Letting Go of Perfection

Today I had a long talk with one of my best friends, Brian, regarding many things, including our podcast, our futures, goals, fears and graphically sexual improvised bluegrass songs. Among the many reasons I wanted to start a podcast, we discovered a new one today: to learn to let go of perfection and just create. He and I both tend to be perfectionists who don’t want to do things unless we can really do them to the absolute best of our abilities. Our podcast was always conceived as a sort of free form show with no real boundaries that was as close to the insightful, hilarious, wonderful, deep and ridiculously silly conversations he and I always have. Now, of course, that just isn’t possible to replicate because once you add a microphone and possible listeners into the equation, it changes the dynamic and there’s just no way around that, at least for us. The podcast just is what is is and will organically shape itself and grow and change as long as we do it. This means that since it is just us free form conversing, there will be moments that aren’t funny, aren’t insightful, aren’t in any way entertaining to someone somewhere and this is scary for us. We realized that it’s scary in the same way stand up comedy might be scary in that this is just us. It’s not us playing a character, or reciting a script or hiding behind any artifice. Therefore, if someone doesn’t like it, they essentially don’t like us. It is always going to be imperfect. And we must learn to embrace this and use this muscle.

I’ve found that for me and so many others, that quest for perfection, that fear of falling short of what you could be keeps so many people from doing anything at all. You want to make a film but feel you don’t have the money, equipment, talent or some other ingredient, so you simply don’t make anything at all. This could apply to anything. Music, painting or just life in general in whatever applies to you. If you can’t be (insert favorite director, actor, musician, artist, whatever here) then why do anything? Why put out something that does not reach our own lofty standards? Well there are many reasons. Creating for the sake of creating. Honing and practicing your art. You never know what roads could lead to which destinations. People have gone amazing places based on a “silly little podcast” or received huge development deals based on youtube videos with no production value shot on a webcam. There are a million ways to any destination and most likely, you will not see the road that will get you there. It will almost always be some turn of events you never planned for or expected.

Another example I spoke of today are the “Live Raw Acoustic” videos I periodically put out. These videos make me extremely uncomfortable. They are NEVER up to par in my eyes. When I am on stage with my band, I feel alive and in my element, but when I watch these solo acoustic, rough videos, I see so many flaws. I can see my own lack of confidence, my own doubts and hesitation. I hear the mistakes in my playing and singing and yet that’s the point. I don’t practice for weeks until I can hope to maybe give a much more polished performance. I just do it. It’s supposed to be raw and real. And I do it partially because it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know why, but I’ve definitely got some rebellious streak in me that makes me sometimes want to lean toward the things I think need improving as opposed to just sticking with what I know I can do well with my eyes closed or things I can coast through. When I find something that I can’t do to my own exacting standards, it just makes me want to do that thing even more.

Every day I want to grow and face my own insecurities and shortcomings and hopefully be a better person tomorrow than I was today. I often fail. And that’s where the real trick is. Not beating yourself up for that either. Muscles don’t get stronger without using them and working them out past their current limits. I believe this applies to emotional and spiritual muscles as well. Sometimes working those muscles out is uncomfortable and requires putting yourself out there and being vulnerable.

What’s my point? Hell, I’m not even sure any more. Do something. Don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t let the impossible quest for the ever elusive and mythical beast known as perfection stop you from doing anything at all. Do. Create. Be perfect in your imperfection.

By request of Sean Dornan-Fish

My friend, Sean, requested that I do a Live, Raw, Acoustic video of Rock Springfield’s “I’ve Done Everything For You,” so I did.

That’s a Wrap on _Moving Day_.

Over the weekend, I spent approximately 35-40 hours shooting _Moving Day_ with an absolutely amazing cast and crew. I had met Louis and Samuel (writers and directors) when Kevin Machate recruited me to help shoot our “Chiphuahua” Doritos commercial for a contest. It was a fun shoot and I thought the commercial was great.

