Re-inventing Dimaension X

As most of you 7 readers know (that's how many folks have actually subscribed to my blog/website - suckers!), Dimaension X is in a "period of transition". I left the band that I was involved with for two years (Deadside Manor), decided not to pursue recording other bands for a second job, lost one job in January, got an older job back in April, my son moved out to his own apartment, I injured my back moving my amp, and so on. Lots of changes musically and personally.

So I have decided to take some time to "re-invent" Dimaension X.

My first step forward was to revise my tuning to Open D sus (D.A.D.A.D.E). I like playing in Drop D (mainly due to the fact that I've lost some of my barre chord strength in my left hand after I had a cyst removed from my wrist a few years ago), and wanted to try a more "open" sound that would have nice, full one-finger barre chords. I really enjoyed playing with Open C sus (C G C G C D), and recorded an album and most of an EP in that tuning, so I wanted to try it again, but in a more normal guitar range. Open D sus fits the bill nicely, being similar to Drop D, but revises the guitar scales very differently on the fretboard for solos.

Which is good because I now have a whole new set of scales and modes to re-learn. I now must re-think how I play guitar, and will discover some new things by virtue of notes being in new places. Old finger patterns cannot be used. New ones must develop. Playing old songs in the new tuning is interesting. Some of the Deadside Manor tunes sound fuller, due to having more strings ringing out in chords across the fretboard. I get why Devin Townsend uses similar tuning.

I've actually posted a video of myself trying out the new tuning. Sound quality kinda sucks, but I'm recording the video with my Nikon CoolPix camera (which is NOT made specifically for video). First thing I noticed is that I really have to lose some weight. The camera doesn't add ten pounds. Eating ice cream every night and finishing my wife's supper does. So step two is to try to drop some pounds.

Here's the video:

I'm also working on my live rig. My Line 6 Spider IV 75 is a great amp, and has served me well both in practice and live, but I really need a lighter amp to keep from injuring my back over and over lugging it around. So I am looking into options for lighter amps that will still keep up with a live drummer. Which means I may also go back to using pedals for my live sound.

And musically, I'm trying to get back into a more progressive, interesting sound. I just bought Steve Vai's new album, and am still blown away by his music. Not just his guitar playing (which is ALWAYS phenomenal), but the music itself is equal parts melodic, emotional, catchy, heavy, and downright weird. I've spent the past few years playing a much more stripped-down heavy rock with the band, and really have a yearning to get back to something way out there and unusual. Maybe revisit Burn Without Me's genre-hopping style?

Reinventing Dimaension X. More soon. See yah.


32,466 downloads and a bad review

Wow. Over thirty thousand downloads of my albums from the Internet Archive. I am continually amazed that people actually keep listening to my music. I am also surprised that the newer albums are not as up there in the count as I thought.

I also got a sort of scathing review of my "Ambient" album from someone known as "narlynibbles." Here's the review:

Reviewer: narblynibbles (2 stars) - August 10, 2012
Subject: Did not enjoy
Simply awful

Okay, I can live with the fact that someone doesn't like my music. But tell me why you did not enjoy it, and why you think it is "simply awful." It's kind of like me reviewing a Celine Dion or Miley Cyrus album. Of course I'd hate it and would judge solely by my own snobbish tastes. But I'd at least try to give credit for good performance and production. Nah, I'd simply insult Miley and Celine, so that's a bad example.

And of course, should I take a review seriously by someone known as "Narly Nibbles?" Perhaps? After all, Devin Townsend's YouTube Channel User Name is "Poopy Nuggeter."

Well, the saving grace is that my albums are free, so if you don't like it, delete it. If you review it, please be constructive. Don't like it? Tell me why. Really. Apparently 32,466 people have really bad taste.


I quit the band ...

Yup, as of August 13, I have quit the band, Deadside Manor. The last two years were a lot of fun, and I think we did a lot even thought we only managed to play two gigs (we did record a bunch of our songs, and actually recorded a 3-song demo for another band), but I think we also ran out of steam.

It was a very amicable parting (since the bassist Clint and drummer Jamie are literally my neighbors and friends), and we're all leaving the door open for the future. I think I just hit a wall and am a bit burned out and need a break. This past year I lost one job (which was pretty horrible anyway), got my old job back (which I left at the end of 2011 to go to the newer crappy job and has been very busy), my son moved out on his own closer to where he works ( I really do miss him!), and so on. Music is just not a priority right now, nor do I feel the need to play any music right now.

So it's break time. I'll still be in contact with various musicians and friends, and we'll see how things go. Most likely I'll find that I'm going crazy NOT doing music and will get back to it sooner than later, but I really can't predict when. Nor do I even need to right now.

Thanks again to the guys from Deadside Manor. Good luck to your future endeavors (Clint is currently the bassist for Mucklers Circle, who play out a lot, and may have some big breaks coming their way soon). Danny is probably going to do some singing with some guys closer to his hometown and Jamie should keep drumming. Keep practicing those D-Beats!! Not to mention I'd love to hear if our first drummer James is back playing with some other bands again.

I'll post things here or there. Maybe I'll do some music reviews on some of my favorite musicians, and this blog will turn into an actual music blog. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned. I'll be around.