29 October 2010

Update with a Musical Interlude

Time/Date: 1520, 29-Oct-10
Location: I'm not not typing this in my bathroom. Don't ask questions you don't want the answers to...

A quick update (with some new tunes):

  • I've started working on some 'about' pages on 411#3. I was going to write one 'about' page but, by the time I was done writing the manifesto that was the music section, I decided each of the main topics could probably have their own page. I currently have the Music, Drinks and Contact pages completed; check them out & let me know what you think.
  • I've started helping out at Fredericton Outfitters & Anglers a little more consistently with some promo & marketing. I think it's a good trade: I give him my mad skillz and he gives me discounted gear. Love it. Anyway, be sure to check out both Chris (@FtonOutfitters) and I (@FOAprostaff) on twitter, and join the FOA Facebook group for cool pics, links, tips and contests. We also have some really great items up for sale on eBay for clearance prices; check them out here.
  • As mentioned in the last post, my saltwater fly fishing rig is just waiting for my new fly line to arrive, then it's off to practice my double-haul out on Killarney Lake
  • I'll be rocking Lava Vodka Lounge this weekend, so swing by for one of our new (exclusive) vodkas. In between slinging drinks, I'll be wearing my geologist hat trying to bust out some data processing by Monday AM for my client (new readers are now thinking "WTF?")
  • Here's a band that I "discovered" last week and really dig. They're called The Temper Trap. It's pretty easy-going, chill music. A little different than what I normally listen to but I like it, so here it is:

27 October 2010

Gearing up for Louisiana Redfish

Time/Date: 1800, 27-Oct-10
Location: my kitchen (again)

I'll admit that I was really close to going over a cliff.

A cliff of spending foolish amounts of money.

After I booked my trip & guide to chase redfish, my first thought was, "I gotta get a new rod...and reel...line...flies! Oh man!"

I put a rod & reel combo up for sale online last week. I had purchased it the previous winter and used it to chase spring & fall salmon in '09. However, I hadn't touched it all this year, opting to use my TFO 5wt for all of my outings instead. My plan was to put that money towards a new setup for saltwater.

Did I ever find a sweet new set-up. The rod, reel & line in this super-awesome saltwater set-up would have run about $900.

'Would have' is the operative term, here.

Fortunately for me (& my bank account), I paused for a moment to check out the specs of my rod & reel combo to see if they're suitable for use in the salt (corrosion is an issue).

They're more than suitable.

So here is my saltwater set-up:
Cabela's Stowaway Rod, 9.0', 8wt (5 pc)
Cabela's RLS-3 reel (w/ 20lb backing)
Rio Mainstream Saltwater WF-8F fly line (not pictured)

All I had to do was hop on eBay and find the saltwater line at a discounted price. Total cost: $46.87.

Sure beats spending $900.
(Anyone wondering what I considered buying? Click here and here. Maybe someday...)

Music time:
This is Stereo Airing, the local band that opened for one of their biggest musical influences last week, Sloan. They were so ridiculously happy to be the opening act. I loved it. They're talented and they're good kids, so check them out.

25 October 2010

Spontaneity: "I have a fly fishing addiction"

Time/Date: 0750, 25-Sep-10
Location: my kitchen

As I mentioned in the last post, I somewhat spontaneously booked a plane ticket. Here's the back story.

Due to that oil spill thing in the Gulf, much of my reading material concerned the spill (& the chemical dispersants) and its effect on Gulf fisheries. I kept reading up on the region and saltwater fly fishing in general, which turned into being inundated with information on bonefish, tarpon, permit and redfish. Warm climates and awesome fish. Hmmm.

Who's a fishin' fashion icon? This guy
In summer Bugslinger released their R3 shirts, with proceeds going to one of the guides' associations in Louisiana. The guides lost almost all of their bookings due to the spill. Good enough cause for me; I ordered three.

Side note: I'm a fan of groups fundraising with sales of shirts, etc. I have to wear something, it might as well be for a decent cause. Alzheimer's Society (who have come to my door 6 times this year), take note; you have some potentially cool slogans: "I remembered to put on this shirt; support Alzheimer's research!"

This past Wednesday, I grabbed my Fly Fusion destinations issue and randomly flipped open a page. A picture of a redfish. Damn it. I had redfish on the brain for the rest of the day. Later on I sat down to do some geo data work (it's coming, Matt!!) and decided to check out Expedia for airfares...out of curiosity.

