Thursday, September 29, 2011

Haunting Video: "Hobo Blues' - John Lee Hooker

For this week, I chose this dark and moody piece by blues master John Lee Hooker. Done the only way Hooker liked it; solo.

This song was recorded live among dozens of songs by the blues legends of the time (Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, etc) in 1965 and was released as "The American Folk Blues Festival".

This song just gives you that lonesome feeling and the guitar playing is impeccable.

Have a good weekend!

The "Lebanon Blues" Advertisement

Before you all get thinking this is about blues music, no, it's actually a TV ad promoting Lebanon by the Ministry of Tourism, with ImpactBBDO producing:

As a Lebanese, this ad is a pretty cool concept, but I think if they showed the dude checking his pockets to see if he has any money left from his trip, then he would REALLY know what the blues is.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Remembering Miles Davis after 20 Years of his Passing

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of late great jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, who died on the 28th of September, 1991.

There's a great article at Jazzwise that briefly discusses some of Mile's (and there have been many) exploits.

From the article:

"It was 20 years ago today that Miles Davis died, a momentous day that made news around the world, and one that saw the passing of one of the greatest figures in 20th century music, a man whose album Kind of Blue is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest jazz album ever made, and one whose career saw groundbreaking changes in style and idiom that influenced both his own musical development and that of his bands, jazz in all his forms, and music in general."

A big salute to Miles, and here's a joke that sheds light on just how big Miles was:

A Jazz musician dies and goes to heaven. Once in heaven, he is invited by St. Peter to the monthly heaven Jam session with other Jazz Musicians.

Once he attends he notices that the players include Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Frank Sinatra, George Shearing, 'Trane, Bing and many more. They start the session of with a amazing take on Oleo, and continue on with Giant Steps, Donna Lee, Body & Soul and finish with East St. Louis Toodle-oo. The musican is very happy, but then spots a black trumpet player in the corner on his own.

"Who's that?" Asks the Musician to St. Peter.

"Oh never mind him" Replies St. Peter, "It's just God, he thinks he's Miles Davis."

My new Office PC!

Goddamn it's finally good to get a new PC for work. 

Got this sweet Dell tower:

Looks kinda like a server!

Fooling around with new Dynamic Views

Just testing... don't be alarmed.

Actually it's pretty cool...

Will make up my mind later. EDIT: Nope... back to old design.

Upcoming Gig: 06/10/11 - Mojolaters Blues Band

Just to let everyone up to speed, the Mojolaters Blues Band will be performing on the 6th of October at the Rotana Manshar Hotel - Fahaheel.

It will be a more rockin' show this time (of course the blues will still be the main influence).

Check out the flyer for the show (click for large image), where I look very excited obviously. Call for reservations at 23931000.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reading while Driving

Here's a major reason why there are many accidents and deaths on the streets of Kuwait:

Sorry for the quality but I didn't want to be seen as some perverted stalker.

So stop asking yourself why this happens and accept the fact; some people don't care about their lives or the lives of others.

Unless of course there's like a really interesting article in that magazine...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fake or not? "Islamic Whiskey"

My dad (always the joker) sent me this forward; I've never heard of this lady (Salwa Muteiri). Apparently she's into all that natural herbal mumbo jumbo; and she "created" an Islamic Whiskey (natural drink made from herbs that gives a "euphoric" effect.)

There's more crap to read but I was on the floor laughing so honestly I didn't read the whole thing. I saw something about a cigarette too in there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Think you can play like the 'Trane?

Here's an animated songsheet for John Coltrane's classic, and one of the most difficult jazz standards ever, "Giant Steps". It is considered to be one of the most challenging songs to improvise over due to the complicated nature of the chord changes.

Enjoy and have a good weekend!

Solo starts at 00:35.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Exclusive: Sex Education Bus in Kuwait Coming Soon Near You!

Or could it be the local Bang Bus (only a few will understand that reference... hats off to you, you bastards :P )

So my good buddy Jihad (AKA Mojojojo) took this pic, which is what we call in the internet world an EPIC WIN.

