the scraps

scraps cover

I recently visited the site that supplied Scraps, the companion CD to Alkaline Trio’s Remains album. The site has been taken down.

Information on Scraps was posted on Alkaline Trio’s MySpace blog. Anyone wanting this collection had to download and print a couple images: a cipher to decode a message that was the URL to get to the site and a template that was to be cut out and placed over a page of lyrics from Remains to find the keyword, username and password. The keyword was used to decode the cipher. The username and password was used to enter the site which was the answer to the cipher.

keyhole saved from original site

For the sake of providing this to the masses because I still get hits from search queries seeking out this MP3 collection, I am dedicating this permalink as a source for Scraps until the authorities tell me otherwise. These songs are necessary additions to any Alkaline Trio fan’s collection.

Scraps by Alkaline Trio
download artwork | download audio

Instructions (as told from the original site):

  1. Download audio (ZIP file) & burn to CD-R
  2. Download artwork (PDF format)
  3. Print – Cut – Paste – Assemble sleeve and CD label

The files have not been modified in any way. Enjoy.

the billie joe and mike of green day guitar center interview

Few musicians can claim a successful career that spans thirty years—let alone such a career that involves just one band. But that’s exactly the type of career Green Day’s singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt have meticulously crafted . They’ve spent all thirty of those years not only playing music alongside each other, but they’ve transformed their small Berkeley-based punk band into full-blown rock royalty, with 11 studio albums under their belt and 65 million records sold worldwide.


     “I first wanted to play guitar when I was really young, but my hands were too small. I was like 5,” says Armstrong, spending the afternoon with Dirnt at Guitar Center Pico & Westwood in West Los Angeles. “But then I started taking guitar lessons from a guy named George Cole when I was 8.” Dirnt chimes in with his introduction to the world of music, “My mom’s roommate played guitar, and he used to let me play it—as long as I took my belt buckle off,” he laughs. “That was kind of it. When you’re a little kid, I can’t think of anything cooler than a guitar.”

Even with their long and rich history, Armstrong and Dirnt can recall their earliest collaborations. “When Mike and I first started playing together. we were in this band where everyone was playing guitar—there was about four or five guitars players—and we were all trying to play ‘Purple Haze,'” Armstrong says. “So Mike and I kind of split away from that around 7th grade, and we learned three songs together. We had a big variety of tastes—everything from heavy metal to punk rock when it first started coming up, to very basic stuff that was on MTV or the radio.”

Though Green Day sells out entire stadiums today, the band started like any other up-and-comer, playing small clubs, backyards and even basements to gain fans. “The hardest part was just trying to get a qiq,” says Armstrong. “One of the first times we jumped on the bill was at a party in San Francisco.” Dirnt takes over. “Yeah, we played on the top floor of somebody’s place, between this tiny living room and the bathroom. I mean you’re talking about 22 people standing in a room that only holds 11—but it was such a good time. you know? Just add beer.” he laughs.

Green Day would go on to sign with Reprise Records in 1994, and has been with them ever since. The two reflect on their decision to join a major label. “When we started out, we didn’t know the kind of music we were playing could become popular,” says Armstrong. “And then Nirvana came along, and it seemed like there was this small window where we thought it seemed like a good time to do it. I mean, we just wanted to be able to play forever,” he laughs. Dirnt adds, “We were at a place where we were selling more tickets to shows than the clubs could handle, so we really had to make a choice,”—Armstrong interrupts. “We were selling more tickets than we were selling records. There were a few naysayers that felt like maybe we were gonna get burned or something by a major label, but it’s been nothing but good—I can’t think of a bad record or even a bad situation that we’ve ever truly been in.”

Immediately upon signing, Green Day headed into the studio to record their breakthrough album Dookie. “We were just so excited to hear our stuff recorded really well—and not have to knock it out really quick in the same room without any isolation of any instruments,” Dirnt says of the recording process. Armstrong adds, “Our first record cost $600. our second $1,200. This time, we actually had a good budget, and we were like. ‘This record rules, and it’s better than anything on the radio.’ But we didn’t know if everyone else was gonna agree with us,” he laughs.

