Axis: Bold As Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)

     RATING: 10/10

This record is, hands down, one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. I’ve been enjoying “Axis” since I was a kid in 2003 (when I started playing the guitar), and it has changed/shaped my life as a musician and player ever since. Hendrix is undeniably one of the most creative, flashy, and innovative guitarists/songwriters to grace this planet, and his ability to utilize various genres to showcase his playing style is nothing short of brilliant. The experimental/eerie intro track, “EXP,” leads right into the sly and funky “Up From The Skies,” and then erupts into the fusion-metal “Spanish Castle Magic,” which proceeds to set the pace and uncertainty of the tracks to follow. Hendrix flows seamlessly between R&B, funk, hard rock, psychedelia, and blues, and pop, to prove his newfound leadership and virtuosic role in the evolving rock scene of the late 60s. I love knowing that I am going to get a slight different feel as each track passes, which I believe allows this record to be so popular and enjoyable amongst multiple demographics and fan bases. My favorite tracks make up over half of this record, due to the clever and mystic lyricism and clever/unique musicianship, and the dazzling relationship between the melodies and intricate chord progressions Jimi built: 1) “Up From The Skies” and that sexy wah wah pedal work, 2) “Spanish Castle Magic” and it’s colossal and heavy riffage, 3) “Wait Until Tomorrow” with the love-like lyrics and quick bluesy guitar work, 4) “Little Wing” and all its natural beauty and swag, 5) “If 6 Was 9” and its confronting society and the issues associated with 60s lifestyles, and the final two faves (“Castles Made of Sand” and “Bold As Love”) for being pure genius. The chords, lyrics, melodies, solos, and innovative musical thinking have made these two tunes untouched to this day, in terms of uniqueness and soul. I can’t help but smile and shake my head each time I listen, in hopes that one day I can be half the musician and player Jimi Hendrix was. This album shows true musical genius, through a genuine love of all music and a genuine love for the guitar as an instrument. This will never get old, despite its age.

-Brandt Parke

Angel Dust: It Gets Better With Every Listen

Angel Dust- Faith No More (1992)

This album confirmed my love for FNM and Mike Patton; after first experiencing them with “The Real Thing” in college, this proved to me how versatile and well-rounded rock, punk, and metal could be. The main reason why I love FMN in general, is because of their ability to sound completely unique. The vocal style of Patton, the experimental songwriting, and the fusion between synthesizer and heavy guitars really sets them apart from other rock units. In the case of “Angel Dust,” I was blown away at how the songwriting was taken to the next level. Following the same sort of guideline that “The Real Thing” possessed, it seems as though everything was taken to the next level for this record. I love the almost comical song titles on top of brilliant musicianship and ability, with tracks like “RV,” “Crack Hitler,” and “Kindergarten.”

Faith No More

What I love most about their sound is the guitar work fused with arena-like synthesizers, something you don’t see or hear very often in hard rock or metal music. The album’s most popular track, Midlife Crisis, has a contagious groove with a vocal flow that is completely undeniable. I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and not get tired of it. I can focus on the instrumentation and love it, or the lyrics and love it, or even the song structure and still love it just as much as the first few times I gave it a listen. That’s how I know this record is as good as it is, and why it has been able to stay relevant over the past 26 years.

The tracks weave in and out seamlessly throughout a much larger concept, which allows me to enjoy every song front to back. Though they follow their own unique sound and innovative musical ideas, I like how you can still hear influences of various genres throughout the record.  There are a hint of metal, glam rock, punk, R&B, new wave, grunge, and blues that surround its entirety, which helps provide freshness from track to track. For people who are experiencing FNM for the first time, I think “Angel Dust” is a great way to dive in and don’t stop there! All of their records kick ass and offer something new and intriguing to the ear.

-Brandt Parke8.5 out of 10


I am a firm believer in money.

If I am not mistaken 7 billion other people agree with me. By BELIEVE I don’t mean WORSHIP. Money exists. In fact money is a fantastic idea that allows people to be universal in our currencies. In other words… Best Buy probably isn’t interested in accepting 450 fresh eggs in exchange for an Xbox One.

