually finished it today as well, granted it took all day between everything else that I was doing. Now I can return to creating backing tracks and practicing, yay!

What else? I got a Biki pass and it makes renting a bike super convenient, I really appreciate the technology.

For the most part, just waiting for that surgery date. I am very curious as to what gigs (Battle of the Bands and Kawaii Kon 2019) and traveling (Las Vegas gambling and Big Island wedding) are going to be like as I recover. Firstly, I'm hoping that these activities will even be possible, and secondly, I hope it doesn't mess up my experience or my healing process up. Only time will tell... see you in April.

Future gigs and dates of interest:

March 23 - Breaking Anchors Battle of the Bands
April 5 Console at Kawaii Kon 2019
April 6 Hitbox at Kawaii Kon 2019