Feast your eyes on this ladies and gents... and heads WILL roll.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rare Find: Old Version Fender Bass Strings!

In late 2008, Fender outsourced their string production. This led to a redesigned packaging but also altered the sound.

I prefer Fender strings; I tried everything from D'addario to Rotosound to GHS to DR, and I just like the tone and feel of Fenders.

My usual setup are Fender Flatwounds ML and Nickelplated Steel ML. But since the shift, I didn't like the new sounds. So I stockpiled what I could, as the old models are no longer for sale online.

Lo and behold... I was in Dawliah yesterday and I found this:

Obviously they still have some old stuff as they don't sell that much... well I got lucky because these are the stock stings that came on most Fender basses before the shift... the ones with black silk ends:

It's like finding treasure (sort of). I already strung up my blonde P-Bass with 'em and will use it for practice sessions and the upcoming gig with The Mojolaters Blues Band.

People DO get lucky sometimes!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (1936-2011): RIP


Another sad loss to the blues happened on 16th September... the great blues drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith died in his Chicago home.

He was most well known for being the drummer of blues legend Muddy Waters for more than 15 years, and until he passed away he was recording albums and performing.

Smith was named the Blues Music Awards drummer of the year 12 times between 1996 and 2010, of which he won consecutively from 1996-99 and from 2002-09.

He will be sorely missed. He're a taste of his drum skills:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beirut Jazz Festival 2011 - features Marcus Miller, others

The Beirut Jazz Festival kicks off from September 30 - October 8, 2011 at the Beirut Souks in Downtown.

The extensive line up is below:

MARCUS FREAKIN' MILLER?! Damn I would love to be there... one of the legendary bassists ever.

I envy my friends and anyone who will be there.

But I have an excuse... I have a gig myself here on the 6th of October (more on that in a different post).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday B.B. King!!

On this day in 1925, Riley B. King, AKA B.B. King, was born in Mississippi.

He's one of the only "blues masters" still alive and kicking, and still performing regularly.

I dedicate his own song to him on this day.

Hope for many more years with the Blues!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Video: INTENSE Free Jam of "My Favorite Things" - John Coltrane

I won't get bored of Coltrane, neither should you. This is one intense version of this classic, almost as if the musicians are on a different plane in time.

Enjoy it, and hope your weekend is just as intense!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September, 52 years ago: "Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet"

It was a good time to be in Jazz back in the mid-50's.

This album released in September 1959, is one the four albums recorded in marathon sessions by then quintet: Miles Davis- trumpet; John Coltrane- tenor saxophone; Red Garland- piano; Paul Chambers- bass; Philly Joe Jones- drums.

These sessions were tame compared to the later experiments of Miles and Coltrane; the songs are mostly covers of standards with a couple of originals.

It still gives the sounds of the early bop days; but it's definitely worth picking up.

Here's a track off the album:

1st Ring Road - Package Two Ready for Tendering

The First Ring Road's Second Package is now up for tendering:

The First Ring Road's development is to be of 3 parts; the first being worked on now. The second will extend the road from Parliament and the Gulf Road, and the third towards Sharq.

As per the official website of the First Ring Road development, the first package's site works began on 10 June, 2006, and the contract marks a date of completion of 1,400 days.

1,400 / 365 = 3.8 (we will round it up to 4).

There's more than a years worth of delay in the first package already, and as I read in Al-Qabas, the set date for the end of the year to hand it over to the Ministry seems to be not possible.

So how long will this package take?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Comment: WTF

Just another day driving in Kuwait:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chocolate... Made from Camel Milk?!

I was in Dubai over the weekend (tried the Metro too... pretty damn sweet), and I noticed this in the Departure terminal duty free:

(Click for large/hi-rez quality)

Pretty damn disgusting if you ask me... that must be some REALLY fatty/dense chocolate.

Here's their website for more info:

Al-Nassma Camel Milk Chocolate. It's a nicely made site... lots of different products too.

