I'm sick - and other things of note that have global impact 

Last week I spent most of the week working my day job from home - my wife is finishing up the fall quarter studying for her RN, and schedules need to be adjusted to make child care and after school stuff work. Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty ok - my youngest boy is almost 5 y.o. and is in pre-K 2 days of the week, except last week. He got sick with a mild to moderate fever and was awake a lot of both Tuesday and Wednesday nights - coughing, congestion, etc. Being that as a parent you take care of and hold / soothe your child when they're ill, it was only a matter of time I guess before it hit me. It insidiously crept up on me, such that each morning it was progressively worse, until yesterday morning when I woke up without a voice. Today at least I can say it wasn't any worse than yesterday, but still low energy making me drag my ass around the place.

In other news, looks like one of my favorite bands is on the verge of retiring - Neil Peart of Rush has been quoted in articles recently referring to himself as "retired from music". The reaction on the web and in social media / twitter has been profound - but there is no official confirmation on the band's website or the usual communiques so while I can see this potentially being reality (you know it's coming someday especially since the guys are all in their 60's now and well off) I have skepticism still. It'll need to be posted on the website before I 100% believe it to be true.

Lastly, hoping to get the vocal files this evening or tomorrow - that will trigger the full on remix of Temple and then me redoing some of the lesser light vocals that I did. That becomes an iterative exercise as I will redo the vocals that I find really gross at the time of mixing. Some of the grossness includes replacing lyrics that were awkward and not very good.

Back to the music stuff today... 

A couple things to report on today - Rachael has rewritten the female lyrics and will be recording on Monday. We're behind by about a week at this point and I need to get word to the people who bought the preorders on Bandcamp to let them know. But I got the change to hear the first pass on the ethereal part and it's stunning - waiting to get this done is definitely worth the effort.

Second item is the date for the live show at The Black Dog Arts Cafe - there was an issue with January 16th as there is a playwrights thing happening that weekend there, so the date has been pushed out to Feb 6th. I'm mildly disappointed as I would like to get to playing out sooner as it really gets your chops honed much quicker than simply woodshedding at home, but I have another strategy of playing a couple gigs at the Starbucks cafes in Issaquah and Sammamish before then. I'll be reaching out to friend Mike Tiano to see about splitting the gigs - this will have the exact same effect of getting some time in front of people and getting the kinks out.

Third - surf on over to the Photos/Videos page and catch an 11 minute video featuring the nearly complete but functional Svilpacaster. This is a guitar that I've owned for 27 years now, assembled from parts I bought over many many years (assembled and reassembled many times) and it's pretty special to me. My first true custom instrument, and my second really good guitar.

I've been pretty under the weather this past three days - I've been working from home since Tuesday to take over childcare for our kids, but in the meantime I caught all the nasties they brought back from school. It isn't so bad as to be debilitating, but going to work would mean I have people who accuse me of bringing the black plague along to infect the whole workplace, so I'd rather stay home and work in my home office. It might affect some of the vocal work I will need to do for Temple, but hopefully it doesn't get worse between now and Monday.

So to summarize - vocal tracks will be done by Monday evening, mixing will happen Tuesday & Wednesday, off to mastering on Thursday with maybe getting them back by late Friday if lucky. Then the album is released!! Please pick up a copy and help me to finance the manufacture of the real CDs with full artwork and everything!

RIP Scott Weiland - former and best lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots 

Sad news last night - got it over the social networks around 10 pm that Scott Weiland had passed away, found unresponsive on his tour bus. 

You would think that by the time someone gets to be in their 20's and 30's and writing/playing music professionally that there is either none or very little influence that can be imparted from listening to other artists. Very wrong - as when 1992 hit and all the grunge bands from Seattle changed the landscape it really struck a note with me. The super refined or the super glam sounds of the L.A. hair bands that were being displaced by music that deviated from standard song patterns/form - a song like Jeremy had a verse/chorus/verse structure but were almost inverted as the riff wasn't the hook in the chorus, it drove the verse. Album after album from Nirvana, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, Alice in Chains... all sounded unique and different from each other, but the energy and the writing, and the sound of real tube guitar amps and live room drums... well, it sounded more rock than anything that had hit the radio or music video rotation in almost a decade. 