Within two hours, I had the plane ticket to New Orleans and a guide booked for two days of chasing redfish on the fly.

Redfish propaganda...again
I contacted Uptown Angler and they booked Capt. John Iverson as my guide. It turns out Capt. Iverson was the guide featured in a recent article in the ezine This Is Fly. I just found this out yesterday. I take that as a really good sign.

A lot of the trouble guides are having with their bookings are misconceptions on the extent of the spill on the flats & in the marshes. The fishing season is on & they're ready to put you onto some Reds. The guides in this video tell it better than me.

That's my tale of the lengths I will go to feed my addiction. I'm not proud (actually, I am).

I'll do a separate post on the saltwater rod & reel I'm setting up for the trip...and surprisingly, it's a cheap & easy setup.

Here's some geographically-appropriate music:

23 October 2010

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming

Time/Date: 2335, 23-Oct-10
Location: F'ton (Lava Vodka Lounge, to be precise)

A wrap-up to a fairly busy week:

I saw Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles on Monday night and followed that up with an awesome performance by Sloan on Wednesday night. Thanks to Nick & Mike at BabZees Entertainment for the all-access pass on Wednesday's show. I didn't do anything special in terms of hospitality & logistics work to earn that pass, but I'll make up for it with the shows coming up. Details of upcoming shows here, here and here.

Both shows were extremely good. I found the vocals a little too high in comparison to the instruments for Gord's show, but Sloan sounded very good. They've been around for 20 years so I almost forgot some the awesome tracks they have out.

The plan to serve Gord a drink fell through. If it had, it would complete my silly goal of serving my four favourite Canadian musicians an alcoholic beverage (Matthew Good, Gordie Johnson & Ian Thornley are the other members on the list). Was definitely kind of dorky-cool to have him twitter me though!

I took a few pics of both shows but was only rolling with my ipod & my blackberry so resolution isn't the greatest. I brain-farted & left my D-SLR on my desk. They say the best camera to have is the one you have with you, so I made do with the tools at hand. Pics from both shows are below.

Oh...I also booked a spur of the moment plane ticket this week. I'll tell you where and what for in my next post.

Here's some Sloan and some pics, enjoy!

Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles

Gord again...



19 October 2010

A lowly bartender fixes New Brunswick

Time/Date: 1245, 19-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

I don't really consider myself a lowly bartender. I'm actually a great bartender. And a pretty good geologist, too. But I don't often advertise the latter.

Anyway, this post is directed to the new premier, Mr. Alward, his new cabinet, and the residents of New Brunswick (and it's definitely breaking my guideline of keeping posts to ~250 words). There's a lot to take in here, so grab a coffee or tea, and get at it.

This is going to hurt for some people. I will be called bad names. I don't care. It's time to fix things 'round these parts.

How to fix New Brunswick:

Tax consumption, not income. Why should people be punished for working & earning money? For instance, in my past life, I had built up 11 weeks of lieu & vacation days that I couldn't take off due to being busy as hell. I only saw ~53% of that. The rest was taxed. On the other hand, if people want to own 3000 sq ft homes, drive large SUV's, have every consumer electronic device in their homes and boats & snowmobiles & jet-skis in their garage...TAX THOSE ITEMS!

The cure: lower income tax rates & raise the HST. Make groceries (i.e., fresh produce, bread, milk, basic ingredients, meat, cheese), clothing, books tax-exempt. Give tax breaks to those owning modest homes that are under a certain square-footage (or condo & apartment dwellers). Give tax breaks to those owning fuel-efficient vehicles. Tax the hell out of gas, electricity, booze, cigarettes, unhealthy foods. Reward good behaviour, tax bad behaviour.

Bring back user fees. Why the hell should every person in this province pay for the highway from Fredericton to Moncton? If I use a kayak from the small craft aquatic centre, I pay a fee. If I drive the New Jersey Turnpike, I pay a fee. Where is it in the New Brunswick Declaration of Human Entitlements that says we can't have toll highways? Same with ferry service; why should every taxpayer pay for that service? YOU, Mr. & Mrs Resident of NB, made the CHOICE to live where you do. We are very privileged to be provided Health Care & Education. It doesn't say anything about roads, highways, ferries or anything else.

The cure: user fees. Bring 'em in. Use the service, pay the fee.