Now that we’re chin-deep in this system we have two options. If it is possible to offer and exchange of SERVICES or GOODS then that’ll be pretty rad. I’ve traded my time for the time of an accountant. Ended up saving me 1000s of dollars and everyone saved money. So if you want someone to do something for you it’d behoove you to sweeten the pot.
one penny Old British Penny

I have been offered the “opportunity” to perform for 3 hours in front of 100’s of
millionaires. This “would be a great chance to get some great exposure.”


The company, [redacted], had every reason
to include a live pianist in an [redacted]
for a [redacted] for the sake of sales.
If everything worked out they would have been paid well over $50,000. Now… if my professions were in [redacted] I would want to invest in having some solid presentations. Or if I were paying for elegance I would want to pay top dollar. In other words… there are some things you don’t want for free. Live Music is one of them.

On top of missing out on what realistically SHOULD have been a $2,000 gig, I had to convince the [redacted] that The Bank Of America doesn’t accept
EXPOSURE BUCKS to pay the mortgage. If they did then I’d be more than happy to perform.

If you take yourself seriously don’t expect payment until you’re confident in performing. Alternatively, don’t REFUSE ALL unpaid gigs, you should really use your best judgement.
Ask yourself a few questions first:

-What are THEY getting out of this?

-What are YOU getting out of this?

-Will you lose money by doing this?

-Can you put out a TIP jar?

-What is the attendance guarantee?

-How long do you need to play?

Basically write out a list of questions you’d ask yourself.
For the most part I decided NOT to play for [redacted] because they had EVERYTHING to gain and I was going to gain literally nothing and lose 3 hours of my time. It would have been “inappropriate” to put out a tip jar so…

-They get ambiance and increased interest for the sales.

-I’d get literally nothing except compliments. (woooo)

-Gas money would be lost. and Time.

-No Tip Jar. (it wouldn’t have been the deciding factor)

-Maybe 30 heads? I do that on my own EASY.

-3 hours (Weddings pay $2,000 for my company’s duet performances)


If I went through with this “offer” I’d end up asking myself,

“What am I doing this for again?”
Try walking into an AppleStore and offering to tell all of your friends about Apple in exchange for an iphone.



Big name and Small, local band/album reviews

Incubus Should Win The Most Creative Album Title Award

Incubus –  8

…Named after the number 8.

First few moments: Seems like an attempt to appeal to the modern sound. “WOAH” choruses can only go so far in my opinion. Granted there are other lyrics in the first chorus… but with the first track of the album I want to be hooked in. Needless to say I fear the rest of the album will be a chore for me. I know that the first song doesn’t speak for the whole album but… its job is important: keep me interested in listening to the entire collection of works. I’m not feeling that here.

“Nimble Bastard” They really like reminding us of the name of the song. Not just with this track, either. At least I haven’t heard the words “nimble” or “bastard” in very many songs. let alone 11 times. It IS the strongest track on here, but it doesn’t make me want to hear it again anytime soon.

Off to a bad start

Alright, first impressions are over and I listened to the rest of the album before I finished writing. The rest of the article is written after having finished the album as a whole.

Solid performances from everyone. There isn’t an odd choice from anyone. This could be good or bad, depending on your preferences. In more opinionated terms: They play it safe. It doesn’t sound like they are looking for NEW fans. They are an established act. Once you have 100k dedicated fans you can sell just about anything. I’ll even buy the worst album from my favorite bands just to have a complete collection. 

Mike Einziger’s guitar tones are ALWAYS on point. I love the variation from album to album and song to song. His work with the band is my current favorite and probably the only reason I’m willing to listen to Incubus. The playing is alright, but the TONES, man. THE TONES!
In this album……………….. he has his moments. 

(the OTHER reason was the original bassist, George Alex Katunich) 

One thing that bugs me when I listen to music is hearing repeated intervals, runs or specific high-notes over and over. Over the years Incubus has released  quite a bit of music. From album to album I notice little repeated phrases that have been recycled or re-purposed for other songs; everyone is guilty of this to some degree but I hear little nuggets of old songs throughout this album. I know I’m being really picky… and I WANT to like this album… but certain traits have been emphasized in this album more than others. Those certain traits are the ones that lead me to not enjoy Incubus that much in the first place. When “I” (pronounced ‘eye’) sounds like “ah” (the sound you make when you find your keys) it just sounds… odd. Some people don’t mind so much but with Brad he does a LOT of this kind of stuff. E sounds like A, O sounds like UH when it shouldn’t in my opinion. It sounds like an accent that doesn’t exist.

