Monday, August 31, 2009

The Slips

This is my band from a few years back that I put on hold...or maybe we can say ideas are "marinating" while the drummer Wendy had 2 babies! I just gave it another listen and....who knew, it rocks (well to me it does). I can hear how I would do my guitar parts differently the next time around. 

And so...
Its all about the process... 
Tim Gunn

There's a contest out right now, maybe the only contest I would REALLY want to win, and its "25,000$ and LUNCH with Tim Gunn". Whoa.

I can't think of anyone I'd rather have lunch with tomorrow than my favorite television EDUCATOR, as he calls himself, and he really is. It doesn't matter WHAT you teach, a good educator/teacher will change your life. I love this guy... But I won't enter the sweepstakes, just would like to see what lucky person gets that lunch date... :-)

Lunch with Tim Gunn
The Story of "Roxanne's Revenge"

"Twenty-five years after the first queen of hip-hop was stiffed on her royalty checks, Dr. Roxanne Shante boasts an Ivy League Ph.D. - financed by a forgotten clause in her first record deal".

This story is the kind of thing I live for and has been on my mind ever since I read about it last week. She came from a poor place - apparently the projects - and was able to get herself through not just high school or college, but by finishing her P.H.D. from Cornell, an Ivy League school. Now she helps educate young musicians on the business aspects of their career and does social work for kids in her old community as well as the Hip Hop Association.

I relate to this story because I did HORRIBLE in high school, barely finished, and basically never went...or even tried in the slightest. My home life in this small Wisconsin town was not good, and basically I didn't feel that I had a home to go to and thus had absolutely no foundation to build from. Getting into an Ivy League college, Columbia University in NYC, at 24 was the hardest thing I ever did and graduating with that B.A. even harder....but I did it. It took me 5 years just to figure out how to get scholarships and to even GO to college. My grades weren't the best and I damn well tried my hardest..but I just lacked the right background so everything took me so much longer to write, research etc. Also the teachers KNOW you don't fit in and will give you a B+ instead of an A- EVERY TIME...Its not fair, but well...they can see you are not like the others and maybe its subconscious behavior of theirs, I don't know, but I forgive them now. So Dr. Roxanne Shante's story is the type I live for - proof that if you keep going, you can even get a Masters... AND a Doctorate regardless of your upbringing. 

Anyway this is why I am a teacher today.

For the full story from the Daily News, click here:  READ MORE
And the original video is awesome too...:

I saw this band, "The Screaming Females", a few months ago and just noticed they are playing again this week at the Mercury Lounge. I'm not sure how much of the music I can take - I mean, 15+years ago I would've ate it up. But for new generations of girls and women that are playing music, well, you NEED to see this gal play guitar. I hate using the word "shred" but that is the only close definition I can come up with...she rocks, she is hyper fast and smooth on that electric and yes, SHREDS. SHREDS..... Hell yeah. Oh and she's probably about 4'9".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

PHOTOS from Austin Rock Camp for Girls

This summer, July 09, I band-coached and taught guitar at the Austin Rock Camp for Girls. It was 103 when I stepped off the plane, and what I imagined Mars to be like... I like this photo on the right. It looks like the girls are outside their Mack Truck tour bus...More photos like this one are on Flickr and the Purple Text Link above will take you there!!!!!!

Between Austin Rock Camp for Girls and the incredible Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in NYC, as well as my own classes and students, I must've worked with over 225 girls and women JUST this summer. Wow.

This is also my first blog ever, which I feel obligated to say... Okay that moment is done.