Key to the success of Dookie, and an undeniable part of the band’s sound since, is producer Rob Cavallo, who also worked with them on Insomniac, Nimrod, American Idiot and their upcoming triple release, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!. Says Armstrong. “When we first presented him with the idea of doing three albums, I think he thought we were crazy. But then when he came into the studio, heard us rehearsing, and saw the set list for the three different sequences we were working on, I think he was like, ‘This is awesome. This is gonna happen, and it’s something that’s never been done before.'” Dirnt adds, “Rob’s great at helping us with recording techniques, getting good guitar sounds—he’s a great translator, able to go from what we’re going for to the technical aspects of laying it down.”

At this stage in their career, Green Day can afford countless studio hours writing and perfecting new material, but the band still prefers to have everything well thought out and prepared beforehand.” Says Armstrong, “You can’t create a whole chapter of your life inside a studio within a two-month period. I think it’s important to keep documenting things within those couple of years leading up to making the record.” Dirnt continues, “If you want, you can be 90% ready and then leave 10% up to spontaneity and fun—that’s great. But otherwise, it’s just mailing it in—and being haphazard about it.”

And, when it comes to writing and preparing material, they’re quick to clarify it’s a collaborative effort. Says Dirnt, “Billie writes the majority of the stuff, but at the end of the day, we all know how to structure songs, write songs, write melodies and put everything together.” Armstrong adds, “I usually come in with a skeleton of a song, but the more we rehearse, the more the song evolves, and everyone starts adding.” He continues, “For example, with ‘Kill the DJ,’ Mike said, ‘Why don’t we try something more four-on-the-floor, a cross between Blondie and Gang of Four?’ So, I came in with a riff and a melody, and Mike and Tré jumped all over it.”

Most bassists can attest the spotlight is typically reserved for lead singers and guitarists . Dirnt has this to offer about his role as Green Day’s bassist, “It’s the same role as everybody else in the band,” he says. “If everyone’s doing their part right, the song will sound appropriate. Sometimes you have to step out and be on Broadway and carry the song—other times you have to sit back, It’s about finding what the song is calling for.”

With decades spent on the road and in and out of studio , Dirnt has had a lot of time to perfect and hone his signature bass tone—an iconic part of Green Day’s sound. “It just kind of happened,” he says, “Number one, I play with a pick, and I play with a lot of power, so I think that punches it up a little bit. Beyond that, I think over the years I’ve had to cut through some pretty big guitars, and that helps formulate me finding my spot. And then, it’s just a matter of me playing peak-a-boo with certain parts of the song,” he laughs. Armstrong adds, “I think with the new material, the bass comes across a lot more. [¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré!] has a cleaner kind of guitar sound—we’re using more vintage amps like early ’70s Marshalls, Vox, stuff like that—and Mlke’s bass lines are able to cut in and really compliment the melody of the song.” Dirnt chimes in, “There’s some songs on the new record where I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a rhythm guitar being played—because it sounds so full with just one bass.”

As far as recording a triple release, the duo say it was a natural progression of events. “We originally went into the rehearsal studio with a handful of power pop songs,” says Dirnt. “But we kept our noses down and kept writing, and when we got to around 30 songs, we realized there were three different elements going on. ¡Uno! is more like classic Green Day. ¡Dos! is more garage rock—a little dirtier, like you’re in the middle of the party, and ¡Tré! has this more self-reflecting, epic nature to the songs. Once we saw that each of the three records would have their own personalities, it just kind of made sense.”

With ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tré! being Green Day’s 9th, 10th and 11th albums, Armstrong and Dirnt definitely have seen how advances in technology influence the way albums are recorded and bands are made. “The quality of recording at home is so much faster and so much more usable today—so much cheaper, too. And for me, I think when you hear a good band, everything truly goes back to what the kids are doing in the garage, or in their bedrooms—just trying to get that gig. That’s the way 1look at it.” Dirnt adds, “It’s never been cheaper—guitars are so cheap now. I remember when I bought my first Squier Strat. It was like 350 bucks. For $350 now you can get a Fender especially on a good sale.” Dirnt laughs. Armstrong has also once again teamed up with Gibson for his new double cutaway signature Les Paul Junior. “We wanted to do something a little different, so this one’s based on a 1960 model—the neck is thinner and it’s finished in TV yellow. No tricks or anything like that—just plug it in, turn it up, and start rocking out.”