Then a little known band from San Diego released an album (Core) that sounded a lot like it came from Seattle. The singer stayed in a baritone range and presented himself assertively like one Eddie Vedder - leading everyone to accuse the band of being copycat bandwagon hoppers. A string of solid albums come out- Purple, Tiny Music, No 4, and Shangri La Di Da - all have songs on them that are great, with some filler forgettable ones as well. One thing that stuck out though is the smart writing and musicianship - jazz voicings and ever growing influences revealed (Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bowie, etc) a more sophisticated set of songs than those usually heard on pop media. 

For me on a personal level, as I was playing solo and small group shows that covered their material, the guitar playing could be challenging with the chord voicings and various inversions I had to learn well enough to play while simultaneously singing the material. The vocal work was also tricky as Scott would cram a lot of words in without them seeming crowded and still maintain a nice melody. Sour Girl is a great example, as is Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart. I could sing Alice in Chains or Pearl Jam material very easily by comparison - STP was difficult but oh so fun to play.

Playing those chord changes definitely influenced me. Singing the really nice melodic lines also - where before when I sang with bands I would simply emulate the vocalist, now through understanding the relationships between melody and chord structure I would incorporate that into my writing and singing. It opened my eyes to the musical sophistication in other band's material as well - all the music I learned as a teenager I now had new perspective on.

Thanks Scott Weiland - without his unique and chameleonic voice and the band with whom he wrote and released the music, I probably wouldn't had the skill set that I possess today. I hope that you've found your peace in the next plane of existence.

Insane day so far - lots of family specific activities, then San Bernardino... 

It's a terrible and crazy world we live in - shooting up a group of people at a center intended to help developmentally disabled people, what kind of cowards would initiate something so terrible on defenseless civilians who have absolutely zero chance of defending themselves whatsoever. It seems like from the reports on CNN (yea like we can trust any news media these days...) have said that the gunmen explicitly killed some 14 people and then escaped - if this was going to be a shock value blood bath they had every opportunity to mow down scores more people but in an almost pure military operation they entered the conference center and within the space of some 3 - 5 minutes or less they executed their mission and left very quickly.

Remember people, its not only foreign individuals or people of specific ethnic origin who do these things. Domestic terrorism is a real thing - remember Denver and one Mr Dear, who doesn't qualify as either Syrian or Muslim.

Please keep that in mind when you are out there and dealing with fellow citizens of this planet of ours. It is so infinitely unlikely that you will encounter anyone who has any sympathies for the people who committed this heinous crime, please treat everyone with respect and even enjoin in mourning for the individuals who lost their lives without reason. Thanks.

Album update, plus the return of The Svilpacaster 

Update on the album - Rachael is working on vocals tomorrow, I need to get her the original lyrics for the female vocal part this evening and I believe her vocal tracks will come back tomorrow evening. This pretty much assures that the album wont be completed until end of next week as I will need to get specific sections of my vocal redone, and then the entire Temple of Lost Souls track mixed down and approved by the band before sending off to Steve for mastering. But progress is being made, and the end is nigh...

I also got my old Svilpacaster set up - intonation, string height, and pickup height now set. One issue I'm having is the Sustainiac circuit isn't working right now, so I'll need to take the pickguard off again and check all the wiring for the Sustainiac circuit, as well as maybe check the 9V battery and power continuity - check the simple things first then start digging into more complex issues. The guitar plays like a dream with the new Wilkinson trem bridge, just need to adjust spring tension a little bit. Funny how it feels like home - my playing again seems to be so much more fluid, cleaner and faster on this guitar than all the other ones, but true to form for being my main guitar for some 30 years, it's beat up to shit right now. I'll need to tung oil the body wood again to cover some of the tiny abrasions and dings, and lemon oil the neck and fretboard to make it even faster as well as clean dust and gunk off. The old vintage Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge spot is a little darker than I remember, but tiny tweaks of the tone controls on the Boogie got me a tone to die for - welcome back Svilpacaster!!

Finally, I've been looking at starting to play live again - some gigs will be solo, some in a duet or shared billing (with people like my friend Mike Tiano / Creetisvan), and more hopefully with guys from Paraesthesia in various configurations. Watch the page for gigs as they get booked - the first is tentatively set for The Black Dog Arts Cafe in Snoqualmie, Saturday  January 16th 8 pm. Looking forward to playing out a lot more in the near future!

