Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The End of an Era

Sorry to be all dramatic in my post title, but it's true.

After a full year of performing every Monday night at Crystal Sands, it's unfortunately been decided that the owners can't afford to continue doing as many nights of hosting shows as they have been. The result is that you will no longer be able to catch me at what was my one remaining regular show in SL: Monday evenings at Crystal Sands.

I certainly don't blame the owners at Crystal Sands for this; they can only do what they can afford to do, and the last thing in the world I want to be is a financial hardship on any of the venues in SL. However, as usual, I'm looking on the bright side of this setback. It's high time I retooled my plan of SL rock stardom, and playing at the same place every week isn't really beneficial for anyone.

So, while I have plenty of shows scheduled for now (see the left column on this page for specifics), I am currently putting together some meetings with some people who might be able to help me take my SL music career in some new and exciting directions. that, combined with my album inching closer and closer to completion (and the press coverage I'm anticipating when it's done) should be a great 1-2 punch to kick start my virtual rocking.

Anyway, back to the point: no more Monday nights at Crystal Sands, which used to include me, Ictus Belford, and Patrick LaSalle. Ah well. Nothing lasts forever, as they say, so I'm making some lemonades out of these lemons and moving on. Stay tuned!

Opening for BAP at COYOTE (10.26.08)

Well, to get the negative stuff out of the way, we couldn't get a crowd going at COYOTE for the life of us on Sunday afternoon. But ignoring the fact that we only had a few folks in attendance, we actually had a really fun time when I opened the show for the Born Again Pagans on Sunday, and then (of course) during the Pagans' set as well.

I decided to stay in non-standard tunings during my short half-hour set, and it was fun. It also led me (sorry for the weak-ass pun) to do a song I'd never played before: Zeppelin's classic, "Kashmir". Yup, all seven+ minutes of it. Hey, you gotta be adventurous sometimes, and the results aren't completely embarrassing (listen below if you want).

High point of the day? Probably when a fan got topless during the BAP set. Yeah, that's me smoking a fatty in my boxers. It was a hippie extravaganza!

Song Sample: "Kashmir" (Led Zeppelin)

My short set list...

Mr. Soul (Neil Young)
For This Moment (Zak Claxton)
Ohio (Neil Young)
*Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)
The Loner (Neil Young)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Thanks to the folks who were there!
Leyah Renegade, Doubledown Tandino, Kat Claxton, Shannyn Fall, hexx Triskaidekaphobia, and Madame Amoufhaz.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A great day at Crystal Sands (10.20.08)

Doubledown Tandino sets up camp at Crystal Sands, and cooks up some beans. On my foot.

Looking out from my usual view at Crystal Sands.

I had a feeling that it was going to be a good day at Crystal Sands, and sometimes my predictions are 100% wrong, but today it wasn't. I think it was a good combination of crowd and the songs that I happen to pull out, and perhaps it was Doubledown's pup tent and campfire that put me in a good mood. In any case, Crystal Sands was fun today.

Here's what I played...

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
Stonehenge (Spinal Tap)
Court & Spark (Joni Mitchell)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
If You Could Only See (Tonic)
Nowhere Man (Beatles)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Love Hurts (The Everly Brothers)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)

Thanks to the folks who supported my show today!
Tarina Sewell, Ictus Belford, BuffaloMike Hammerer, Tessa Rhiadra, Etierre Bonde, Carlton Vendetta, Kat Claxton, Cher Harrington, Naga Flow, and of course Sandi Benelli!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ictus/Carrie Rezday (10.19.08)

Kicking back after my set, watching Mimi Carpenter play.