So when they approached me to audition for Moving Day, I jumped at the chance. I thought the script and characters were great and that it would be a fun shoot and a great film. After my audition via Google Hangout (I’m Austin based and this film would be Dallas based), they asked if I had a preference between the parts of Pete and Adam. I loved them both and thought either would be great, but in the end I leaned toward Pete. I felt Pete was a bit more of a challenge for me personally and something I hadn’t done as much of, and, quite frankly, there were elements of the part that made me a little nervous and scared. I would have happily played either part, but I figured that was a good reason to go for Pete to try and grow a little more in a direction I was not as comfortable with and a little further from the types of parts I sometimes tend to get pigeon-holed with. I was ecstatic when they decided to bring in one of my best friends in the world, Brian Villalobos, to play Adam. He is like a brother to me and I love any time we get to play together.

The shoot was one of the very magical experiences that come along all too rarely. My cast mates (Brian, Rachel Crothers, Edie Davis, and Christopher Cassarino) were all amazingly talented and more than that, they were all wonderful, hilarious people who I immediately loved. The crew were equally talented and amazing and it was one big, happy awesome film family. I loved getting to hang out with these people all day and I’ve rarely laughed as hard and had so many good conversations between takes. Everyone was so creative and it was almost like a big 3 day improvisational play session off camera. I can’t count the number of jokes, ideas and running gags we accrued along the way.

However, in additional to a plethora of laughs (yes, a plethora, El Guapo) It was also very emotional, both due to the story and having to go to certain emotional places and certain things in my own life weighing on my mind as well. My friend, O’Ryan Landa posted this quote, “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not,” and it really resonated with me. For many different reasons, this summed up what is probably the overarching biggest struggle for me in many different ways. By the end of this shoot, I had been through a whole range of emotions.

On the second day of shooting, there was a tense fight scene involving Christopher Cassarino and I. We had done a few takes already and refined some of the choreography. When the time came, I lunged at him, and he slammed me into the wall. There was a distinctly bad crunching sound and I felt the wall give way behind me. Chris and I, finished out the scene with him punching me to the floor. The cameras cut and I looked to see the lovely hole in the wall, perfectly fitted to my shoulder. Everyone was fine, however, except the wall.

That night, it came time to shoot the most emotionally intense scene of the film with Rachel and I. She was amazing and made it so very easy to do. It was exhausting but beautiful all at the same time. Unfortunately, we realized toward the end of the night, that due a particular problem (that was no one’s fault, these things just happen in film), we would have to re-shoot it all again the next night. At first it was definitely something that kind of knocks the wind out of you. This was the moment that I knew would be the most difficult for me and was nervous about, hoping that I would be able to bring it to life and I felt like Rachel and I had really done a great scene, and we would have to do it all again Sunday night. After the initial shock however, I thought about it and decided I would choose not to to see this as a negative thing. I love what I do, and I love what we’d done and this just meant I would get to do it again, and recreate this beautiful, emotional moment.

We filmed all day Sunday, relishing this last day together as a film family. I think that it was quite appropriate that we ended up re-shooting our emotional scene as the last shots of the entire shoot. Brian graciously agreed to stick around longer than he had to so we could shoot the most most difficult stuff for me last (and the last shot of the film) when we could have shot it earlier to get him out quicker. This is kind of generosity that permeates Brian’s being and really helped me, a lot.

Louis had sent me a playlist of music that he felt represented the emotional arc between Pete and Carrie and as a musician, music is one the most powerful tools for me. It really helped me with the emotions and to build a history between these two. When it had come time to actually shoot though, I had made a quick playlist of my own of songs that I knew could put me where I needed to be. As we prepared for the re-shoot, Rachel asked if she could hear some of my playlist, so we stood outside on a beautiful, cool night under a nice moon, sharing my earbuds for a few minutes to get ready for Pete and Carrie’s last moments on film. Then we went inside and, in my opinion, did an even better scene than we had the night before, so everything happened just as it should have.