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    Previous events

    Jun2

    SeaProg Music Festival - Paraesthesia

     —  —

    Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle

    http://www.seaprogfest.org/

    Paraesthesia are extremely happy to have been invited to play at SeaProg 2017.

    We are part of the opening night Day Zero bill at The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave S, Seattle WA:

    Moon Letters (8 pm)

    Pinto Wagonfire (9 pm)

    OMNI (10 pm)

    Paraesthesia (11 pm)

    This is a free concert - no admission although donations for the bands are highly encouraged.

    a fine line between... (2016)

    Paraesthesia

    Progressive rock album with some neo-prog songs. Documenting a day in the life of a self-medicating self-destructive manic depressive man.

    11 album songs plus 4 bonus tracks totaling just under 100 minutes of music - only available to pre-orders.

    Artwork is courtesy the great artist Ed Unitsky

    https://www.edunitsky-store.com/
    Read more… close
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    1. 1 The First Piece in the Puzzle 05:00 Info Buy
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    2. 2 Mirror Mirror 04:34 Info Buy
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    3. 3 Temple of Lost Souls 16:56 Info Buy
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    4. 4 Frantic 06:20 Info Buy
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    5. 5 in the shadows 06:54 Info Buy
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    6. 6 The Only One 04:20 Info Buy
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    7. 7 Mesmerize 09:54 Info Buy
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    8. 8 Adagio in A minor 05:20 Info Buy
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    9. 9 As Time Goes By 05:20 Info Buy
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    10. 10 Atonement 06:35 Info Buy
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    11. 11 Drawing the Short Straw 07:53 Info Buy
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    12. 12 That Day 05:35 Info Buy
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    13. 13 Phasors on Stun (FM tribute) 03:50 Info Buy
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    14. 14 htfk 05:03 Info Buy
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    15. 15 Sogno di Eden Lontana 03:02 Info Buy
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    The Sound of Thoughts

    Paraesthesia

    A fully re-imagined (re-done, remixed, remastered) album originally released in 2005 - the original release much improved with new vocals, new instrumental performances, and entirely re-recorded songs replacing the original versions.

    Track List:
    1- Heartbeat Failing
    2- The Weaver's Loom
    3- Pentelho Vermelho (incl. O Sardinhas Dor (O. Wakeman))
    4- Legend in His Own Mind
    5- Lady in a Cage (Svilpa, Koenen)
    6- Tahoma
    7- This Mortal Coil
    8- Peace, My Brother
    9- The Sound of Thoughts
    10- Father to Son

    All songs written by Robert Svilpa, except where noted above.

    Engineered, mixed and mastered by Robert Svilpa
    Read more… close
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    1. 1 Heartbeat Failing (2016) 02:58 Info Buy
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    2. 2 The Weaver's Loom 02:37 Info Buy
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    3. 3 Pentelho Vermelho (2016) 07:31 Info Buy
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    4. 4 Legend in His Own Mind 05:41 Info Buy
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    5. 5 Lady in a Cage (2016) 19:46 Info Buy
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    6. 6 The Sound of Thoughts (2016) 05:23 Info Buy
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    7. 7 This Mortal Coil 07:25 Info Buy
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    8. 8 Peace, My Brother (2016) 05:29 Info Buy
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    9. 9 Tahoma (2016) 07:22 Info Buy
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    10. 10 Father to Sons (2016) 04:31 Info Buy
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    IK Multimedia's 20th Anniversary Super BOGO

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    Sign up for monthly email digests, special offers and deals, live show announcements & more. Members get 10% off all CDs & merch.

    The official home of Paraesthesia - everything to do with music and live shows by the group of guys collectively known as Paraesthesia, or even any of us individually you'll find it here. 

    par·es·the·si·a 
    ˌperəsˈTHēZH(ē)ə/ 
    an abnormal sensation, typically tingling or pricking (“pins and needles”), caused chiefly by pressure on or damage to peripheral nerves.


    Paraesthesia – Seattle based Psychedelic Progressive Hard Rock band that mixes elements of electronic, avant garde, hard rock, pop, symphonic and classic progressive into their melodic and dramatic material. The band consists of Robert Svilpa (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Paul Harrington (keyboards, vocals), Marc Miller (bass, vocals, violin) and John Hernandez (drums, vocals).

    Watch this space in 2017 for shows featuring the people listed above.