Shrugging memeFor a more common example of vowel modification is the nasal E sounds in Track 8 (Familiar Faces). The words “lighYEEeeeet” or “fighYEeeT” or in Track 4… “remAMber.” This may be a creative decision but I don’t have to enjoy it when it happens so frequently.

My main problem with this album is that nothing does anything for me. It just kinda… HAPPENS. My interest was peaked on two points in particular. The first minute or so of track 11 (not counting the intro) and Track 7. Both stood out to me. 7 was (i think) an homage to Fungus Amongus… and despite being filler it actually ended up being the least boring track. But as a collection of songs it didn’t DO anything. 

With most songs heavily repeating the title of the song frequently it is fairly difficult to forget the song names, unfortunately it is the only thing that tells the songs apart. I’ll give it a second listen but I’d rather wait a while because it was kind of a chore to finish this one. 

3/10  Good musicians making “safe” music =  “No Fun”
Good luck forgetting the song titles of this one. You’ll hear each one about 20 times per song.
out of 10


Top Ten Best Albums Ever Made (Opinion of Bronson)

First, let me define what I consider to be a GREAT album; a ten out of ten. IMO a perfect album doesn’t have any stinkers. It cannot have a single track that is skippable. If I can play the album start to finish uninterrupted it is more likely to be one of my top ten favorite albums. In fact, important songs or albums SHOULD have some kind of memory or experience with which it is associated.
   Total album sales have NOTHING to do with this list. This is purely subjective or for the younger folks, “IMO.” The order is semi-important, however, this list will shift over time. I tend to keep going back to these albums over and over again and when I do I listen to them over and over; It usually takes about a week of re-listening for me to be “done” with them. All of these albums helped develop my OWN sound as an artist, so if you like this list check out some of my tunes and let me know what you think!…
So Here you go… TOP TEN!

10. Pain – Midgets With Guns

Pain Midgets With Guns
    Some of the most clever lyrics are found on this album.
Also, this “sound” has a special place in my heart; this is
the sound of the early to mid 90’s. This was even before
I really got INTO music. I still rock this one for DAYS.
Oh and finding a physical copy was a pain in the neck!
I even stopped by Amoeba Records in CA. No luck!
Eventually, my wife got it for me as a birthday gift.
(check out Milk, Fight, Square Pegs, Chuck Al Hashib)

9. Barenaked Ladies – Are Me

BNL Are Me Barenaked Ladies
   BNL has made a career of writing songs from every emotion
in the book. This album proves they’ve matured as songwriters.
They really put this one out from the heart. The silliness is
still present but the humor is definitely passive in comparison
to the arrangements of each track. And of course, their
harmonies are top notch, as always. So many great tunes on
this, and it was actually quite difficult to pick a single BNL
album… but… this one has a few memories.
(check out Bull in a China Shop, Everything Had Changed, Take it Back and Easy)

8. Tool – Lateralus

   This is one of my “OF COURSE” entrees. But honestly…
there isn’t a bad song on this album, the replay value
is through the roof and by the time the first track is
done you can’t wait to hear it again. Not to mention
Ticks and Leeches is generally the song people use to
get other people into Tool that haven’t heard anything
aside from whatever is on the radio.
(check out Ticks and Leeches, The Grudge, Parabol and Parabola)

7. XTC – Apple Venus Part 1

Whenever I start this album I am completely consumed
by the atmosphere it provides. It is comforting and off-putting
at the same time. The arrangements and the production
are some of the best I’ve ever heard. Just pop this one in
and give it a solid 10 minutes. You’ll probably enjoy about
half of the album at least, but I’ve got some personal memories
with this one. So listen to it all… or just jump to the few
tracks that I recommend in particular.
(these: Green Man, River Of Orchids, Your Dictionary, I’d like that)