Reduce power usage & freezing power rates. Mr. Premier, you promised a power rate freeze for three years. I don't like the idea of politicizing NB Power as it has a job to do as a business, and businesses, for morally better or for worse, seem to profit better without government interference. BUT. You promised it, and the myopic people of this province will scream bloody murder if you don't do it. Let them eat cake. Here goes...

The cure: Remember the declining block rate? Well, I have one better: Behold!! I give you the INCREASING BLOCK RATE!! Households have a block of power of 1100 kWh frozen at today's rates ($0.0985/kWh) for 3 years. Households that go over that pay a higher rate. A much higher rate. Something like $0.14/kWh). There. Rates are frozen for three years, as promised. And incentives are made for people to consume less. Truth hurts, huh?

Find a niche industry and make NB the best for it. Something like the aerospace industry for PEI. Or pharmaceuticals for Boston. Finance for Toronto. Mining & exploration for Vancouver. SOMETHING. And not call-centres. You can't draw talent & creative types to move here (or back here) with fucking call-centres.

The cure: Read Richard Florida's books: The Rise of the Creative Class, Who's Your City? and The Great Reset. Read David Campbell's blog, It's the Economy, Stupid. Realize that the old industries of forestry and fishing are behind us. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing & expecting a different result. Learn something new.

Cut costs to the civil service. Our civil service is foolishly large. I've heard something like 1 in 8 jobs in NB is a civil service job. Really? If that's true, that's probably along the same ratio Soviet Russia. Anyway, because everybody except me has a civil service job, I'm gonna get a lot of flack for this one. F**k it. So after we offer everybody we can early retirement, and put a hiring freeze on, and all that other typical "this is how we always do it" bullshit, what next? Well....

The cure: the civil service works a four-day work week. 36.5 hours per week works out to 9.125 hours per day. Office hours are now 8AM to 6PM, Monday to Thursday. Think of the electricity saved in those buildings. Think of the gas saved by not having to commute on Fridays. They joke that nothing ever gets done in a government office on Friday afternoons, now it's true! Employees don't like it? They can be given an appropriate severance package and the positions filled by people who WANT to work a four-day work week. There's an old-timey expression that should be written in the legislation for four-day work weeks: Go F**k Yourself. You're either part of the solution or part of the problem, which is it?

To my fellow residents: WE are to blame for this. You and I. Through a combination of narrow-mindedness, greed, fear, apathy and ignorance, WE let our province get like this. WE lined up with our hands out for the status quo. WE caused governments to fall over bullshit issues like toll highways and car insurance rates, while companies walked away with millions of dollars in forgivable loans and schools deteriorated. WE sat by and idly watched complete idiots get jobs & positions that they have absolutely no skills or RIGHT to do. WE spent all our money on snowmobiles & big trucks & big houses and 50" TV's and went into debt and didn't save any of our earnings.

The truth of the matter is:

You're stressed out over your shitty job? You choose to work there.

You're stressed out over home renovations? YOU made the choice to buy a house.

Kids stressing you out? That was YOUR choice to have children.

There's no jobs here in _____? YOU chose your career and YOU choose where to live.

You don't have enough money? YOU chose what to spend it on. YOU chose your employment.

The government has and always sucked? YOU CHOSE IT!!

So. As I wrote above:


That's all I can say for now.

15 October 2010

First Video Blog (where I come across as an extra for the Trailer Park Boys)

Date: 15-Oct-10

We went fishing today for the last day of salmon season on the upper SW Miramichi. I'll let the video do the work.

I apologize for swearing & being a downer in this video. Being the last day of the season and having a weather system like this blowing through really bummed me out.

Anyway, this was my first ipod video, first video blog and first youtube upload. A lot of firsts.

Enjoy. Or at least try to.

14 October 2010

Photos: Hot Hot Heat, Hey Rosetta! & Rich Aucoin

Time/Date: 1610, 14-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

Quick post for some pics from Hot Hot Heat, Hey Rosetta! & Rich Aucoin, last night at the SUB caf. All three bands put on an awesome & fun show, the acoustics sounded tight, and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Hot Hot Heat are extremely energetic on-stage (and thus difficult to photograph), and Hey Rosetta! & Rich Aucoin are soon to be Maritime fun-time institutions.

HHH really likes coming to Fredericton; After the show, several of them mentioned how they love the vibe & music scene and the scenery of the town. I agreed with them whole-heartedly.