Rachel very generously offered to stay for my last scene if I needed her there and at first I said that would be great, but then after thinking about it, I realized that not having her there might be better for what I had to do for my last scene. Brian and I finished out the shoot with the last scene of the film, and the last scene of the shoot. That was a wrap. There were hugs all around and the sound man, Chase, told me that he had never teared up before during a shoot, much less during a no dialogue scene that he was only listening to with his eyes closed (the scene with Rachel and I). We all said our goodbyes, and as always happens in film, the family dispersed into the night, and on with our lives. Thus is the nature of the beast. I was exhausted, my ankles had been bitten up by some unseen parasite, there were many various bruises across my body from various sources, I was emotionally spent and still had to make the 3 hour drive back home. And I loved it all. Except maybe the drive but even that was fine because I was doing what I loved and created something that I can hopefully be proud of if I can get past my own discomfort and self-criticism.

I got home around 4 a.m., took a shower and emailed that I would not be into work the next day. I only got 5 hours of sleep before my brain insisted on getting me up. I feel like I have an emotional hangover. My heart is a bit heavy, I suspect partially from my own life and partly from character residue. The plan is to convalesce on the couch, nap, watch TV, play Xbox, recover and process things. And maybe get some pancakes. Goodbye, Pete. It was fun Quantum Leaping into your life. Oh, boy.

Dream Theatre 16 – French Espionage and Sexy Scenes With a Famous Bass Player

I was in France with a couple of other people. I think one was a friend and one was the guy driving us. I think the driver was Jean Reno. I mean it wasn’t the actor, Jean Reno, but it was a character he would play in a movie. It felt like a period piece. Maybe the 60’s or 70’s. I seem to remember the feeling that we were all doing something covert, like maybe we were spies. We were stopped by the police and so we were all very alert, wondering if we’d been found out. The police said they had to test Jean for pig urine. They got a little plastic bag (like an IV bag) and splashed something over his head. They said he was clean. When we inquired about this test, they explained that a lot of people who lived very high up in the tall buildings owned pigs and so a lot of the pig urine would get vaporized into the air or drip down from the balconies, between the floorboards and such and that it carried many diseases. As they left, I found myself wondering why they hadn’t tested my friend and I as well and if we should be worried.

In a separate dream, I think I had a kissing scene in a movie with a tall female bass player from a famous band. Possibly the Go-Go’s, although this dream bass player wasn’t exactly the real bass player for the Go-Go’s. It was pretty hot, and I enjoyed it. I also remember asking the director how my character felt about this situation and we concurred that he enjoyed it but knew they shouldn’t be doing it and that it would lead to trouble.

Why I Choose the iPhone

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had the conversation with people asking “Should I get an Android phone or an iPhone?” on social media. Every time it happens I’ve thought “I should just make a blog post so I don’t have to keep typing out my thoughts on the matter,” so here it is!

Short answer: iPhone

Long answer:
Before I made the jump into the smartphone market, I did a lot of research because that’s how I am. Hell, I do the same thing if I’m thinking of a new toothbrush. I always painstakingly research and read and think, and ponder and weigh proc and cons and get opinions and check forums and reviews and try things out and everything else I can think of to do. In the end, I decided (and still feel) that the iPhone is the best smartphone out there. And this is coming from a PC user who loves all things Google, so that’s saying something. I’m someone who wants to love Android, someone who constantly re-evaluates and dips my toes back in the water hoping that this is the time that I finally convince myself to make the switch, but as of yet that hasn’t happened. Why? Well, that’s hard to answer and it’s all subjective anyway so there is no right or wrong, but for better or worse, I’ll try to remember as many points as I can.

