Archive for January, 2010

Jamie Alonge

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2010 by demianarriaga

Almost 3 years ago when I moved to Los Angeles I met Jamie via the internet; no, not through a dating site thank you very much, keep the jokes for another day hahaha, but through a music network site. I was new in town, needed gigs and to get some experience in Los Angeles and Jamie was looking for a percussionist for an acoustic show. We’ve kept collaborating for the last 2 1/2 years and it has been a great thing.

I can’t speak highly enough of him as a friend. He asked me to become part of his band “Native Sun”, a funky trio featuring his little brother and Flea spawn Mike. We played for about 2 years… tons of shows, recorded 2 EP’s etc. The songs are still up on http://www.myspace.com/jamiealongemusic . Mike had to leave in order to pursue his College studies since he was just 17 when he played with us. Quick note: Mikey is a MONSTER and he’s one of the funniest dudes i’ve ever met, great songwriter too; awful taste in baseball but yeah, great in music hahaha.

Months later he, Jamie, decided to record a new EP and capture what he thought was his true essence. I was flattered when he asked me to record both drums and percussion on this 3 track EP and long story short I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of this work. The tracks were cut at Phantom Vox studios, one of the most incredible studios i’ve ever been to in my life. Robi Draco Rosa owns and runs the place, if you don’t know who he is I would suggest looking him up. As a songwriter alone he has among his credits: la vida loca, she bangs, the cup of life, etc… you get my point, he da man.

As far as the dorky side of things, and I’ll keep this brief. I used a hybrid of 2 1970’s slingerland kits, all sorts of cymbals and every single model of drumstick and specialty sticks that VATER were kind enough to provide me with, again I can’t thank Vater enough for their support, its amazing what the right tools can achieve. I also tracked toooons of percussion: cajon, shakers, wooden djembe, congas, bongos, etc…

The other musicians that recorded were top notch and I am extremely honored to have worked with them: Doug Pettibone on Electric Guitar, Electric Mandolin, Pedal Steel and Weissenborn; Steve Aguilar Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Grand Piano, Moog and Glockenspiel; and my dear friend and fellow member of GIRTH: Josh Gonzalez on bass… damn i love this guy’s sense of groove and feel.

The music is completely different than the california rock/funky vibe that Native Sun had. I really enjoy the music but as always I’m always focusing on the lyrics and Jamie is one of my favorite song-writers. There’s an honesty and personal touch to his songs that I can relate to and i’m sure anyone else that has a heart and or brain (and speaks english) can.

Here’s his facebook page, please become a fan, check out the music and tell us what you think:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamie-Alonge-Music/275621634752?v=wall&ref=nf#/pages/Jamie-Alonge-Music/275621634752?v=wall&ref=nf

thx

d

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If

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2010 by demianarriaga

Recently I asked via Twitter and Facebook for positive thinking quotes, affirmations, perseverance and inpiring thoughts, etc. A good friend of mine sent me this poem by Rudyard Kipling titled “IF” I thought it was really interesting and deep and since I’ve been really blog-shy in recent days I figured that I would post the poem:

IF
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

thx

d

WTF?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2010 by demianarriaga

hello,

this post was originally written in Feb of 2008 on my myspace page. In light of so many negative things going on, even though this isn’t an inspiring post by any means, i thought it’d be funny to repost it and if it helps get your mind away from any negative thing going on in your life then it did it’s job.

—-

I almost never get angry.  Anyone that knows me can testify that it takes a lot to get me angry and only those closest to me have ever seen me in true anger, and it’s almost always regarding politics,  Che Guevara Shirts and again Football (Soccer).

However I have recently come across something that shouldn’t piss me off but it bothers me a lot… at a recent show I went to, of a Venezuelan Disco-Funk band (amigos invisibles)  I saw no less than 10 dudes tying their sweaters around their waist. Now, I take pride in letting people be themselves, dress how they want to dress, do their thing, listen to weird music, read crazy books, and so on and so forth, but this particular fashion phenomenon really bothers me… does anyone share that?

