You can never go back, no matter how much you want to.
Every experience moves you forward, for better or for worse.
You’re not the same person you were five seconds ago.
You’ll never be the same.
We all came here, fueled on hopes and dreams.
We all came here, hoping for a change.
We all came here, thinking we’d get noticed.
But you can’t be creative and open in a city full of unscrupulous egos, douchebags afraid to bare anything other than what they THINK will make them popular.
In a way, even if you can’t go back, the past follows you. You never leave high school. The popular kids will always be, even if the cast shifts with the seasons.
You get your awards and accolades. But who wants the valedictorian over head cheerleader? Chess club president over star QB, scouted and promised a bright and affluent future, while the intellects are left to statistics and assumptions, ultimately to fend for themselves?
Try as you might, you won’t fit in. Maybe you’ll luck out and find that one thing that gets you status by default. People will still find every reason not to accept you, but your name will be on their lips in passing conversation; perhaps they’ll love to hate you, or simply love you for the very reason they used to hate you.
The rest of us will remain in this shadowy pit, clawing at the walls as we scramble to find a way out, a path that leads us into the light. We’ll sit, innovate, come up with a million brilliant solutions… but once we reach the surface, get a taste of the wonderful rays our vitamin D starved bodies crave, we’ll be pushed right back down again, while the day monsters remain on top, going through the motions, hoping to feel something, someday.
And in the end, we’ll learn to love our pale existence, we’ll have to enjoy the eternal night, settle for what we can get.
In order to keep our sanity… we will.
Buy great holiday music, help kids!
Chicoa had the privilege of being selected for the Safety Harbor Kids' 2009 charity album, alongside some amazing artists, including Billy Idol and Sheila E.!
Check out the info here:
And add them on Myspace and Facebook here:
Be sure to pick up a copy for your family, friends, office, etc., and listen to it every day, knowing that your purchase made a difference in the lives of orphaned and homeless children in the Safety Harbor Kids program!
Please forward this to everyone you know, so the Safety Harbor Kids foundation can sell some albums and get a little extra money to make these kids' holidays a little bit brighter!
The Los Angeles BCAM's debut!
This has to be one of the best gigs I've ever played!
First of all, awesome WVers Jay Golden
and Asha Mevlana
were there, as well as Benedikt
, who I knew from the Foo Fighters audition on YouTube.
So, the event was the gala opening of a new art building for the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art. This gala was being held in an incredible 4 story tent, and the guest list included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Antonio Villaraigosa (mayor of LA), Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes (did she keep her last name?) and Prince Albert.
Before my group went on, Lionel Ritchie took the stage and fired the crowd up. In the meantime, we were backstage getting our makeup done. In this instance, pictures speak louder than words:
The plan: 26 bald redheaded violinists play Kashmir on red violins, each on their own individual pedestal with their own spotlight, like a living art gallery.
Unfortunately, the violins were, I've been told, $30 cost, and reflected that in their quality. They seemed to be pretty much plastic, and many came with the wrong strings, often in the wrong pegs, and most strings were kinked to the point of breaking. The bridges didn't have notches for strings, and no one could find a pickup on the thing ANYWHERE, despite having both 1/4 and 1/8 jacks. The violin:
The pedestals we stood on were set up 13 and 13 on either side of a raised walkway with a red carpet outside the tent, extending from the enormous curtain that made the tent's back wall, which also happened to be the back of the stage for the bands inside. When our call time came, we situated ourselves on the pedestals, facing this enormous curtain, and the show began.
Inside the tent, a band was lowered from the ceiling on a large moving platform, as they played the opening notes of Kashmir. Meanwhile, our shadows were projected from outside the tent onto the curtain in front of us, which was behind the band inside. When they got to the climax of the piece, there was a huge flash of lights and the curtain fell to reveal the 26 redheaded violinists outside the tent. The crowd went wild! People dropped their glasses and stood in surprise.