As seasoned musicians with three decades of experience. Armstrong and Dirnt still know the struggle of picking out the perfect guitar. Their advice is simple, “Plug into everything there,” says Dirnt. “People say, ‘I don’t know what I want.’ Well, go plug into everything—and for that matter, actually turn the knobs and see what they do,” he laughs. Armstrong adds, “Don’t be afraid of the instrument—control the instrument. Don’t let it control you. Strum hard. Turn the volume up as loud as you can. Do your Pete Townshend windmills. Don’t walk on eggshells around the instrument—break the thing in—that’s what a guitar or bass wants.”

Source | At: Guitar Center, September 2012

the snow day

About an inch and a half of snow falls on the ground, the roads freeze over, and the City of Austin takes a day off. I had the day off. The plan was to go into the office later this morning, but that was dismissed. Who has two thumbs and a three-day weekend? This guy!

I’ve just stayed in all day today. I had the pleasure of enjoy a big cup of joe with a plate of biscuits and gravy with M this morning. We played some Tetris on PS3 + EA Online, and I played around with her new phone.

I installed some ringtones and a couple games (Bejeweled and Absolute Tris). She’s working from home. I’ve just been surfing the web listening to morning radio and some album downloads (Honeysuckle Weeks and Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys to name a couple).

What a relaxing Friday. This is going to be a good weekend. The weather should be better, and the tortas are the best. Peace out.

the fried eyes from glowing boxes

My brain hurts. After my lunch break today, I started having a headache. It hasn’t gone away yet. The weather makes all the difference in my world. January was when the allergies got me. The low temperatures seem to be getting me this month.

I saw a Bluff Rat on KXAN News that I graduated with who works at Auto Zone now. He was talking about how batteries are affected by a cold snap.

That Middle Class Rut beat is playing in my head. I heard their current radio song (New Low) twice today. My head feels like it’s had its share of glowing boxes since last weekend.

Snow expected tonight. I wish I didn’t have to use my eyes every moment that I’m awake. Peace out.

the thrill of procrastination

The weekend has flown by once again. Updating these records can be mind-numbing, but it needs to be done. We’re getting close to 4 years of keeping this ship afloat.

I enjoyed Matt’s El Rancho for the first time. I had the Old-Fashioned Tacos: two brisket, one chicken. They were deliciously deep-fried corn tacos with the standard veggies on the side (cilantro/onion mix and iceberg+tomatoes). Mare had the stuffed poblano and barely touched the rice. The to-go box held a brisket taco and the rice. I consumed it sometime within the next hour even though I had two chorizo and egg tacos from T-Mont for breakfast.

Betaplayer played at The Parish last night. 6th Street was rowdy as usual on a Saturday night. I missed M2X’s band at Weirdo’s the night before last. Grape told me it was a 4-hour set at the B-Play show. Mare and I ended up leaving later than we expected although the band wasn’t finished. They started 45+ minutes later than scheduled, so I’m sure their set ended near last call.

Today was supposed to a major catch-up day, but I wasted it watching a few episodes of The IT Crowd and just mulling around. I’m definitely staying up late tonight to catch up on some things… this being one of them. Thanks for reading as usual. The time to punch out the next post will be arriving very soon.

the txdot click it or ticket radio jingle (2010)

Everyone driving on Texas roads must obey a new law went into effect  requiring all passengers in a vehicle to buckle up.

This jingle surfaced in April and currently plays across Texan radio airwaves:

<[ Push the French onion green play button! ]>

Texas Department of Transportation
Violation Citation

_____________~* SONG LYRICS *~_____________

Violation Citation

Put your seatbelt on. Strap yourself in.
Buckle up tight when you go for a spin.

No matter where you drive. If it’s near or far,
Buckle up all the riders in your car.

‘Cause it’s the law and if you’re in violation,
An officer will be right there to give you a citation.

Yes, they’re stepping up enforcement,
Sending out more police,
‘Cause Texas wants you in one piece.

Put your seatbelt on. Strap yourself in.
Buckle up tight when you go for a spin.

(A new state laws says everyone in a vehicle has to buckle up. That means passengers in the front and back seats can be fined for not wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts save lives, and they can also save you from an expensive ticket. Click it or ticket. It’s your choice. You pick.)

When you go for a spin.

(Brought to you by the Texas Department of Transportation)

_____________~*MP3 DOWNLOAD *~_____________
(^^,)

For those of you who lack Flash support on your browser (or just want your own copy) can click the MP3 icon to download it to your computer.

_____~*~_____

The Texas Click It or Ticket campaign’s home page is located at this link. More jingles and other campaign materials can be found at the Click It or Ticket page on TxDOT’s website.