I did a fun short set to kick off Ictus Belford and Carrie Laysan's 2-year rezday party at noon today. Good times. :)

Set List:

Pigs on the Wing - Part 1 (Pink Floyd)
If You Could Only See (Tonic)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
For the Turnstiles (Neil Young)
Our House (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Love Hurts (Everly Brothers)
Old Man (Neil Young)
Impromptu Happy Rezday Song (Zak Claxton)

Thanks for the tips, folks...
Mimi Carpenter, Carrie Laysan, Kat Claxton, TenneseeJed Freiman, Ictus Belford, and Shannyn Fall!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Times at The Notes Shack (10.14.08)

Marking my third day in a row of rocking SL was this semi-rare midday show in the middle of the week. Krakov Letov hit me up a couple of days ago to see if I was available today at 2:00, and I decided that it seemed a fine time to do some ZakTunes™, so I agreed. Taking a break from my work day was rather nice, and having just come back from the chiropractor that morning, I was feeling like a noodle as I eased into a mostly classic rock-themed edition of the Zak Show at The Notes Shack.

Another cool note: I had no idea, but the Born Again Pagans had the slot preceding me, and rocked the house! Madame Amoufhaz and hexx Triskaidekaphobia were terrific, and I was feeling great from the moment I stepped onstage from their awesome sonic extravaganza.

Speaking of which, here's my set list:

Pigs on the Wing - Part 1 (Pink Floyd)
A Day in the Life (Beatles)
Sister Golden Hair (America)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Thank You (Led Zeppelin)
Just Like Starting Over (John Lennon)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Love Hurts (Everly Brothers)
If You Could Only See (Tonic)
Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who)

Big thanks to the following folks who helped me rock them!
Sally Silvera, Star Korhonen, Grateful Stryker, Krakov Letov, Lyn Carlberg, Artel Brando, Horizon Darkstone, Eli Schlegal, jsmn Yao, hexx Triskaidekaphobia, and Krakov Letov!

One Year at Crystal Sands (10.13.08)

We didn't make a big whoop-ti-do about it, but this show at Crystal Sands marked a full year of my having the Monday evening slot at that fine venue. What can I say? All the respect to Sandi Benelli for continuing to keep Crystal Sands rocking, and putting all the effort she does into running it and her sister venues as well.

Anyway, it was a fun show, befitting of the comfort level one acquires for playing the same venue at the same time slot for 52 weeks. It was also great to see The Diva Rockin and Hope Clary from the Beat Chicks there! Hope to see them at another show sometime soon. Also, I did bust out one tune I hadn't played in SL before... keeping it fresh, yo.

Here's the set list:

Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
Triana (Zak Claxton)
Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
*If You Could Only See (Tonic)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
Comes a Time (Neil Young)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
Mother (Pink Floyd)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
Old Man (Neil Young)

*Indicates first time I've performed this song in SL, or perhaps anywhere.

Thanks to all the folks who supported my show at Crystal Sands!
Barton Cale, TheDiva Rockin, Ictus Belford, Manx Wharton, Hope Clary, Kala Pixie, Triana Caldera, Cher Harrington, and of course, Sandi Benelli!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Beat Chicks

Crap Mariner recently pointed me to a Podcast blog that I really like. It's called The Beat Chicks, and like the name implies, it's created by two gals (Hope Clary and TheDiva Rockin) who interview SL musicians and have them perform live on the show.

It was actually in my plans to produce exactly such a Podcast myself, but a) I ran out of "spare" time, and b) these ladies seem to be doing an excellent job of it themselves. Their first four interview shows are live, featuring SL artists such as jueL Resistance and Cylindrian Rutabega, and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in getting some more in-depth info on great SL musicians.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Rezday Zak & Kat (10.12.08)

Two years! Amazing that we've been in SL and done as much as we have in the past 720 days or so. Kat and I joined SL at the same time on October 12, 2006, and we've never once regretted it.

So, we had a little ZakRock™ at COYOTE today, and put it out as an event, and had a few cool people show up.

Zak rocks Coyote. Kat is there in spirit.

Sunday is Funday!

After the show, I hang out with Doubledown Tandino, jsmn Yao, and hexx Triskaidekaphobia

A smoke two joints before I smoke two joints...

Here's the 2-Year Rezday setlist...