WTF… can’t you just HOLD the damn thing? Is it really THAT uncomfortable. I mean I used to do that, in 4th grade… back then it kinda felt like a cape…

It should be actually illegal for any man over the age on 18 to do this, furthermore parents of kids under 18 should be held accountable for such fashion atrocity, it’s absurd, there’s not place for it; and don’t get me started with fanny packs, which, on a funny note,  are called “marsupials” in italy.

I will assume if you don’t respond via comment or private message you wear your sweatshirt on your wait tied with a huge knot and actually like it.  I do respect your balls to wear that though.

Someone enlighten me please… is it a Venezuelan thing???? I just saw a dude today, very much a NON venezuelan and he was rocking it.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much. The fact is that it’s not that big of a deal or is it? jejeje. Maybe I really wish i’d had the balls to do that and not have to carry a backpack with a sweater and an umbrella IN MY CAR IN LOS ANGELES!!. Thanks Mom… happy birthday by the way. You are my Angel and it is a privilege to share your DNA.

I know this is ridiculously silly and I actually feel bad I made you read this. I was bored, still am and the fact that I keep writing this very last sentence yells out I should go out tonight… and by going out I mean Burger King and Family Guy.

HA!

some of my friends wear it like that… i still love them. Come to think of it, i probably look even more stupid with the scarves i wear…

d

(Sports) Loyalty ?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2010 by demianarriaga

I expect this to be the most long-winded, contradicting, biased, hypocritical, and transparent blog I will write in a while so brace your selves… or in other words you may not choose to surf away from this page, thanks anyways! haha.

Sports have always been a part of my life, a huge part. Early in my life they were nothing more than a pastime, later on it became a way of life and currently they symbolize and or help me give meaning and make comparisons to, many aspects of life.

One of my first memories is watching the Dutch National team playing. I was sitting next to my dad and it was the first time I ever watched fútbol, football, soccer. The bright orange shirts were enough to catch my attention and to this day I don’t know if its my favorite color because of Holland or I like Holland because of the orange shirt. I remember Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard (both of whom were the inspiration of my dreadlocks alongside Edgar Davids)  and Marco Van Basten and i fell in love with the sport. Years went by and I kept watching games; 1990 came around and I watched my first World Cup sparking my obsession into new heights. Parallel to this I loved baseball and american football. All my friends played sports and when we weren’t playing them in real life we were playing Nintendo’s Bad News Baseball or Tecmo Bowl.

My parents always supported my love for soccer and they always taught me that even though it was fun and “a game” i should always treat it with respect, never missing a practice, being on time and giving it my all, not only for me but for my teammates. I can tell you that I never missed a practice and was never late but I didn’t really always give it my all and that’s one of the reasons I didn’t keep pursuing this particular dream. I didn’t have the hunger, the grit and the drive necessary to go run the extra lap.

Up until that point, early in high school, I had “chosen” what sport teams  I liked in every sport, every league, etc. Most of my choices had to do with the team having a player I thought was cool or having interesting uniforms, names i liked, etc, random shit. I picked The Atlanta Braves in Baseball, the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL, Boston Bruins in the NHL and of course the Dutch National team in World Cup soccer, Barcelona in Spain was my main club team back then. All but the Spurs were actually doing GREAT, so there, i liked winning teams.

Although sports are HUGE in Venezuela, specially baseball and futbol, I supported a baseball team that was NOT from Caracas, my home city. So once that choice was made i completely ended any hope of supporting a team from the place I was from and with that choice I also had to outsource my sports identity; so how deep can it really be if you are not even from that city? if you’ve never been to a game? if you know very little of the team’s history? Does that make you less of a fan? Does that mean that i can’t be the biggest say  The Who fan because I’ve never seen them live? Depends and I will elaborate much to your fear in a bit.