Gord Downie is at the Playhouse on Monday night (I just spoke with him via twitter; he's the last person on my list of favourite Canadian musicians to serve drinks to). Enjoy the single from Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles.

Pics are below

(thanks to Downtown Peter Brown for shooting some pics. He's actually trained to do it. Unlike me.)

Rich Aucoin gets the crowd warmed up

Tim of Hey Rosetta!
Hey Rosetta!

13 October 2010

Creative purging

Time/Date: 13-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

I've been continuing to purge clutter from my life, albeit slowly. The first bit of trimming down clothes and unnecessary papers & such was fairly rapid & simple. Sure, it took many hours to sort through papers & files, but the process went smoothly and there were no real issues.

Since then, things have been a little more difficult, so I've been getting creative:
  • as written previously, I purchased a new ipod. It has a camera so I gave my Sony point & shoot to my parents & the Pelican case for it went to my roommate.
  • a few books have been given to friends.
  • an old cap was replaced with a new one; the old one went into the trash right at the store.
  • my girlfriend received a hoodie from my collection to keep.
  • My old desktop PC arrived in town to do some work but turned out to be useless; I'm working on a barter for that...for espressos & coffee beans.
  • Loose change is in the process of being rolled up; it will be applied to my delusional goal.
  • Spin-cast gear & lures are going to be sold on Kijiji or given away (all fly, all the time now).
I hit one minor stumbling block, though: my rugby gear. I just didn't want to get rid of it: my jerseys had sentimental value & those cleats won tournaments & championships. I mean, I might actually play again. Some day.

Or no, I won't. Tried the comeback thing, a la Guy LaFleur, last year. Didn't work so good.

And if everything meant so much to me, why was it in a pile on the concrete floor of the basement, with mould on a few things? (Side note: Hunter, the jerseys I gave you were clean. Sort of.)

"The things you own end up owning you." - Tyler Durden

So I'm taking advice from a fictional character played by Brad Pitt. Brilliant.

11 October 2010

Ipod Photos + Plastic Bullet app

Time/Date: 1900, 11-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

Here are a few pics from the Decentralized Dance Party on Saturday night taken with my ipod. This event appeared to go over extremely well, with no major incidents reported. Awesome that something new/different happened in Fredericton for the kids to enjoy (& there isn't even a shitty comment on the Gleaner's website about it...yet).

Also, I've been playing with the Plastic Bullet photo app for the ipod (get the app here); a few pics are below (original at top). It's fun but I have to master taking pics with the ipod to get the full benefit of it, me thinks...but it's worth the $1.99.

And now for some music. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

10 October 2010

The best advice for catching fall-season salmon

Time/Date: 2335, 10-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

Here's a quick post to give you the best piece of advice to increase your chances of catching a late-season Atlantic Salmon. I'm not guaranteeing that you will catch a salmon, but you'll be better off taking heed of this.

My advice is this:


Wading will be colder than a witch's tit for the last five days of fishing season on the Miramichi River.
If you dress appropriately, with multiple layers:

More comfort = less miserable = more time on the river


Here's an interview from AskAboutFlyFishing.com with Nova Scotia's Paul Marriner for tips & techniques for Atlantic Salmon.

06 October 2010

How my new ipod simplifies things a bit

Time/Date: Too late or too early, 7-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

I love my ipod(s). I'm not one of those dance by myself-types in the commercials, but there are truly deep feelings.

My first was a 20GB gen-1 purchased in Ought-Five. It got a lot of use. The second was in '08, a 16GB touch after gen-1 started freezing (note: resetting an ipod while driving: bad).

I would have kept Ipod the Second around for a long time, had it not run off with a burglar (along with a can of bear spray).

So last week Ipod the Third has entered my life; a 64GB, fourth-generation ipod touch.

"How does buying a new ipod fit into simplifying & minimalism?"

Well, after 5 days, I can tell you this:

  1. 64GB holds my entire music library. Savings: time; no need to manage the library to fit 16GB
  2. It shoots HD video. Savings: $$ & space; won't require a video recorder for fishing exploits
  3. It takes decent pictures. Savings: $$ & space; I sold my point & shoot camera and gave its now-surplus pelican case to my roommate
  4. I downloaded the free Kindle app. Savings: time, $$ & space; I read e-books, thus reducing need for trips to bookstore (gas & time) and storage for books. Plus e-book titles are cheaper, and hundreds of classic titles are available free.

Plus wifi reduces how much I carry my laptop & the calculator is great. And Flick Fishing is fun, too.

