Jan 6, 2017

Chugging Along in 2017

Alright fellow Pounderers, now that all of the smoke has cleared from your New Year's festivities and the last remaining mystery from the night is whose idea it was to bring a party donkey, life has hopefully begun to return to something a little more normal for you.  We can keep the donkey thing between the two of us, at least until all the charges are dropped.  We don't judge around here.  In case you didn't know, unlike the inflatable kind, real donkeys can become unpredictable when they drink.  I think most people would understand why you both had awful hangovers, and why your New Year's Resolution is what it is.

NyQuil was the drug of choice at the Shelton household New Year's Eve as I chose to be sick that entire weekend. Waterworks, not fireworks ruled the night.  The kind that drip from your nose.  You know, the sexy kind.  While I did miraculously stay up to see midnight even after believing I might not see nine o' clock, I did not see twelve thirty.  Now Monica is sick. I made it look so damned cool she wanted to get in on the action.  Maybe we'll be done with all of that for the rest of 2017 and we can focus on world domination, horror movies and Mexican food. Our desires are simple, you see.

Dec 31, 2016

Adios 2016 and Hello, Future!

As I sit here in my adult pajamas with an empty coffee cup beside me contemplating what has transpired over the last year I am left with a feeling that is both strange and new.  I know this feeling is not purely a reflection of the last three hundred sixty six days ( this was a Leap Year, after all ) but more of a certain style of communicating that has spilled over from one segment of our daily lives and infected nearly every nook and cranny of popular culture.   This bizarre sensation is a mix of disdain and cautious optimism.  Out of respect for the human condition I will try to contain my delight while slamming the door on how things have been, and tossing the key into a pit of fire.  But likewise I will temper my optimism regarding our future with a dose of reality.  The "pathologically dissatisfied" will always find a way to ruin everything for everyone else.  They can even ruin music.  In fact I think it's fair to say they have been trying to ruin music in much the same way they have ruined film making.  Everything has to have a deep message and as such, everything within their reach has been politicized.  They are incapable of affecting the world with anything they might be able to engineer, so they flex their muscle by feigning outrage until those who can produce are so hampered by fear of retaliation from The Mob that they become effectively paralyzed.  If you have wondered why life isn't as much fun as it used to be, you can thank those people.  That dynamic will always exist.  Not everyone wants that, though.  Some of us just want to create some music and mirth.  What makes this day different for me personally is that for the first time in my adult life I actually have a little hope that light will be shined on the dubious intent of those who make up The Mob.  

Dec 24, 2016

Metal Christmas!

Okay, which of you was the wise guy who flipped everyone's calendar several months ahead to December? Are we experiencing the "dog year" effect where time moves seven times faster than usual? That could explain the new body aches and the inability to remember anything that happened more than thirty seconds ago.  Short term memory is for losers anyway, right?  Oooh, that reminds me... I need to write a Happy Holidays post at The Poundry. 

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and happy times to all who curse under their lips during this occasionally irritating time of year.  Hopefully watching other people enjoy themselves will take a little of the pain away as "Santa Baby" grinds its way through your head for the thousandth time this month.  Seeing people who mean something to you is nice this time of year but most every thing else can get old fast.  I feel ya'!

Be well, be safe, and keep it interesting! 

Nov 19, 2016

Why Yes, I Do Accept Bribes... I Mean "Donations"

In early September I had an opportunity to do something I had never considered when I started playing drums.  I was asked if I might be interested in being one of three judges at Guitar Center's annual Drum Off at their Raleigh store.  I was honored to be considered but I wanted them to know what they were getting, or maybe it would be more appropriate to say, what they were not getting with me.  After clarifying that not knowing a damned thing about music theory or having even a remedial understanding of drumming concepts would not be deal breakers, I told them they could count me in.  I was happy to feel as though I was contributing to the local music scene in a different capacity.  And who hasn't wondered what it might be like to have on nothing more than a long, black robe and tennis shoes?  Plus, I get to be called "Judge Shelton" and "your Honor" now.  I can work with titles like that!

Nov 13, 2016

A Diamond in the Rough Mix, Part Deux

As the first day of recording Loincloth's second album drew to a close I felt as though things had gone quite well at Pershing Hill Sound.  Thankfully, I don't get anxious before going into the studio anymore.  I have accepted the fact that there will always be a part of me that feels ill prepared, and that things beyond my control might, and probably will happen.  All you can do in those situations is to roll with the changes.  I was bolstered by Tannon's excitement as he heard many of my ideas for the very first time while "tape" was rolling.  For him, Loincloth has been nothing more than endless guitar files since we finished writing everything in Richmond last year.  He needed to have his pilot flame reignited.  I was confident that would happen, and when it did I appreciated his enthusiasm.  Since he and I have ended up having the greatest veto power it was nice to see him smiling like a kid in a candy store.  It was too late to make any significant changes, so seeing his approval turn into giddy excitement was a relief.  When I was a kid I never had a cheering section to push me along. That is one thing he and Monica are both great at, and it makes a difference.  I hope all of you have cheerleaders among your friends and family.  Not the ones who throw a beer bong in your face and yell "Chug! Chug!", but the ones who really hope you do well in life.  Maybe being the beer bong champion means a lot to you.  We don't judge around here.  Not unless you suck.

Nov 10, 2016

A Diamond in the Rough Mix

The dust has finally settled at Pershing Hill Sound after three intense days of recording drums for the next Loincloth album in our endless pursuit of sublimely twisted metal.  My monster drum kit and I set up camp in Master Greg Elkins' studio to lay down the beats that could potentially lead the world to a better place for all humanity.  A place where drummers are the ones who get the lead roles in movies talking about snares that go "up to eleven" and singers are those who spontaneously combust onstage. A world where gingers like myself have songs sung about them instead of being ridiculed for their superior intelligence and intimidating good looks.  A world where percussive brilliance buys access to the highest levels of power.  A Stevetopia where tolerance for all is based upon one hundred percent acceptance of my ideas and only those fools who disagree are led to reeducation camps, or shamed into silence.  That is the scale of Loincloth's dream, and as of two weeks ago the world is one step closer to its realization.

Oct 30, 2016

The Pershing Hill Sessions

Well hot damn ladies and germs, the day we have all been waiting for has arrived!  The drum tracking sessions for the new Loincloth album have begun!  No doubt an important topic, perhaps The Topic at dinner tables across the fruited plains, Sheltonian drumming will impact us all whether we are made aware of it or not.  As a nation we all wait with baited breath as the blueprint for future progress and the evolution of mankind is laid down in a humble but well equipped studio near central Raleigh.  Let's see where history files this new release in the Museum of Things that Changed the Trajectory of Mankind. It should go something like this: First there would be fire, that's a given.  Everyone from gourmet chefs and Richard Pryor on down to angry mobs needs fire.  Hell, Frankenstein would still be around were it not for fire.  You have to be careful though.  A wise man once said "Fire burn."  Then you'd have the wheel, without which we'd all have to carry our cars on our backs, and that would be an unbelievable strain on us all.  Can you imagine trying to parallel park a car without wheels?  After that there would be "the interwebs".  How else could billions of people share photos of cats, their twelfth selfie of the day and pornographic material?  And then the biggie, Loincloth's second album.