Friday, January 30, 2009

LOST Is Destroying My Life

This morning I had a dream. I dreamed I was in The Hatch. Apparently I didn't push the button in time, so the alarm started going off and those weird red and black hieroglyphics came up on the countdown clock. I was freaking out, running for cover. I was breathless. "What have I done?" I thought. "How could I let this happen?"

Luckily this was only a dream. The alarm I heard was only my alarm clock telling me it's time to get ready for work. I was still freaking out a bit, still breathless. My heart was pounding. I was sweating. I was in that not-quite-awake-yet-but-no-longer-asleep state of mind. When I came to fully understand what was going on, I couldn't help but laugh at myself!

LOST is finally starting to take its toll on my mind. I'm just waiting for my consciousness to start jumping around from one moment in time to another. Any day now I'll probably start suffering headaches and nosebleeds. Maybe I should start looking for my "constant"...

For those of you reading this post who don't watch LOST, this isn't the least bit funny. If you do watch LOST, I hope you got a little chuckle from it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?

In a few months I am going to be debt-free (well, except for a mortgage payment but you get the idea). I was discussing this with one of my friends the other day and he asked what I was going to do with all the extra cash I will have each month. While I know I'll be responsible with any extra cash I'll have, there are a few "toys" I've been wanting.

Many of you know I play guitar. I try to play several different styles and, thus, there have been many guitarist over the years that have influenced my playing - James Hetfield, Dave Matthews, Warren Haynes and David Gilmour are just a few. Each of these guitarists are absolutely tremendous at what they do and they have a sound that is unique to each of them. Hetfield is the greatest metal rhythm guitarist there is. When you hear that Hetfield "crunch", you know it's him. Dave Matthews, on the other hand, took the acoustic guitar to places few could even imagine let alone replicate. Warren Haynes can not only play southern rock and blues riffs that command you to listen for hours at a time, he has the voice to match. Finally, David Gilmour is the guy that plays a solo and you immediately say to yourself, "Man, that's exactly what I would have done - if I could do it!" All these guys have shaped my performance and understanding of the instrument.

Yet one guy, in my opinion, stands out even more than these guys. He is Dave Evans, aka The Edge. He can play rock, blues, gospel, jazz, country, etc. and make them all his own. Plus, he plays in what I would call a very "minimalist" fashion. He is the epidome of the "less is more" school of guitar playing. Since 1980, no one hears an echo or delay effect and not think, if only for a brief second, that it just has to be The Edge playing that!

With all that being said, I weighed all my options and decided that if there was one guitarist's rig that I would like to replicate, it would be The Edge's since he has such a tremendous overall sound. So after a little research, I found a list of equipment I'll need in order to achieve this sound. Looks like I'll have to keep on wanting!!!!

'67 Rickenbacker 330-12
'66 Telecaster
'62 Epiphone Casino
'63 Gretch Country Gentlemen
'65 Gibson SG
'75 Gibson Les Paul w/custom bridge pickup
'73 Fender Stratocaster w/ custom-installed bridge pickup
'76 Gibson Explorer
'61 Gibson ES-335TD
Gibson "Pete Townshend" J-200
Two custom Line 6 Variax acoustic guitars

Effect Pedals

Floor Effects:
Volume controller
Original Digitech WH-1 Whammy Dunlop Wah
Boss TU-2 Tuner
Skrydstrup SC-1 system foot controller

Rack Effects:
Eventide Ultra-Harmonizer
Two Lexicon PCM Processors
Four 2290 T.C. Electronic Delays
Two Line 6 Pod Pros
Two AMS S-DMX digital delay/sampler
Two Korg SDD30000 delays
Two Korg A3 multi-effects
Two Line 6 rackmounted version DM4 distortion modelers(custom made)
Rocktron DVC dynamic volume controller

Stomp boxes(on rack):
Lovetone Meatball envelope filter
Lovetone Doppelganger phaser/vibrato
Original EHX Big Muff
Original Amped Scrambler
Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer
Boss GE-7
Boss CS-2 Compression/Sustainer
Boss PW-2 Power Driver
Boss FA-1 FET amp/ preamp booster
Skrydstrup Bufferooster boost
Sobbat Drive Breaker

Two early sixties Vox AC30TB(main and backup)
Custom Vox AC30TB head with Vox 2x12 cab
1956 Fender Deluxe Tweed w/ Vox Vintage speaker
Customized Fender Blues Jr.
Early seventies Vox AC30TB

So, if any of you reading this have recently won the lottery and feel the need to contribute to my dream of one day obtaining these "toys", please feel free to give me a call!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Coming March 3

Wanna hear U2's new single "Get On Your Boots"?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter... What's The Point???

I'm just going to come right out with it: I HATE WINTER!!!!!

It's cold. It snows. It gets dark early. You can't keep your vehicle clean no matter how hard you try. When the snow melts, guess what? It gets muddy! And filthy! And nasty! And dirty! Any kind of outdoor activity is impossible unless you like building snowmen or skiing/snowboarding. I hate that my power/heating bill TRIPLES in the wintertime. I hate wearing three layers of clothing and never being comfortable.

Winter SUCKS!!!

Do I have to say it again? Okay: I HATE WINTER!!!!!

Basically, you could put me to bed on November 1 and wake me up on April 1 and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't miss much (hey, I can DVR the UK and Steelers games and watch them when I wake up).