6. Pink Floyd – The Wall

You really shouldn’t skip any song on this masterpiece.
Put it in and listen to it like you’re sitting in the theater.
Or… go find a copy of The Wall the movie and watch
that if you haven’t. It’s been nearly 40 years. Get on that
for crying out loud. Seriously. This album has taught me 
quite a bit in terms of story-telling in music. I can’t even
bring myself to listen to ONE track. I have to do the
whole thing in one sitting. It deserves that much respect.
(check out the whole thing. If you skip anything you’ll skip the point)

5. Ween – The Mollusk

   First of all, Storm Thorgerson did the artwork
(he generally did Pink Floyd album covers). RIP.
Second: There is an obvious nautical theme throughout
the album. Despite that, they really do an awesome job
of maintaining their prolific, genre-flipping reputation.
I love these freaking songs. It’s Dean Ween’s favorite
album too… so… there’s that.
(check out Buckingham Green, I’ll Be Your Johnny On The Spot,
Ocean Man and Cold Blows The Wind)

4. Faith No More – Angel Dust

This album blew me away the first time I heard it. I was
supposed to drive somewhere but instead, I sat in a parking
lot and listened to the whole thing right there. Jaw to the
floor. I don’t even remember much else aside from how
it affected me. Also, my mom got super pissed at me for
owning it. Lol!
(check out RV, Malpractice, Smaller and Smaller, Land of Sunshine, and Crack Hitler)

3. Primus – Frizzle Fry

 First album I ever bought with my own money;
I was 13 or 14. I saw the album art and bought it because
of that alone. I definitely owe a lot of my own musical interest
and fascination to Primus. Thank you Les, Ler and Tim!
This album goes full throttle and never backs down.
PEOPLE are making these sounds. I’m still shocked by that.
(check out everything Primus as ever done. This album, in particular, is 100% start to finish)

2. King Crimson – The Power To Believe

King Crimson
Though people tend to use “Court of the Crimson King”
as a top contender….. Power To Believe is King Crimson
at their best. Now I’m a HUGE KC fan, so not to downplay
any other album at all… I probably could have put any of
their albums on this list but I only want 1 album per band.
Start to Finish. Level Five grabs you by the pineal gland
and pulls you around like a can on the back of a
newlywed’s getaway limousine.
(check it out. do it now.)

1. Mr. Bungle – California

 Mr. Bungle
  This album changed me. It set the standard for experimentation. For me it is the holy grail of music collections. Every song is vastly different. I could probably talk about each track of this album in its own blog post. I do have short story to share. When I took anyone on a date I’d have them listen to some of the weirder music I listen to. This one girl I went right for the big guns and showed her Ars Moriendi from this album. Her reaction told me all I needed to know. That woman is now my wife. Not saying THAT is the reason I married her, but that is the first sign that told me, “she can handle strange……… excellent. (You’ll have to imagine Mr. Burns from The Simpsons saying that.)
I’ll leave it at that and tell you to go listen to this entire thing. Not a bad song on this track. Not a good one either; every single one is AMAZING.
Go listen. It will change your ears for the better. It is Mr. Bungle at their most matured state. Great Job, guys!
Honorable Mentions: Rage Against The Machine (self titled), Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, Pendulum In Silico (there are a few songs I skip… but I absolutely love the others)
I obviously have PLENTY of other albums that are great. Some albums, however, tend to change how I listen to music. The albums I regard as highly influential and are deserving of my top ten are just as good on the 100th time I’ve spun them as the moment I had discovered them (more or less). These albums set the bar for me and MY music in many different areas of writing. If you think there’s another artist or group I’ve yet to hear let me know. I love hearing new music!

Trevor Dunn Saves The Day!

High school days are generally the time some young adults
figure out exactly who THEY are; I was an idiot.
Band practice meant hanging out making noise and stopping
for a “moment” to play Wii Bowling, $124 seemed like a lot
of money and a jaywalking ticket offered the most stress
a young 17-year-old could take (it went on my driving record
but that story will come at a later post).motorcycle cop waving

One of my frustrations came immediately AFTER high school when
I apparently hadn’t invested enough thought into what
it was I was supposed to do or be. I just wanted to hang out
and make weird music. After graduation, I lost touch with
pretty much everybody, especially when I picked up a couple
of jobs. Getting a hold of friends to practice was like
pulling teeth from a rooster. In other words, it never

In my desperation, I logged onto Myspace (i know, right?)
and surfed the pages of bigger musicians I admired and
respected. Tommy Emmanuel, Andrew York, Les Claypool…
I probably spent a few hours over 30+ names wondering
if they experienced the same frustrations. Eventually I
came across Trevor Dunn the bassist from Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk,
Melvins (for the album Houdini) etc etc. Hands down his bass
work is among my favorite.