First off, let me say that everyone is different. What we like as individuals is different. Our needs, wants and how we use our phones is different. For this reason, it’s really almost impossible to base your choice off anything other than experiencing it yourself, but unfortunately, most of don’t have the luxury of “living” with two different phones for an extended period of time and seeing which we personally like better. Before I had my own iPhone, I had played with many friends phones to at least get a taste. I dated someone who had an Android phone and so had a lot of experience playing with her phone and helping her with it (I’m a very naturally technically apt person so I end up being tech consultant to lots of my friends as well). I’ve borrowed friends’ phones as often as I can to play with them as well.

My first reason is choice of phones. If you get an iPhone, there’s nothing to choose really other than whether you get the latest model or an earlier one. With Android, there’s overwhelming choice. Which brand? Which version of Android is it running? Which “overlay” user interface do they use on that phone? Normally, I’m all for choice, but for me personally, I don’t like this. I feel the iPhone is an easily definable quantity and you know what you’ll be getting and the experience will be the same no matter what. I am not a fan of Apples benevolent dictatorship attitude of “we know what’s best so you don’t need choice” in general, but for me, it’s a good thing when choosing a phone and they have gotten better about that over time, introducing at least a little more freedom and options but still nowhere near Android. That being said, I still like the iPhone best.

In all my experiences with Android phones, it just felt clunky and kind of pieced together. I found the user experience often unintuitive and clumsy, especially for any non-tech-savvy people. And it will vary greatly from phone to phone. Overall, it just never “felt” as good as an iPhone to me.

9 times out of 10, when I wanted to suggest an app or play a game with someone on an Android phone, that app was not available for Android. In the best case scenarios it became available later, long after the iOS version was out. Being that iPhones seem to be the dominant phone, most app developers tend to concentrate on it first. I have only ever encountered the reverse scenario once (I want to play Ingress, dammit!). Most of my top used apps are not available for Android.

Intercompatibility between iPhone users is better and more consistent. This one is harder to explain, but there’s things like Facetime (not that I really care about that), iMessage (which can be handy, especially if you have a limited text plan and don’t want to use some third party app that many times requires others to have the app as well and/or won’t show as your actual phone number), but more importantly there all kinds of little things that just work like they should. Again, with Android, you’re at the mercy of individual manufacturers, carriers, OD version, etc. For example, I can text contact, addresses, a Google map location (yes Google map, not Apple maps) and such and it just works. I remember some of these simple operations just didn’t work when sent to a friend’s Android phone. They would get the text but couldn’t open the information. Now, I have no idea where the breakdown is and it very well could be Apple’s fault in the way they implement it, or maybe not. I don’t know. The point is, I know certain things will work with other iPhone users but will be hit and miss with Android users (who knows which of the various phone/carrier/etc combinations they have).

I’ve found so many tiny, little things about iOS that are just great thinking and programming, but are so mall that people may not even know about or notice them but just take them for granted. So much so I have a hard time thinking of them right now. One is the fact that the camera knows its own orientation (which I’m sure is probably true in Android as well). If I want to use the back camera to take a picture of myself (I refuse to ever use the word “selfie” as it makes me cringe…just typing it made me wince a little), it’s very awkward and precarious to hold your phone right side up from the bottom of the phone, with the back facing you and try to press the camera button on the bottom of the screen. So on a whim, I turned the phone upside down, so now I could hold the whole phone as normal but my index finger could easily reach the camera button which was now at the top of upside down phone. When I snapped the picture, it was saved with the correct orientation (i.e. no matter which way I’m holding my phone, the picture is right side up and wasn’t taken upside down even though the phone was upside down.) I’ve often discovered simple little things that made me think “that’s smart programming.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there is a lot about Android phones that are awesome, and probably some things that I would like even better but overall, nothing has been able to touch the iPhone experience for me. For you, it might be a completely different and opposite experience. Even as long as this post is, I’m sure it’s only the tip of the iceberg and just what I could think of off the top of my head. Nothing is going to tell you what your experience with a phone will be like or how much you personally will like one over the other. If you do seek out opinions though, try to find opinions based on facts, usage, etc., and not just blind preference for one over the other. I find that most people on both sides of the fence don’t offer much that is helpful but just zealous “Mine rules and other one sucks!” In fact, I find this subject so volatile and often Jihad inducing, that I’m disabling comments on this post. I hope this may have been helpful i some way and that in the end, you end up with a phone that you are happy with, no matter what it is!