I realize that God has a plan for everything and a reason why we need winter. Apparently, the snow cleanses the earth and the cold kills a lot of germs and disease and other general "funk" that otherwise would run rampant and destroy much of God's glorious creation (and probably the people living in it, as well).

I'm more of a spring and summer guy. I love going to outdoor concerts, baseball games and auto races. I love going to Keeneland and Churchill Downs. I love hanging out on the patio with a bunch of friends having drinks and talking about everything and nothing at all. I love grilling out. I love playing cornhole. I love wearing shorts and t-shirts and being comfortable.

Now before you start leaving comments about what an ungrateful jerk I am, let me put your minds at ease. I know how lucky I am. I haven't forgotten everything I've been blessed with. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and a job that allows me to pay the power bill even when it triples. At least I have the extra layers to wear even when I'm uncomfortable. There are many among us that don't have homes or heat or clothing. Just take one trip to the Men's Hope Center or a homeless shelter and you will see just how truly blessed you really are. I get it. I really do. But it doesn't change the fact that winter, in my humble opinion, simply sucks!

I guess I should stop ranting and start appreciating God's blessings more. However, one day when I meet Him, I'm sure one of my questions will be, "Winter. Why?"

I guess there are some good things about winter. Not only are there Steelers and UK games, but there are also some pretty great TV shows to watch (LOST, anyone?).

I guess being cooped up inside has its advantages, after all! But I still hate winter...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Global warming is like the earth having a hot flash." -Amie

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Top Tuneage of 2008

UPDATED 1/5/2009

I won't call these my favorite albums of the year, because the word "favorite" would lead you to believe that I liked these albums more than others. This is not true at all. There were several albums released in 2008 that caught my attention. Let's just say these were in the heaviest rotation at the Layne house, how 'bout that? So, in no particular order:

Metallica - Death Magnetic

Imagine if you woke up one day and realized you had been asleep for twenty years and someone says to you, "Dude! The new Metallica album came out today!" Then you went to the record store and bought this album and realized that this is just another in a long line of great Metallica albums. However, you'd never heard the Black Album, Load, Reload or St. Anger. In fact, you didn't even know those albums existed (especially the last three). This would be what you would expect of the next Metallica album.

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

If you like My Morning Jacket, you will love this album. If you like Prince, Radiohead, Gov't Mule, Phish or any number of laid-back seventies love songs, you, too, will love this album. With Evil Urges it seems that My Morning Jacket really couldn't decide what kind of album they wanted to release, so they just threw everything they had at it and the finished product came out sounding like an old jukebox on random. Normally, this would piss me off. But that is exactly what I dig so much about it! Although I must say I like Z and It Still Moves much better.

R.E.M. - Accelerate

Normally, I really have to be in the right mood to listen to R.E.M. This is a band I have always respected, appreciated and paid attention to, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that they are one of my favorites. As much as My Morning Jacket ran the gamut of musical styles with their latest effort, R.E.M. did just the opposite. They stuck to the "two-to-three-minute-rock-song formula" and it worked for them. Less is certainly more in some cases and this is one of those cases. I guess the reason I really dug this album is that I didn't expect it! It might be the surprise album of the year for me.

Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad

I think everyone has things from their youth they carry around with them well into their adult years. For me, it's music and movies (i.e. Metallica and Star Wars). Back in the late '80's, Whitesnake released a self-titled album with those classic rock anthems "Still Of The Night" and "Here I Go Again". I still love that album. In fact, every time I hear "Still Of The Night" I have to crank it up! As Donnie Baker would say, "You have to crank it up, man. State Law!" "Here I Go Again", on the other hand, wore out its welcome years and years and years ago, in my opinion. The only thing I'll say about Good To Be Bad is this: If you play guitar and are heavily influenced by hard rock riffs that can tear the roof off an arena, this is your album. I think I've stated on here before... this is a 59-minute riff fest. It's just a solid rock guitar album. It won't go down in history as one of those albums that changed the world or anything, but its a great guitar album. Every time I play it, it takes me back to that self-titled Whitesnake album from the '80's and reminds me of a simpler time before mortgages, car payments, actual responsibilities, etc.

Ray LaMontagne - Gossip In The Grain

Sometimes we all just need to chill out and unwind for a bit, right? This was my chill out and unwind soundtrack of 2008. I love it when you hear an artist and immediately know who it is. Ray is the man, OK? He has a playing style and voice that are his and his alone. There is no mistaking Ray when you hear him. Great album from start to finish. Two thumbs up.

Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night

The only clever thing I can say about this album is that this is what I think U2 would sound like if they were from Nashville instead of Dublin. Great album from beginning to end. It's one of those few albums that you can put in, push play and get lost. Awesome!

I guess that'll do it for this year's list. I tried not to put any live albums on the list, although I really really really wanted to put Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo on there. But since it was only released on their website and wasn't really an official release, I opted not to include it. Also, because I was staying away from live albums, Dave Matthews Band at the Mile High Music Festival didn't make the cut, either.

I'm really anxious to see what 2009 has to offer music-wise. I know we're getting new albums from Chris Cornell, U2 and Dave Matthews Band (I'm sure at least two of the three have their spots reserved on next year's list already). But I want to be impressed. I want to be amazed. I want something new to move me. Where is the next great musical genius? I hope I find him/her in the coming year.