After Kashmir, we played a version of the song created to perform in a loop, while the party-goers walked down the walkway into the new art gallery behind us. I was right by the walkway, so I got to stare down a lot of people. I'd get over the spotlight and look insane as I madly played, and most of the people would laugh and applaud me.
However, when Tom and Katie walked by, Tom wouldn't even look, and Katie watched for a few seconds, then turned and walked quickly away. Haha, I scared Katie Holmes! Sheesh, it was a modern art show! And I was the art!
While I was playing, the chinrest fell off my violin - THAT was fun! I still have a mark on my collarbone from trying to hold it up for 30 minutes. After playing with a Viper for so long, that's not even something you ever want to have to deal with!
After the gig was actually the best part. I went home with my makeup on. I rendered a cop speechless and this man ran from me to try and catch the elevator before I caught up. When I got in the elevator with him, he didn't know what to say, so he awkwardly asked me if I'd been in my makeup long, then dashed out the second the door opened!
The only part of the night that wasn't fun was trying to get the makeup off!
An official article on the event: http://www.latimes.com/
Rock on (in red
Highlights of this year's NAMM show!
-Shocking people at Coffin Case, Krank and Orange with what a violin can do (and discovering some pretty rad products in the process!)
-The fourth year for the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra!
-All the awesome fans who supported the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra!
-Crashing the exhibitor computers with anal porn.
-Meeting and hanging out with all sorts of awesome rawkstars, from Mark Mendoza of Twisted Sister and Alex Skolnick of Testament/Alex Skolnick Trio to members of Billy Idol, Grim Reaper and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
-Getting a first look at new Wood Violins products, such as Mark Wood's new instructional book and the new SV-4 line!
All in all, I think this was the best NAMM ever! Thanks to all of you who came down and supported us!
One of the most amazing experiences of my life was yesterday, in the Cinco de Mayo performance I had in Calexico... Mariachi Divas and Mariachi Vargas. Being in Divas has humbled me beyond belief. I've realized being just a violinist isn't enough. All those years wasted when my mom told me I HAD to focus on just one thing. Mariachis are masters of everything, from their instrument to singing to performance to everyone else's shit.
We performed La Negra on stage with Vargas, fireworks bursting behind us, as the show closer. Despite the language barrier, I played alongside a violnist and was able to just be myself, without worrying about translation, because music ascends all boundaries. I'll remember that moment for a long, long time...
First off, thank you to everyone who supported the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra at our shows last week! We had AMAZING turnouts, and we'd like to thank each and every one of you for coming to see us!
The Mark Wood Rock Orchestra, headed by Mark Wood
Viper: Haydn Viterra
, Katie Jacoby
, Katy Alexander, Owen B
, Jay Dutka
, me, with guest Viper Antonio Pontarelli
Other guests included the amazing vocals of Laura Kaye
, 11 year old Elijah Wood on drums, and guitarists Chris Caffery and Mark Hitt
The rest of the band: Dave Lewitt on drums, Sean Meagher
on keys, Jon Bivona
on guitar and Paul Ranieri
This year's NAMM was fantastic! As you can see from my gallery, we had two great shows, and a ton of fun! We had a few VIPS at the Wood Violins booth/in the MWRO audience as well:
-Kerry Livgren from Kansas – he's responsible for writing "Carry On My Wayward Son"
-Patrick Moraz, the keyboardist from YES
-Mark "The Animal" Mendoza, the bassist from Twisted Sister
-Napoleon Murphy Brock from Zappa
-Chester Thompson (Zappa, Weather Report, Genesis)
-Eric Bloom from Blue Oyster Cult
-Lonn Friend (editor of RIP Magazine and author or "Life on Planet Rock")
Metal Sanaz was around to interview Mark Wood about his company, Wood Violins!!! Also, Bono heard Viper player Owen B shredding, and had to investigate! He loved Owen's crazy shredding - and his Viper!
For more pictures from NAMM, check out these links:
Wayne Dennon Photography
Mark Wood Music