I also really like the new “ear pods” that come with the iPhone 5. I’ve always thought the default iPhone earbuds were actually really great quality but the Ear Pods are the best yet.

And I know I didn’t even touch on Windows phones but, frankly, they’ve never entered into these conversations. In my limited experience with them, I thought they were actually quite cool but they’re just too much of an underdog for me to ever consider using one. If I had that much trouble with apps not being available on Android, I imagine Windows phones would be exponentially worse in that regard.

If other things come to mind (as they surely will), I’ll update this post.

Specialized Google Alternatives

This is my brain. This is my brain on a random Google tangent. It likes to take these flights of fancy and just keep on going.

If you want your search results to all be within the last 24 hours, then use Noogle.
If you are searching about ghosts, Boogle.
There’s a lot of false information on the internet. For only true and factual results, Troogle.
If you need more information about the Hebrew culture, Joogle.
For only search results about the Blue Man Group, Bloogle.
Wondering what kind of glue is best for the job? Gloogle.
If you only need results relating to brass horns or sickness symptoms and remedies, Floogle.
Need to find the cheapest online pricing? Froogle.
Want only results about cows, Moogle.
Find the nearest public restroom with Loogle.
Need a lawyer? Soogle.
Want results that are positively affirming? WOOgle!
Train schedules? Choogle.
What’s that smell? Pyoogle.
Oh, that’s what that smell is. Where did that fecal matter come from? Poogle.
Interested in all our planets animal species? Zoogle.
Dating sites? Twoogle.
Spoon collector? Spoogle.
Alchemy? Broogle.
Need new footwear? Shoogle.
Need to hire people for you new crab boat? Croogle.
Trying to solve a mystery? Cloogle.
Mr T’s favorite search engine? Foogle.
Hopping marsupials? Kangaroogle.
Info on the bands playing this year? Bonnaroogle.
People directory? Whoogle.
Want to see what’s on the internet about you? Yoogle.
Want search nothing but 5-7-5 syllable poems? Haikoogle.

I can’t stop. And after reading this, you probably won’t be able to either. I’m sorry.

My thoughts on the show, _Louie_.

I finished season 3 of Louie last night. This has to be one of the most original shows on TV in a lot of ways. I think it’s an example of what can result when you just let someone take something and run with it and not be afraid of experimenting or not following standard formulas. It really feels like his show that he made on his own the way he wanted to make it without network notes and suggestions and all that crap. It often feels raw, real and imperfect and it is perfect in its imperfection.

Dream Theatre 15, Guest Starring Felicia Day

In my dream last night, a group of friends and myself were all staying at a really cool hotel celebrating my birthday. The dream took place the morning after as we were all checking out. There was a lounge area in the lobby next to the main desk and a few of us were hanging out there for a few minutes on our way out. I was extremely nervous because somehow Felicia Day had come to my birthday celebration and was there in the lounge. I don’t think I had really got the nerve to talk to her much, so I remember at this point still feeling pretty aloof and not sure if I could really just chat with her. I think I was a bit starstruck and shy and didn’t want to bother her and all that. There was also a bathtub in the lounge which my cousin, Casey was sharing with my old high school friend, Eric MacGilvray (there was no water in the tub, though I can’t remember if they were clothed or not). At one point, Casey was being goofy and made a classic Casey goofy face, at which point he rolled over and kind of smooshed his face on Erics. I remember thinking that was kind of odd in that they were now, kind of kissing but in the framework of being silly and comedic.

