Sample The Martian's Blog

Hamtramck Music Fest - Angel of Mars

I had the pleasure of going to see Angel of Mars at the Hamtramck Music Fest last night. Sometimes for me music is purely emotional. Sometimes its all thought and other times its spiritual. This show was all three of those things. I was able to catch 3 bands at the Sanctuary but I'll get to that in a moment. With music there are so many things to know about. From theory, to gear, to who has played with who in which bands and which recordings etc. Its all interconnected in intricate patterns. One of the guitarists in Angel of Mars played the intro and outro for the very beloved Sample the Martian song: Box at the End. (Thank you everyone who enjoys that song). That would be Andy Gould playing a PRS. His wife, Terrianne Gould is on vocals, and guitar (playing a Gibson SG). Rich Hartwick who also plays in a band Rabbit Ears is on bass (Plays an Eastwood) and Angelina Manly (who played with Broadzilla). When I walked in they were doing their sound check and Angelina was playing some massive blast beats. It was a treat for me to see that. I didn't get a sense that she was showing off on purpose - but it was amazing. It takes a lot for a drummer to really grab my attention. Not just speed and accuracy but also feelign and diversity. I don't know for sure but I'd guess that she could rip out something in 13/16 time like it was nothing and make it sound like it was as natural as 4/4.

The set was great. If you are familiar with subgenres like doom, stoner, sludge - its definitely that. There are also some really great time shifts and tempo changes. The grooves are solid - the layers make it really shine. There is a lot to disect. Its a unique take on these elements and I'd definitely recommend checking them out live when they play in October - but also hunt down their songs as they become available. I'm positive that they knew that their final song was a crowd pleaser. It definitely left us wanting more. Here is their setlist.

1. Solstice rising
2. Siren in Scorpio
3. What would your angel do
4. Moon water
5. Petey
6. Dance of the luminous crone
7. Through the looking Glass

It is also worth noting that as I approached the venue I met Kristin (ThunderQueen). She plays drums in Warhorses. Even though I had to work at 6am I needed to see some of their set - and I'm glad that I did. They were very theatrical and brought wonderful stage energy. The guitarist had lots of chops that grabbed my ear. I need to dig in more to this band. I feel like an ass writing such a short bit on such a cool group. But hopefully "More will be revealed.

The 2nd band that played was Dr. Wolf's Cult of Kings. They played a Ween cover of Tried and True. They were more of a jam band. I enjyoed their set quite a bit. I also heard them mention Marquette. Since I lived there for 5 years late youth I had to pay a little extra attention based on that. There was some intense soloing and one of the guitar players broke the thick E string. I don't see that often. That comes from playing your ass off of course.

I haven't been to as many local/indie shows since the pandemic. This is proof that I need to do this more. Especially when I can enjoy the whole night and not work. I had an amazing time.

Posted: 08/13/2022 @ 09:39 AM

6 Sides of Sickness

My boy 6Cide just dropped 4 tracks on youtube. Please go check them out. Let them seep into your soul (as if you will have a choice). His words are deep.

Calm Down Relax Official Audio

New Strain Official audio

Borrowed Time Official Audio

Shampoo Official Audio

Posted: 08/02/2022 @ 09:40 AM

Plugin Nightmares

For anyone that works on music with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) or looper you will have no doubt used VSTs, VSTi's or plugins of some sort. Depending on what you want to call them. So for us dinosaurs - I started writing some music many moons ago on old software. Some of it has been updated. Other pieces of software have become extinct. I think most anyone who takes their music seriously wants their source files - in case they want to tweak anything, remix, or even just to generate instrumentals for live stuff. If you are a musician and you ever collaborate either in a studio or with other musicians. ALWAYS get the source files, stems and a or save files for the specific application that it was used in.

So one of the issues that I've faced is that I used a Sony Track EQ from Acid Music Studio 5.0 on a lot of Fruit Loops projects. This is an old 32 bit plugin. I actually own Sony Acid Pro 6. But Fruity Studio can't find the Track EQ if I install 6.0. It has to do with the software's name being changed from Acid Music Studio to Sony Acid Pro. So - anyhow - in trying to get everything compatible with the newer DAWs. There are a lot of issues. I have lots of old projects that I've never finished. I don't want to lose that stuff. Some of it is worth converting to newer project types. Some of it isn't. It is a lot of work.

The good news is I have been working on finishing more music. I've put more time into working on new material than I have in a long time. Some of what I'm working on has a learning curve where I need to re-learn something. Other stuff is like jumping into a comfy pair of pants from years ago. (fresh out the dryer of course)

Posted: 07/03/2022 @ 11:01 AM

The Days Pass - Will You?

I'm 100% that I need to update this more. I've been working on music for about a month or so pretty consistently. I've been doing it a long time so a lot of the software that I started using is old and no longer viable. So in order to continue some of the demos that I started back whenver . . . I need to update a few things and get it all sorted. I've been practicing, writing, working with my kids to help perfect some stuff. I have also been working with this really cool musician who now lives on the west coast. He goes by 6cide. I feel like our styles really compliment each other well. We have similar threads in what we do - but we are also different enough to make it more interesting when we combine. Below is a track that we did together.

Listen here ---> Creative Linking on Bandcamp.

This song actually goes back a LONG time. I started it with someone who was really talented both as a rapper and as an artist in general. His mind worked unlike anyone else that I ever met. I can't actually even explain what happened between him and I because I don't know. One day I was just no longer welcome in his life. Normally if I burn a bridge - I know why. his time - I had no idea at all. So. The song evolved. I tried getting a few MCs to write the other parts with me. . . and it just never came to fruition.

My story with 6cide goes back a ways. I can't tell you the exact date but sometime before 2010 I think? He hit me up via e-mail and he was very supportive. I knew that he wrote too - I always considered him someone with amazing talent. So once he was ready to collab with me - I was very inspired. He is someone that has heard more of my unreleased stuff than most. I think Joe, 6cide and Ashley (not in any order) have heard more stuff than anyone else. Years ago - shortly after Self-Made Loner came out - I made a group on fb called the inner cabal or something. 6cide was in that group then.

My daughter asked me - if I was ever going to do music again where I did my songs in front of people. She said she would really like that. That brings a happy tear to my eye. I don't push my music onto my kids - its an odd balance I guess. The music world is really weird. For me its been full of high highs and really low lows. Like when you do everything you can to put together a show and 3 people show up. . . or other times I would just do a show and lots of people would come out. I don't want them to ever have to experience the difficulty of all that so I kind of steer them away from music in that way. So its cool that they like it organically. ~eMpyre ramireX

Posted: 06/20/2022 @ 01:43 PM