I'll be test-driving some of the cool photo apps available like Plastic Bullet (see pic below) & writing reviews in future posts.
First ipod photo; edited with Plastic Bullet.
Starring Prince the Cat

New 411#3 Logo by East Side Designs!

Time/Date: 2255, 6-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

My friend Chris Carson, who owns East Side Designs, did up a logo for 411#3! Check it out!!!

Chris does great work with web & graphic design & web-video production. He designed the logo for Lava Vodka Lounge as well:

You can check out some more of his portfolio on the East Side Designs website. For Chris' contact info, click here.

Thanks Chris!!

05 October 2010

More pics and my (delusional) goal to Keep Fishin'

Time/Date: 2240, F'ton
Location: F'ton

Below are more pics from a recent trip chasing salmon around Juniper/Deersdale.

But first.....

I have an extremely delusional goal I'm setting. I debated posting this publicly. But while reading some great posts by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits on goal setting and finding motivation to achieve that goal, I came across this:

Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.

So here goes:

This is my goal: I'm paying off a huge-ass loan. Entirely. ASAP.

Preferably over the next 87 days.

There are many financial (& logical) reasons to do this). My reason?

I want to Keep Fishin'

Enjoy the pics.

04 October 2010

The Interviewer Gets Interviewed: 13 Questions for Crash from The Fox!

Time/Date: 2125, 4-Oct-10
Location: F'ton

So...something different. Crash, aka Ryan Barton, from 105.3 The Fox mentioned on twitter that he prefers when 411#3 mentions him. My response was, "Here you go, your majesty," and gave him a whole post to himself.

Crash, bless his soul, turned out to be a little...verbose, so I'll keep the intro real short & get right to the interview. Typically he's the one asking the questions, so it's pretty cool to see his side of things

Thanks, Crash!!!

1. Why radio? Was it "I wanna be a fireman!" when younger and then you realized, "Fack, that seems to take a lot of effort, maybe radio is the way to go?"

I’m an attention whore – have been since birth I’m told – so I knew I wanted to entertain somehow; be a personality. Acting was my first dream, but radio seemed more attainable being from the Maritimes. I do still get to act occasionally, though: shout out to Travis Grant with Gradual Upgrade Productions*…he puts me in stuff, which strokes my ego….I love a good ego-stroke.

*Travis’ latest film, Paper Trail, is screening at Silverwave this year. As is a flick we did together called Let Pie Gones Be Pie Gones (about a man getting revenge on a roommate who ate his pie) - funny stuff, if I do say so myself.

2. How long have you been doing this racket? Any exposure to it prior to school/your first gig?

The Night show at the Fox was my first-ever gig. That was in 2005. Since then I’ve been given the Mid-Day show…but prior to my job here, the only exposure I had was: having an uncle in radio (Dan Barton, who now has his own consulting firm based out of Halifax). I got a tour of a radio station he worked for in Truro one time when I was younger - as it turned out, I’m now working for the company that owns that station. (Astral).

3. You must really dig the perks, huh? Tickets to shows, free food & booze, models throwing themselves at you...

Free stuff is fun...models are too, but I’m married now so I’ve had to cut down…

4. What has been the single-most awesome moment you've had while doing your thing?

This question sounds somewhat sexual…I don’t know if I’m comfortable answering it.

5. Have you seen any really weird shit that you wouldn't or couldn't talk about on your show?

I’ll talk about pretty much anything on my show, but sometimes I do need to find a way to edit what I might have seen to be more “listener friendly.” I enjoy that, though; it pushes me to creatively find a way to keep the story intact without losing the funny…or weird, or whatever.

6. Any real negatives to being the super-cool radio guy?

Certain bartenders/geologists/bloggers hijacking my interviews with pseudo –celebrities just so they can be connected to me…it’s tiresome…

(Mat's note: That hurts...more on that subject below.)

Actually, it’s pretty awesome being me… now I look like an egomaniac…which I am, but you never want to blatantly show people that…*sigh…

For real, though, the only negative I can think of is the tendency for really good music to become boring to me. When you start hearing it every day, even the best song ever written is one you don’t care to hear.

7. You have a fairly significant online presence on Twitter & you blog fairly consistent as well. Do you think social media gets people listening to your show? Have you ever gotten any resistance to using social media from the higher-ups or the old guard, or are they pretty on-board with it?