I eventually said my good byes and left. I hadn’t got far when for some reason I decided to go back. I know that for at least the last part of the journey, I walked while controlling a toy remote controlled car back to the hotel. When I got there, everyone had left their keys sitting on the table in the lounge (that was what you did when you checked out) and I remember seeing Felicia’s room and rental car keys sitting there. I thought “Hmm, there’s still 9 minutes until noon, I could take her key and go see what her room was like!” It was sort of that sentimental idea of being able to go “Whoa, this person slept here! Whoa, they used THAT towel for a shower!” (No I am not actually a creepy stalker in real life, and I seriously hesitated to post many of these details but, come on, this is a dream where all kinds of weird things happen with seemingly unfathomable logic like my cousin and an old high school friend sharing a bathtub in a hotel lobby/lounge and more than that, I want to be as detailed as possible in my dream recountings and I want to be the kind of person who isn’t uncomfortable worrying about what people will think…if someone is going to judge me based on some weird detail in a crazy dream then chances are they would probably judge me even harsher on much of my real life! Nervous, rambling rant over.)

The hotel itself was also very cool. Not at all like a normal hotel. The rooms were all very down home and unique and felt more like rooms in a house. They all came off a single Hallway but yet I remember a distinct labyrinthine feeling as well and that maybe there were more floors or something. I think that this was the hotel in the MSC on the Texas A&M campus (though it had been completely redone and didn’t remotely resemble that place in real life, past or present).

I remember that distinct feeling of sadness after a party is over, or after a wedding or when a vacation comes to an end. “The morning after” when it’s all over and you’re collecting your things and checking out to go home.

Dream Theatre 14

Last night I dreamt that I was at a party with the crew from a movie I was working on. Everyone, including the director, decided to shave their heads into Mohawks. I went along with it. Mine ended up being a very wide Mohawk where it was really more like just having the sides shaved. Then the thought struck me that we were in the middle of filming this movie! We weren’t done yet and now I had just pseudo-Mowhawked myself! Not only that, but I also had 2 other films in progress and how could we possibly deal with my hair suddenly being so drastically different! For the film I was on, I started thinking that since my character was about to head out on some kind of hunt or chase in the desert (or at least hot Texas) that we could justify the change with a line or quick scene. Since the director had been there and done it too, I wasn’t too worried about getting in trouble, but for the other two movies that still had some scenes to shoot, I was sure they would not be happy.

Resistance Against Evolution – Oppressing The Digital Revolution

Today I had an experience that has me feeling unsettled. I spoke to a guy putting together a band about possibly playing guitar for him. I liked his music, he seemed to like my playing and singing. Then we got to discussing equipment. He was looking for a specific sound and was not convinced that my digital modeling gear was sufficient. He said this was a “pro-level” gig and that there needed to be real Les Pauls through real Marshall stacks. We chatted a little about it and basically parted ways amicably with the decision that I wasn’t the guy for the job.

However, this exchange continued to bother me and I tried to analyze why. I certainly don’t begrudge him his opinion or knowing what he personally wants in his band. Then I realized that it resonated with something deeper in me. An insecurity. I’ve encountered this attitude before from people. People who don’t take me seriously because, in their ears, they don’t take my equipment seriously. I realized that I was bothered because I felt like I had been dismissed, or looked down upon as less than a professional.

I consider myself a professional musician and I know many who would serve as references for my skills as “pro-quality.” I’ve always had a very well developed ear. I am self taught on all instruments and have always learned by ear. When I’m in bands, I’m always the one (or one of the people) that others turn to when there’s a question on how something is played or some sonic detail. I’ve spent the last 30 years honing my ear and one of my talents that I’ve been hired for from time to time is the ability to copy, replicate or produce something that is “like” something else. However, it’s all subjective. Something that sounds good or “correct” to me, may not to you. However there are opinions, and there are facts. “A digital modeler can never sound as good as the real thing” is an opinion and can not be right or wrong. I felt bummed and irritated that this guy who I don’t even really know might think less of me than I deserve. That’s stupid, but yet I know that’s one my own issues and insecurities common in many areas of my life. I really don’t know how to not care what other people think of me. Obviously I have some weird deep-seated insecurity of being the person that everyone is pointing and laughing at or something. “Yeah, this guy is obviously an amateur. I mean he uses those digital toys.”