Fast forward to the 1998 World Cup in France. Holland vs Argentina, quarterfinals, 92nd minute,  Dennis Bergkamp scored the most incredible goal I have ever seen and I’m sure I won’t see anything like it again, and you bet your ass i’m embedding it at the end of this blog. Changed my sporting life forever. After that goal I said to myself this was the guy I have to support, he was already playing for Holland so thats the first requirement, second he’s playing in England, for a team called Arsenal. Arsenal? i heard that name before… “The Arsenal of Mega-death can’t be rid” … a quote from which Dave Mustaine got the name “MegadetH” a band which would become my obsession hand in hand with soccer. Wanna laugh even more? Coincidentally my father had bought me a VHS with goal highlights from England and I liked a team wearing red and white, with the JVC logo; JVC? as in the brand of my new stereo in which i blasted megadeth day and night? YES. I’m a product of marketing… Nike, JVC… congrats!

Anyways I formally started following Arsenal FC in the fall of 1998. 11 years later I follow them more avidly than ever. I’m THAT guy that says things like: “we won 3-0” or “we have to buy that guy in the summer” . WOW… i just can’t help it, sounds stupid when you hear it but I feel in some way deeply connected with the team. I still love Barcelona and Juventus in Italy, i think it has to do with being born here in Caracas, everyone has a team in a particular league, sport and city almost. Whenever I speak to a die hard fan like myself there’s a bond that is unquestionable, although some are way more biased than others. I’m not talking about an obsession like you’ve seen in movies, etc… i would never make the woman i’ll marry wear an Arsenal shirt as a gown or stuff like that…. actually its so tacky even if SHE wanted it I wouldn’t let her.

Its hard work enough to follow YOUR team, and imagine supporting 5 or 6 semi strongly… its not that hard when you share a common denominator, which is LOYALTY. A big big word which is not only used by everyone but its something different to everyone as well. I think if you say you are a fan of a sport and you are not loyal, according to my gray ass parameters, it says a lot of who you are as a person. Maybe i think i’m very loyal and i’m self-righteous but i do believe that it does say a lot about your conviction, ethics, principles and will to face the odds. This is not a pat in the back, no, i don’t think i’m the greatest fan out there and this is precisely the point of my blog but I can’t imagine living without the lessons that sports loyalty have brought in my life, as my friends Igor, Joan, Gonzo, Michele and Kevin would testify…. this shit is serious people.

What sort of trust and conviction can you expect from a person who picks teams every other season? who likes their team when ONLY they are winning? Wear that shirt when your team has lost 3-0 to a 3rd division team… might sound even more stupid than choosing a team every year, but i actually think its not. Every team goes through ups and downs and you can see who are the real fans… they stick by their teams. However I am example of jumping ship and I sorta hate myself for that. I used to love the 49ers but they started sucking, i was young but still… then i moved to Boston and started watching the Pats and 8 years later they are my fave team… I always check 49ers scores first but I can’t tell the QB from the RB… so did I become what I hate??? possibly. We don’t have to go back that far… I have no idea how “my” SA spurs are doing… so there you go, I think I have flaws as a fan and according to my theory, as a man as well. CRAP!

My defense is not unpredictable… I clearly didn’t love those teams as much as I do arsenal, with whom I’m stuck by through glorious and terrible times. Would I have loved them if they kept winning? most likely but just as I saw Barcelona play quite possibly the greatest football season of the last 3 decades and the coming 2, i never even thought of “going back”….

But how can  I love a team if i hadn’t even been to London? How can I REALLY relate and identify with a team if  i’m so far away figuratively and literally speaking? I can, just like with music and that’s why I love both so much… as objective as it seems, few things for me are as subjective as sports. No-one, even if they have all the stats and know more about your own team than you, can take happiness away from you, no-one, BUT there has to be honesty behind that happiness.

I don’t really know what my point is…Loyalty is relative… believe me, if I meet the woman of my dreams and she supports Manchester United I highly doubt I wouldn’t pursue her, don’t be fooled.

I always criticize fair weather fans, nouveau fans, but was i not JUST that early on? is youth an excuse? of course it is , at least that helps me sleep at night.

excuse the poor quality:

d