Bass Fretboard Trevor Dunn

Anyway I sent him a pretty hefty message, probably about
as long of a read as this current blog post THUS FAR. I hadn’t
reached out to any of the other names but I felt I should
send him an epistle to see if he’d help a stupid post-high

He wrote back!

Not only did he write back but he replied with a message
equally as long as my message! I didn’t even read it right
away. I mostly stared at the collection of words in disbelief.
Once I came to I composed myself properly to read the advice.
I’ll have to paraphrase because Myspace deletes old messages
if you don’t log on for a while. I should have printed it.
That is one of the big regrets of my life so far. But I’ll
do my best to recall his advice.

Essentially he told me that my problems with finding
musicians that agree with me musically is gonna take time.
Don’t stop. Don’t change. He told me that when he and Patton
started up Mr. Bungle it was because they went into it
intentionally wanting to do the opposite of what was
considered success. They just wanted to make weird music.
They just wanted to see what could be done, musically.
“Hang in there and keep making music and refining your

I read his message 30 times.

scripture bible verse

I never gave up. And, in fact, I went through a good number
of musicians to get to our current lineup.

I owe a huge amount of my musical development to Trevor Dunn.
Someday I hope I can tell him in person that he is the reason
I never quit and the fact that he took the time to write me
such a detailed message (that I could not recall to give it
the justice it deserves) taught me that he is, and I quote,
“just a person.”

He’s a person that struggles just like everyone else. Keeping that in mind through the years reminds me that literally, EVERY person I have ever
looked up to is just a person. He’s a highly skilled person that
rocks out for a living… but still.

Thank you, Trevor Dunn!

-Bronson, Guitarist/vocalist of Bes

My Tattoo Reminds Me Of Submarines

If you can remember a date, that makes it important, right?  On March 15, 1995, my dad and brother flew down to Sacramento after my dad got a call from his father.  Two days later on March 17, my mom and I went out for Chinese food and came back to a blinking red light on the answering machine.  December 31, 1999 must have been a bad day for me, because I remember shouting “BAD NEW YEAR” at my brother, to which he replied, “You RUINED my millennium!”  On October 2, 2009, I saw a now-prominent NPR host drink way too much and make an ass of himself at a karaoke bar in Seattle’s International District.

I don’t remember the day or even the month, but that doesn’t make this memory any less vivid or meaningful.  I think it was sometime around late November or early December…it was cold and wet, and I remember it being fairly dark out when it wasn’t particularly late.  Regardless, I remember almost everything around me as John’s gloved hand held the buzzing tattoo gun against the inside of my left forearm.

Since that moment, every time I hear the beginning of Yellow Submarine by The Beatles, I remember what felt like flaming knives being dragged through my skin.  It was my first tattoo, but I have been with friends as they go theirs.

“It doesn’t hurt!  It kinda tickles, actually…”

And I believed them.  Three thousand little pin-pricks every minute drew a noticeable amount of blood, yet they giggled.  I expected the same—perhaps maybe something akin to a bee sting, but not nearly as much as I felt.

“In the tooooown, where I was booooorn, lived a maaaaan, who sailed the seeeeeaaaa…”

I gritted my teeth as I watched what would eventually become the left wingtip of a dove being etched into my skin one pinprick at a time.  FLAMING KNIVES.  Of course, mind over matter—and just like I grit my teeth and sit through my weekly massage therapy appointments to help me recover from a recent car accident, I sat in that sterilized chair for an hour and twenty minutes as an absolutely gorgeous black-and-white dove with an olive branch was skillfully created on my left forearm.