I often have various other people who may disagree with a guitar tone I’m using. They think it’s too trebly, or needs more mid-range, while I think it’s fine and just what I wanted and was going for. I’m always open to opinions and collaboration but in the end I feel like I’m the guitar player and that’s my arena to decide. Sometimes I don’t particularly care, so I don’t resist, but while I may offer my opinion on another musician’s parts or sounds, I’m certainly not going to dictate to them how I think they need to set their gear if I respect their own opinions and abilities. Basically we all have opinions, and I don’t want to be made to feel like mine is somehow wrong or inferior when I have dedicated a large part of my life to learning and honing my skills and my ear.

I’ve always loved technology. When I heard about the first “Digital Modeling Amplifier,” the Line 6 AxSys 212, I got one and loved it, even though it wasn’t perfect. Over the years, technology has come a long way and I’ve stayed with the times. I now play a Line 6 James Tyler Variax that can digitally model many different guitars and I use a Line 6 POD HD-500 that digitally models amps, effects, speakers, mics, etc. I personally think that technology has come far enough now that there is no perceptible sonic difference. When I switch my guitar to a “Les Paul” setting, and stomp my footswitch for a “Marshall,” it sounds and feels like a Les Paul into a Marshall to me. I’ve seen blind sound tests when people could distinguish which was real and which was digitally modeled.

Some people have their minds made up that nothing can ever sound and feel like the real thing. That is probably technically true on a microscopic level but I personally disagree as far as a human perceptible level. I believe that so much of what we perceive is colored by what we want or expect to perceive. If you have your mind made up that a movie is going to suck, then you’re probably not going to like it. If you think that a piece of gear is not going to sound as good as another piece of gear, then that’s probably the conclusion you are going to reach. Even if you think you’ve “given it a fair chance” it’s probably affected by your subconscious bias.

This, of course, goes for me as well. Maybe because I want to love the digital revolution, I hear awesome sounds that are just as good as the real thing. I try very hard to be open-minded and listen to feed back. I mean really listen and take it in and consider it and not just get knee-jerk defensive about my own opinions but I’m human and I’m sure I’m still susceptible to subconscious preference. I wonder if there will be a day when people look back and say “They used to use amps powered by vacuum tubes! Can you believe that? How antiquated and steam-punk is that?”

I have chosen my place as a digital warrior and I love that I can get so many (accurate, in my opinion) sounds out of one guitar and one amp/effects simulator. In 2 pieces of gear, I have the equivalent of a truckload of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sounds. And more so, the guitars and amps aren’t based on “average” models, they are based on particularly “exceptional” sounding models so it’s not just like have a Strat and a Marshall, it’s like having an exceptionally awesome sounding Strat and Marshall. They even model all the knobs to respond exactly like the knobs on the original equipment. When you get into the guts and details of Line 6’s digital modeling, it’s actually amazing what technology can do.

I could easily go on for hours about this stuff and how amazing it is and how it’s allowed me to experiment and discover tones and guitar and amps I may never have had a chance to before and how I can, in an instant, go from a Les Paul/Marshall combo to a Gretsch Duo-Jet tuned to Open E into a Park-75 amp with the flick of a switch and they all sound just like the real thing. I could ramble on about opinions, subjectivity, snobbiness, and any one of the other hundred talking points I’ve touched on here in this meandering diatribe.

I definitely have my share of insecurities about so many things, but I suppose I should be happy that at least I don’t doubt myself. I have pride in my own abilities and talents, even if I sometimes think that others may not see or appreciate them. I am fully entrenched in the world of digital modeling music gear and have no desire to change that, as are many top pro players. I guess if someone is going to look down on me for that, then they aren’t someone I was meant to be playing with anyway. It’s still kind of a bummer though.