Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What inspires you?

There is nothing like walking into a dark, dirty, rock club.  Your shoes are sticking to the floor and you don't want to know why.  You can barely see.  You NEVER use the bathroom.  The music is so loud, you can't hear yourself think.  I love live music.  I love the atmosphere.  I like when the bass is so loud, it makes my heart skip a beat and the hair on my arms stand up.

When I was at my fattest, I had started to withdraw.  Who wants to go out when all you do is sweat like a pig, pant and feel like crap?  On my sister's 18th birthday, we went to Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco.  A band was playing.  They were originally from Hawaii but had recently re-located to the East Bay.  Hey, that's right around the corner from me!  Their name was Sunburn: Neil, Jake, Sean, Johnny and Gavin.  Five really nice guys.  Neil sang a song to my sister for her birthday and then told us about a show closer to our house the next week.  I took my cousin and she and one of the guys hit it off, which meant we were hanging out with them more.  So began my love affair with the local band/live music scene.

I realized I was becoming somewhat anti-social.  I had gone through a bad breakup and was having financial problems.  So the music came around at the perfect time for me.  I started helping them out, doing an e-mail list for their shows and sometimes selling merchandise.  It got me out of the house and introduced me to a whole new set of friends (ten plus years later, I am still friends with most of these people).

As I learned, bands change, break up and move on all the time.  As Sunburn ended, Neil met up with Erich, Jeff and Jesse to start Koi.  Koi then morphed into All The New.  I believe Erich likes to describe their music as alternative rock/progressive metal.  Eventually Jeff left the band, bringing on a string of other guitarists.  Then Neil left, which introduced John to the band as a singer and guitar player.  Recently, Devin joined as lead guitarist.  Erich remains as bass player and Jesse as drummer.  It seems like they have a good group now.  They had a show just last weekend.  It had a little bit of a Tool feel (one of my favorite "famous" bands).  It was the first time I'd been out in quite awhile.  I realized how much I miss it.  I LOVE live music.  It makes me happy.  I can even listen to bad bands, although I've been lucky to have been introduced to many amazing local bands. 

During the Sunburn days, they entered a battle of the bands contest.  They did a great job, but lost to a band called Ones and Zeros.  It was a well-deserved win, although my boys rocked it too!  I still keep in touch with their lead singer/guitarist, Jesse, and their former drummer, Rocky, and former bassist, Jason.  (LOVE Facebook for this kind of stuff!)

Along the way, I've also been introduced to the amazing Rockin' Rachie Pants.  She started off doing acoustic gigs in coffee houses and now fronts her very own band, Second Story Fall.  Her song, "Still," is still my favorite.

I am a huge Sublime fan and saw a tribute band called Lou Dog Trio in Walnut Creek a couple of years ago.  It turns out, they also have their own original band called Audiodub.  These boys know how to give you a good show.  Dustin, Joe and Jordan are all really nice, down to earth guys.  They always take time to say hi and hang out after their shows.

One of my favorite bands in the entire world is Pepper.  They aren't a local band -- more independent.  I met the drummer, Yesod at a show in San Francisco (he was very sweet)  and the guitarist/singer, Kaleo, at a show in Modesto (got a photo to prove it -- woohooo!!).  I think all three of them - Bret, Kaleo and Ye are all smokin' hot.  They are also originally from Hawaii.  They put on a kick-ass show and I would recommend it to anyone who likes concerts!! 

I have run into many amazing people and great bands over the last ten plus years (has it REALLY been that long?!).  I appreciate what music does for me.  It brought me out of a very dark place, even though I very much wanted to stay there.  Even though I no longer reside in that place, I still love live music.  I like the feeling you get when you walk through the door.  The crowd is buzzing and the room is ALIVE.  There is no feeling like it.  And this year, I'm making it a goal to get back into concerts and local shows.

 What inspires you?  I'd love to hear about it. 


  1. My children inspire me. Really they do. I know I have to get my butt in gear and get healthy so i can make sure I am around.


  2. Staying healthy for your children is very important!! Alas, I have no children to inspire me, so I have to figure out other things. hehe!! :-D