The dove serves as a reminder that I have never thrown a punch in my life, and I will die a happy man if I never have to.  Whenever anyone asks if the dove has meaning, that’s what I tell them…but every time I look down at it, …

“In the tooooown, where I was booooorn…”

-Nick Kennedy

“The First Album I Ever Bought”


Frizzle Fry

perfect score


This Album is the embodiment of Primus. Newcomers to Primus should jump towards this album first (or second, I guess). It’s heavy. it’s technically impressive. AND it is a display of some young, sweaty, ambitious musicians from So Cal acting as the desperately needed left field player in a team full of pitchers. In my biased opinion, it is the most Primus-y of Primus albums. Every fan recites the songs and lines from this song like scripture and it has some of the most sing-a-long-able parts when you see them live.

Special Edition has two bonus tracks, “Hello Skinny/Constantinople.” A couple of Residents covers on one file end the album on a really unsettling note, but it works. I like the way it wraps it up.


“The first album I ever bought,” is a common thing to say when talking about some of the best music we’ve ever heard. That “first album” sticks with us for our entire lives. In the right context, we get to throw that little phrase out with full enthusiasm whenever the time is right. Quick someone is listening to your “first.” Time to make a new friend! Roll up them sleeves and take a deep breath to start jabbering about how it changed you. It was the first of many to follow and it’s time to blast someone in the ears with your experience; MY experience came from the necessity to stop listening to ragtime. Scott Joplin tunes can only take you so far in the cosmos.

I walked to the local Fred Meyer electronics section and just looked at all of the album art for something that intrigued me. First thing I noticed is that anything that was simple a picture of the band wasn’t gonna cut it. They all looked the same. I wanted something more… I don’t even know. I had NO idea what I was looking for… until I saw it.

Primus Frizzle Fry Lance "Link" Montoya

Frizzle Fry by Primus.

Holy crap! That looks like it was sculpted out of clay! It WAS sculpted out of clay! Oh that’s awesome! *13 year old me then turns the album around* AH! Another sculpture! This is awesome. Both pieces of artwork are equally strange in their own right.

Primus Lance "Link" Montoya

This little feller (fellers?) wasn’t what convinced me to buy it in the first place… but it was definitely the last thing I saw before I started walking to the counter.

I got home to an empty house. The weather was perfect for sitting inside (*shrug* it’s Washington State. What are you gonna do?) So I slammed that CD into the family heirloom record, tape, and CD player; This music furniture was built before I was born so it was basically a member of the family.

Lo and Behold… THIS is Primus!

Every freaking track. I listened to the entire album start to finish just sitting there right in front of the stereo spacing out at the analog EQ settings. Before I knew it the album was over, about an hour had passed and I started the whole thing over again (D.C. al Fine!) My folks came home and I had to cut it short early. Fortunately, I was on the filler track You Can’t Kill Michael Malloy cause my mom probably would not have appreciated the “loud noises.”

As I went to my room (which was also the room of two other siblings) with my little treasure in my hand I realized I needed my own CD player… STAT! I didn’t have allowance like some friends I knew, so I had to mow some lawns in the neighborhood or something. So I pretty much immediately walked around asking the old folks if I could mow their lawn. Long story short I got a few clients and saved up some cash, bought a CD player, had like $20 left over and bought another Primus album (Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Another great album cover). I gobbled up so much Primus it made me sick. I needed something different.


I started looking for another album with great artwork that struck me as unique. I figured if the album art was “different” I’d probably like it. I discovered my next musical adventure. Hand-drawn, unique, fun band name and I didn’t know what the band members looked like right off the bat. Perfect.

Oysterhead – The Grand Pecking Order.
I bought it without looking at the back. No questions asked.

Got home, slapped it in MY cd player…

… is this….wait…. *opens booklet*…. ……is this Les Claypool? His name is even printed right on the back! I didn’t even notice. Silly me. *head bop*

I accidentally bought ANOTHER album with Les Claypool’s bass work and vocals. This is when I learned that some people probably have multiple bands. And I started to be interested in looking into other projects in which each of these musicians has their musical hand. The Police, Phish, Frog Brigade and pretty much every other Claypool project up until 2002 or 2003. I made my list of things to purchase and study; At this point, it became a “study.”

And I went back to mowing more lawns, but this time with a portable CD player.

p.s. if you liked this article or if you love Primus
check out MY MUSIC HERE!! You get a free download
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