Save it for Later (English Beat)
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Comes a Time (Neil Young)
Tribute (Tenacious D)
Court and Spark (Joni Mitchell)
Man of Constant Sorrow (Traditional)
What I Got (Sublime)
Ohio (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Tea in the Sahara (The Police)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)

Thanks to the folks who came out and supported the show!
Kat Claxton, Harlequin Randt, Arduenn Schwartzman, jsmn Yao, kif Mizin, melzi Amat, and hexx Triskaidekaphobia!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And back to the present: Crystal Sands (10.06.08)

Ya know, there's truly no rhyme nor reason as to why my guitar playing and singing can sound great sometimes and less than great at others. Monday's show at Crystal Sands is a perfect example. I'd flown home from a business trip late the night before, had gotten less than enough sleep, and hadn't treated my voice very well lately. Despite all that, I felt performance-wise my show was one of the best I've ever done in SL. Yeah, seriously.

On a side note, we really need to get Kat back into SL, with a new computer or whatever it takes. I love having her sit next to me here in RL while I play, but everyone at my shows has a great time with her in world. We'll get it fixed.

Anyway, good show, nice crowd throughout most of it, including new listeners and old friends as well. Good times.

Here's the set list.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
You Can't Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
I Am The Walrus (Beatles)
Rikki Don't Lose That Number (Steely Dan)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Redemption Song (Bob Marley)
Fire & Rain (James Taylor)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Powderfinger (Neil Young)
She's Always a Woman (Billy Joel)
Love Hurts (The Everly Brothers)

And thank you, thank you, thank you to the people who supported my show!
Blood Klotzel, dragonfly Olsen, Feather Osterham, Sharn Parker, Tooobi Jarvinen, Basil Brooks, Ictus Belford, Carrie Laysan, Talos Fabre, Elle Metty, Anje Figueroa, and as usual, Sandi Benelli!

Back in time: Crystal Sands (09.29.08)

Well, you need to forgive me: I had a trip to prepare for last week, and never got around to delivering a blog for last week's show at Crystal Sands. And now, after spending a week or so out of town, I can hardly remember it! See why I try to write these blogs immediately after playing?

But upon some investigation and self-hypnosis routines, I was able to dredge the following artifacts from the depths of my mind:

1. It was fun.
2. I played music.
3. Sandi Benelli was moving and couldn't attend, so Dragonfly Olsen hostessed the show.
3. It was a small crowd but I didn't mind... the ones who were there were cool.

I do, however, know the set list!

I Am a Child (Neil Young)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Last Dance with Mary Jane (Tom Petty)
Love Hurts (The Everly Brothers)
Accidents Will Happen (Elvis Costello)
Free Man in Paris (Joni Mitchell)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Sister Golden Hair (America)
Jack Straw (Grateful Dead)
Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie)
Old Man (Neil Young)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)

Thanks to the folks who supported my show!
Atara Ember, Torch Weinstein, Ictus Belford, Triana Caldera, Aurelie Chenaux, Tessa Rhiadra, dragonfly Olsen, and Sandi Benelli!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sitting in San Francisco

My real life self is in San Francisco at the moment. I've got some time to kill... it's too early to head to the airport (my flight's not for another three hours) and too late to do anything else. So, I thought I'd drop a blog in for my faithful followers. Do I have followers? I don't know. It's lonely in here. Hello? Hello?

Anyway, I'm in the lobby of the Hilton Union Square, her on O'Farrell Street, in the heart of downtown. I was here in the City for the past few days, attending a trade show for my silly industry of professional audio. I really do love San Francisco, but like most great cities of the world, it's a lot easier to appreciate when you're with someone. This being a business trip, I was traveling alone, and while I like myself well enough, it's quite possible to get sick of yourself as it is with any other person who you've spent way too much time with. So, myself and I are anxious to get back to LA, where we can have other people to talk to.

More on topic for this blog, I have my weekly show at Crystal Sands tomorrow, and it's a strange world where performing in a virtual world has become my definition of "normal". But it's true. I am definitely looking forward to getting back home, and playing some guitar for my avatar fans tomorrow evening.