I certainly hope it gets people to listen; if nothing else, it makes people aware of my show and the type of personality I bring to the radio.

I’ve called twitter my stream of consciousness, meaning: If I think it, I’ll put it there. It’s almost a breeding ground for the material I use on the air. The 140 character limit forces me to perfect the thought or joke so I get the meaning across without overselling it; therein translating to something concise I can use on my show. It’s a great way to self-edit.

The “higher-ups”, as you called them, see the internet as an important marketing tool for the station. As a personality on their radio station, if I’m using Twitter or even Facebook, which I tend to keep fairly personal (The Fox has a page that I use to interact with listeners), to reach potential listeners it free marketing which can translate to advertising dollars. The fact that my blog now has a home on The Fox website is proof to me that Astral is serious about the internet being a great pair with radio and that social media is definitely cool with them.

8. How much difference is there between the Crash we hear on-air & the Crash at home? Have you ever said "this dinner is brought to you by _____" to the Mrs.?

My personality is my personality; not even my wife can escape my ridiculousness, haha. However, at home I tend to be a bit more reserved and quiet. Despite being very social, I enjoy “me time” …but it’s not long before the attention-whore is on the corner looking for tricks…so to speak.

Erin (my wife) could probably tell you better, but what you see is what you get. I do definitely ham it up at home, especially in front of others, which I think is part of why she married me; I make her laugh, which is something that brings me joy.  I’ve always wanted to be in a sitcom, and sometimes I treat my life like that…as if there’s a studio audience watching – Erin has actually said to me, on more than one occasion: “stop performing for the audience…there’s no one watching you.” Haha. I love her for it; she totally knows me.

9. What do you really think of Canadian Content Laws for broadcasters? Does Rush really have to get played that much?

I think there’s so much music coming from Canada that the Can-Con rule (That Canadian music stations must play a minimum of 35% Canadian material) is probably unnecessary in a sense. That being said, it existing ensures that at least 35% is homegrown talent, which is an opening for local stuff that may otherwise be closed because of an international act that has a bigger audience. I’m proud to work for a station that supports local & Maritime talent; some of my overall faves are from the East Coast.

Also, I have no problem with Rush. They got snubbed again for the Rock N Roll Hall of fame. Like ‘em or not, they’re unbelievable musicians and Canadian icons.

Lava. Where politics & Nickelback's
popularity are debated.
10. We've discussed our disdain for Nickelback before over drinks at Lava. In your mind, are there any other bands moving into that commercially successful & overplayed & semi-selling out phase? Kings of Leon are there for me right now.

This is a tough one to answer (Good question, by the way). I thought Only By The Night was a fantastic album. Did its singles get overplayed? Probably, but that’s the nature of popular music.

The goal of a musician, at least from my perspective, is to have their music shared by as many people as possible. Radio is a fantastic way to reach people that otherwise will have never heard of your music. If having people like your stuff is selling out, well…who wouldn’t want to sell-out? I think the tricky part, for an artist, is keeping integrity intact by further experimenting with their music, building on what they’ve done and pushing themselves to new levels while trying not to “beat a dead horse” musically speaking. If one song makes you popular the goal would be to try and emulate that success, but not to completely copy it. If every song sounds the same, that’s boring for me as a music fan because I feel like I’ve heard it already. I’d like to think artists feel the same way and wouldn’t want to be pigeon-holed. That’s where my dislike (not necessarily disdain) for Nickelback comes from.

Chad Kroeger found a way to write music millions of people enjoy. Good for him. To me, though, it seems like since How You Remind me was a hit, every other single and hit has sounded just like that for the most part. I admit to enjoying their first couple albums: Curb is a bit of a post-grunge guilty pleasure, and I thought The State was a more polished version of that sound. Silver Side Up was released and they achieved massive success. After that I feel like the material kind of hits a plateau (or a valley depending on how you prefer to look at it) and never really moves beyond it, which is unfortunate. It’s probably coincidence that this happened at the same time as they gain success.

It’s a personal thing. I don’t have anything against those that like Nickelback’s music – though I may joke about it from time to time…the band’s an easy target because they’re so polarizing, so it’s fun – but I’ve never really been a fan of the type of music which Nickelback seem to have aligned themselves with at this point. Their latest album, Dark Horse (and yes, I’ve heard the whole thing), has 2 types of songs: dirty, innuendo-laden let’s-get-drunk-and-party songs, or cheesy ballads. That sums up the basic formula for stuff I’ve never really enjoyed, no matter who is or was singing it. I prefer something a little deeper lyrically. That said, I think Nickelback is a band of great musicians and talented song-writers who know how to put on a show (yes, I’ve seen them perform and I enjoyed it; sue me…please don’t sue me.)