And speaking of CAMEL:


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Classic Gaming Revisited: Police Quest 2 (1988)

DAMN... talk about memories... in 1988 I was one of the only kids who had a PC... a 286 (!!!!) processor... that baby had like 64K of RAM! What a powerhouse!

I was a DOS gamer... before Windows came out. All I used to play was Sierra (King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest etc) and Lucasarts (Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion etc).

I'm currently replaying Police Quest 2 (see screenshot). I can't believe I still remember what to do... you input commands by typing them (open door, get in car, hump prostitute etc).

It takes only like 1-2 hours to finish if you memorize what to do, however at the time, it was very advanced. It was created by actual cop, Jim Walls. He was there for parts 1-3.

Try to get your hands on these old games... a trip down memory lane. Amazon sells the collections (they are always re-released every couple of years) and re-live the golden age of adventure games!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"The Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen" dead at 96.


Sadly, another great legend of the blues has left our world.

David "Honeyboy" Edwards passed away on Aug. 30, 2011.

He is best known for "performing with and was a friend of blues musician Robert Johnson. Honeyboy was present on the night Johnson drank poisoned whiskey which killed him, and his story has become the definitive version of Johnson's demise. Edwards knew and played with many of the leading bluesmen in the Mississippi Delta: Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, and Johnny Shines." -wikipedia

Here's a video of Honeyboy performing a few years back. RIP Honeyboy.

Happy Birthday to ME!

Damn, that dog looks happy... or stoned...

Today is the day I turn 30... some call it a new bold phase in the concept we call life... some call it nearing mid-life crisis...

All I know is I still feel fresh and young as ever... I also spotted about 3 grey hairs... panic mode?

With my lovely wife with me and family and friends around, it's been a great day so far.

Now that I think of it... I'm approaching 40 now... oh crap...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bass Project COMPLETE

Alright everyone! After Phase 1 and Phase 2, I'm finally happy to announce my Fender Surf Green Classic 60's Precision Bass is complete!!

Click for large hi-rez photo

I got all the hardware in, strapped on an old set of D'addario Chromes (flatwounds) and now it sounds and plays, not to mention, LOOKS FABULOUS. The photo does not do the bass justice.

The problem is that I'm not 100% happy of the paint job, but looking forward to play it with the Mojolaters.

I'll post a Youtube video soon :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

EXCLUSIVE : Horrific Accident in Kuwait City

I was taking care of some business errands and on the way back to the office, I saw a terrible accident opposite Dasman Complex. It looks like someone ran a red signal.

Not for the weak at heart (CLICK TO SEE LARGE HI-REZ QUALITY)

Looks like the SUV driver was rushed to the hospital as he/she was not on the scene; the cops and the fire brigade arrived about 10 minutes after those pictures were taken.

Drive carefully.... this stuff is happening everyday... don't be part of the statistics.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Post-Holiday Blues

Damn... 4 days off work? Hell yeah!

Happy holidays everyone... how was yours? Mine looked like this:

I couldn't even enter 360 mall; they closed the entrance gates! So spent it all with family and best thing thing was, we got to relax before going back to work.

But, why did it have to end!?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tomorrow: The First John Coltrane Intl. Jazz & Blues Festival

Tomorrow, September 3, The inaugural John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival will take place in the hometown of John Coltrane; High Point, North Carolina.

Somehow all of you think I would love to be there. That is very true.

Blues Brothers to become a TV series?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Dan Aykroyd is developing a TV series based on the popular Blues Brothers.

First introduced as a skit on SNL, the first movie released in 1980 remains a comedy cult classic; the sequel, Blues Brothers 2000, was not received well in ratings or at the box office, for good reason.

I really don't know how to react to this; on one hand I love to see the antics of Elwood and Jake Blues and the music, but also, no one can replace John Belushi as "Joliet" Jake, and I don't know if it can be successful. It might end up cringe worthy.

I'll wait for more information, but I will need to see a few episodes to tell if this endeavor will be worth the wait.