A band being popular is no reason to dislike them. I believe the music (lyrics, style, etc) is what should be the basis for opinion; not the fame.

11. What is the one band or album people should totally check out right now?

This is another tough question. It’s tough to pinpoint my favorites because I listen to so much different music. The nature of my job brings a lot of new stuff to my attention, which is part of why I love doing what I do: music – good music – excites me. So, with that in mind, my choice of what to listen to “right now” will likely be different by the time this is posted.

(Mat's note: I work at the Speed of Mat. This was posted within 2 hours of me returning to cell service from fly fishing)

However, you want an answer so…

Lately, I’ve been really enjoying Stone Sour’s new album, Audio Secrecy. I think it’s some of the best stuff they’ve done and it’s certainly the most musical album they’ve put out. It’s funny, this could relate back to your previous question. Some might find they’ve gone soft or too commercial on this one, where as I think of it as real growth for the band. It’s definitely a darker album; more reflective than Come What(ever) May, but the quiet moments are haunting and beautiful. I think Corey Taylor has a great voice and it’s showcased really well. However, they’ll kick the s**t out of your ear drums on the heavy stuff too; it’s a nice blend. It might not be for everyone, but it’s stuck in my head at the moment, so that’s your answer, haha.

Also, and I know this is cheating because you said “one” but, check out Wasn’t Meant to Be by Matt Mays, he shares some great company toward the top of my favorites list and this song’s well worth the $0.99 download.

12. How shitty was I in my cameo on Pauly Shore's interview? In my defense, I was focused on driving...and tired...a bit under the weather...and put on the spot...

Cameo? More like a gentle hijacking…either way, quit whining; you were fine…y’know, in a really shitty kind of way… haha.

(Mat's note: You can listen to the interview here. I had a speakerphone pushed in front of my face by Pauly while driving. I used to really enjoy working in the background. I may return to that M.O.)

13. Who's been your absolute, 100% favourite interviewee? Do you ever get a little star-struck when meeting musicians?

Hands down, my favourite interview to date has been with Mike Inez of Alice in Chains. He was completely down-to-earth and very open with his responses. The best interviews are those that just seem like a conversation and that’s what it was with him. I think I got about 10 minutes with him; all of which was interesting. Plus he’s in one of my favorite bands.

I wouldn’t say I get too star-struck…it’s strange, because I think I would be, but then I meet them and I realize, they’re just people. I’m more embarrassed that sometimes I don’t have much to say to them other than: “hey, I like your music…will you sign my CD?”

Bonus: I usually throw a youtube video of a band at the end of posts. What do you want to see/hear for tunes at the end of this??

As stated, he’s one of my faves and stuff like this is why:

Thanks again, Crash. See you soon at Lava!

03 October 2010

Authors that matter: John Gierach

Time/Date: 1730, 03-Oct-10
Location: F'ton (Snooty Fox, to be precise)

If you have ever opened a book or magazine about fly fishing, you have probably seen John Gierach's name. He is a legend of the fly fishing world, and his writings on the lifestyle & techniques of fly fishing are nothing but brilliant.

John Gierach is an author of over 15 books, editor-at-large of Fly Rod & Reel and contributor to Gray's Sporting Journal. Midcurrent.com has a great profile of him here.

Some classic Gierach quotes:

"If nothing else, a road trip amounts to several days of running conversation with friends, and since good conversation is so hard to come by these days, that in itself, is worth the effort."

In the Autumn 2010 issue of Fly Rod & Reel, John writes on steelheading:
"Whatever the reason, when you become a steelheader you've either joined an elite class of anglers with heightened sensibilities or you've entered the lunatic fringe of a periphery: a place where voluntarily peeing in your waders indicates a strong work ethic."

Where is was said when someone asked if John was truly a trout bum: "Hey John, how can a guy driving a smokey ol' pickup, wearing raggedy clothes can afford such snazzy fly fishing gear?"
Gierach replied, "I think it should be obvious."

Gierach provided commentary on the AEG film Metalhead (which is awesome, btw); afterwards, Jay of (the group formerly known as) AEG did a fun interview with John on his iphone and posted it: