Information Overload

I s’pose my ability to study (and study the refinements of grammar) of 4 languages simultaneously is one of the skills of my rapid-fire sequence brain. Having studied Spanish in college and still using it almost daily, Its helpful to strengthen basics. The Italian that came to be a language that I could also think in needs refining into something other than speaking the local tongue. German is new and I love it. French is the language of my girlfriend and so its always something I can find a better way to share experiences with her. How does one work on a little bit here and a little bit there? A website and app called Duolingo. Its fun that you can also connect to other friends and monitor each others’ progress.

Too, I am an artist. Expression comes naturally as breathing. Some expression is productive; at other times its emotive. Poetry, song, chords, scales, lyrics, and even a few drawings scrawled across pages or margins can flow like a river. This river swells to near-floodlike conditions, torrents and currents flow in rapid succession. There have been droughts, where the flow would just qualify being called a “flow”.

Some of my best attributes do make conversing with other “humans” difficult. Communication is clear, but gets impeded by differing communication style.

I need to learn to listen?

Not exactly.

This is where I say an analogy to cars/driving:
In racing, a governor is often an item that restricts the flow of fuel & air into an engine thereby limiting the production of power to the rear wheels, also known as SPEED.

Sounds good for cars, for people not so much.

Finding a happy medium of properly expressing thoughts & ideas without “restricting” content or sincerity and honesty is the tricky part, or slippery slope.

I’m really racking my brain for opportunities. Therapists that could really do some progress on this “skill of mine” would be few and far between, but not completely ruled out. A group of friends that hung out with to chat about deeper shit (listening to my rant and developing criticism and/or evaluation because or indifference to it) would be cool.
Car reference: A group of friends to pop a beer and wrench on an old Camaro and talk about each other’s lives would be a nice format.

As with anything, the cost of drinking and playing pool, therapy, buying a Camaro and parts and the place to rent garage space…..
all becomes a factor.

In finding a solution, I must try.
Then I must continue to try.
I’ll have to continue to try with the many setbacks that will inevitably occur from “the process”.

Life isn’t easy, once you get past the big parts, you cannot fall into the pitfall of small obstacle quagmire of progress.

-Lexikat

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Life Without Music Breaks My Heart Open Wider

I’m a musician.
It is THIS pulse that comes from within that escapes into this universe through my fingers producing sound against a medium of material (Guitar plus Amp, Keyboards, etc.)

I don’t need a band to play. Just some time with her in my hands is all I will ever need.

Often times, people see this as a luxury, a fruitless pursuit of something that does not pay-or is a distraction at best.

Right now I am moving-in the process of call-text-email people with rooms listed. Tedious and time consuming, but necessary.

But it hurts.

She is the muse like no other muse I have had in my life.

I can see her, but I can’t touch her.

She cries to my heart-and it does break open a little wider with each speck of dust that collects, the impact is as if it were a bullet.
My fingers hurt from not touching her-the callouses crack under daily activity…
my body is not stimulated to continue their production at the intensity to which my body had grown accustomed to.

Her sound resonates within my body when she is awake.

Sympathetic frequencies through out my nasal cavities and vocal folds flutter upon this interaction.

I hope I can get settled into someplace soon.

I die slowly without playing my guitar.

-L

How am I going to get a band going?

Its what “I ask myself” when I sit and mull over the internet posting on Soundcloud, Myspace, Bandmix, Facebook, Craigslist, Trans-genre, etc, etc.

Networking by word of mouth?
I ask employees of my regular music store about their bulletin boards. Their suggestions to just keep checking back or posting your own ad to reach your target audience.

I haven’t made a flyer to pin up on their wall yet. I feel that I haven’t come up with how to explain that I am a guitarist and they should ignore everything else about me that affects “their” shortcomings to do with my trans-dyke-edge of it all. Because it doesn’t matter to me but it really matters to them.

Transportation around the area is kind of hard at times to just go from point A to point B.
Leisurely driving out just to catch a band or try to interact with other musicians who aren’t expecting you is not a great option for the typical Bay area resident. Can I “make” a way to get out to gigs and practice? Yes. Strolling around to find something? Not effective and public transportation is lengthy-even more lengthy to a town you simply do not know.

I really miss the basic convenience of personal transportation on demand that most take for granted.

Emails seem to involve one inquiry, my reply and then nothing for a week if not ever. I generally perceive the electronic modern world to be something that communication goes a lot faster than what people aspire to. Does this also mean someone can go “Ew, a transsexual” a lot faster? Perhaps? but after the first one you just aren’t surprised at it and try to move past all other “delays” in the future. I believe that I am a guitarist first, and everything else second. I continue to maintain my optimism with the process. I really embrace the speed of communication being greatest available for a musician.

Style of music seems to really never come into consideration the few times I have corresponded with other musicians. I suppose my style is Modern Rock and Industrial by today’s standards, I find it great to see Neil Young covers by Type-O Negative. Old music becomes new somehow. There is hope for music yet! Steel Panther is a bit retro glam hair metal with the always-partying & womanizing schtick in a comedic sense, but the fact their music is comparable to vintage hair metal is cool.

Technology is one of the greatest tools to “fill-in” the place of everyone else in the band whom you cannot connect with. I will be gaining this advantage to write music later this spring, but music “in a vacuum” doesn’t breathe life of performing.

So “How am I going to get a band going?” seems to be the question that stays on the front burner.

Lexikat

Why A Gender Shift Can Feel A Bit Like Doctor Who

Who?
Doctor Who?

Doctor Who being the science fantasy television program on BBC for the last 50 years. The main protagonist simply known as “The Doctor” to the viewers. He has many adventures with various companions while traveling through time and space. He appears human, and has a very strong affinity to nurturing and protecting the human race. However, he is not human. He is Gallifreyan-a Time Lord. Their biology causes them to regenerate after a number of years, typically spawned by a sustained injury.There has at least been speculation that these regenerations can involve a gender change, but usually is a completely different looking and acting(and dressing) character with most core parts of The Doctor’s characteristics. Some of his quirks really shift a lot more than you would think, but it keeps it all fresh in my opinion.
At times, I feel that I am not human..

So how does this entertain the idea that your “transition” is anything like that?
(I only know of my own experience and what few stories others have shared of their own journey.)

Myself-35 years as a boy/male (give or take), had many different careers/roles:
Soldier, teacher, husband, father, mechanic, carpenter, clerk, guitarist in metal band, singer, college student…these did have different expressions of hair, clothing, cars, houses, etc.
Granted I was petty repressed in avoiding being myself, but my core was pretty consistent. I am: a nurturer, teacher, lover, musician, caregiver, poet, artist-and will always beI’ll cleverly avoid a fight, but a true warrior knows when to fight!
I too, have had some pretty colorful companions not unlike the Doctor at times..family, lovers, friends, animals.

Transition-its not a destination. No matter what anyone suggests, because life itself is a journey and not a destination. (Get over it and embrace it.) So during the beginning of this phase there is of course the wigs in lieu of the hair in process of growing out. Wardrobe? Adolescent, edgy, vampish, sex bomb, blonde bombshell, college co-ed, the Audrey Hepburn, cyber-goth industrial girl, punk rocker, post-apocalypse dyke. For me, the biggest part of change was the hormones that let my brain that “always knew/felt that I was a girl” for this entire time, could at least not hate the body my mind was born into. That body quickly changed and perhaps parts of my mind as well…

My memories at times are something that are very clear and are relevant to my daily activities and problem solving. However, there are times that Who something happened to in my past feels very much like another person. Swiss cheese memory as referred to in science fiction…

Music? I was a bass player and keyboard player up until I started exploring my gender expression by going out dressed. Guitar soon came after this period.
Parenting? Some argue that you are always a parent, but the interaction with my own children was limited to only the time I expressed as a boy. I haven’t been a parent as a woman. Not even to a puppy at this writing.
Tattoos? Well, I got my first during my time “in-flux” of deciding whether going out on the weekends and hating who I was or wasn’t. My ink collection snowballed and really started with “my first girl tattoo” to my most current one.
Family? There is a lot less blood relatives around, much as the First Doctor saying goodbye to Susan, but my extended family is tremendous and still growing. They have a stronger bond with me than I could have ever imagined.
Other things I have picked up since transitioning: learning Italian, cello, guitar with a deeper focus, writing, oh and of course more allergies. I am sure that I have my share of quirks too.

I lost my singing voice for the price that I paid and I am looking to find it or whatever voice this body chooses to resonate.

The journey through time-and space, occasionally gives glimpses of times in your life where you were really proud of your accomplishments and who you were at that individual moment. I feel its important to reflect into those journeys for strength, knowledge, and wisdom. Who you were isn’t always Who you are at the moment. But we all seem to be a collective of all our incarnations (good/bad, boy/girl, love/hate).

If you do find yourself having problems with your collective, or even evolving… perhaps you should call the Doctor?

Lexikat

(Gender shift  = transition = life is a journey for everyone regardless of cis or transgender)

2013 Was A Good Year For Metal Bands

As a metalhead and guitarist, it was awesome to see some great work released by some of my favorite players & the bands they inhabit.

Queensrÿche by Queensrÿche

Todd La Torre is an amazing singer so much that I do not miss Geoff Tate’s departure. The drum work by Scott Rockenfield is tight, heavy, melodic too. The bottom rhythm is rounded out with some nice grooves from Eddie Jackson. Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton exchange some nice trademark dual solos comparable to the DeGarmo/Wilton beginnings of the band. Michael “The Whip” Wilton is still one who influences my development as a player still. I like the trademark ambient/progressive stylings as well as the reggae and grunge flavors sprinkled throughout. For me, this was a better follow-up than Operation: Mindcrime II. I miss DeGarmo, but the airline industry has an amazing guitarist in their pilots’ ranks. Parker Lundgren is a guitarist I am definitely warming up to!
I absolutely love it!

Slave To The Empire by T&N

This album was released late 2012, but is a bit of an enigma. There are some Dokken songs (Jeff Pilson, George Lynch, Mick Brown minus Don Dokken) that are re-recorded in slightly different styles with some great guest singers like Tim “The Ripper” Owens, Sebastian Bach (formerly Skid Row), Robert Mason (Warrant), and Doug Pinnick (Kings X). The original songs feature Brian Tichy on drums rather than Brown and also feature Jeff Pilson(Foreigner, Dokken) on lead vocals. I like the way George does some of his signature styles, licks- but he really takes things to a more organic approach at times. George still is formidable on the guitar. Period. To hell with his critics. Seriously.

For me, both of these albums are from some of my favorite bands from 20+ years ago-I’ll not deny that.

But they are as fresh as metal in 2013 could ever be.

Rock on! \m/

Lexikat

My Year Has Come Full Circle

Its October 31! My new year will start soon. In case I hadn’t mentioned it before, I am a witch. I don’t ride my broom. Samhain does not interfere with my day of birth which is yet another reason why this new year festival makes perfect sense.

My year in review? Its sort of like that.

Health. I had a few benign extractions without a hitch. My health and culture took a major blow from an allergy to Gluten-no more typical bread, beer, pasta, or pizza. Its hard to get a higher protein carbohydrate in my diet now. Gluten-free flour really sucks to use as it has no glue-like properties to stick things together. No stretching of rising dough neither!

Death. I lost a really awesome friend less than a week prior to this post, whom I am still mourning. She and I were making weekend lunch plans up until her untimely death. I can only assume it was health related as her photos show an increase of weight in a short time. She had just married her fiance 2 weeks prior to her death. Maybe she knew. I’ll always love my friend Claire.

Music. My muse and artist are in one body and mind. My hands erupt with obsession on the fretboard of my guitar. My love for musical expression has returned, like never before. I felt that my “musical heart” was broken while my first guitar was missing-in-action. It wasn’t until I was told (put into storage with a friend for 3 years) that it was actually gone 3 year ago.

Solitary-a witch without a coven. I guess I am a bit of a “bad witch”-bad being lazy. I really observe the big Sabbats but tend to be lacking with ritual between those times. I’d like to be doing more, but there seems to be some spiritual blockage or something.

Family. It was officially 5 years since last I spoke to the bad blood family and the good blood family. The good blood family has stayed relatively supportive and I have good communications with them. No apologizes coming from the bad blood anytime soon.My extended family of friends do get less time from me due to my domestic nature. Sorry folks, its not personal.

Enjoy this Samhain, or Halloween safely!

Lexikat
)O(

How’s Your Guitar Grip: Tight, Loose, or Crazy

I have been around guitars and guitarists most of my life.  The grip of the fret hand sometimes reveals the style of the player. I myself hold very loose and yet have my fingers tight onto the fretboard. I rarely make chords with more than 3 strings, plus my grip allows my fingers to dance up or down a string when my brain says to.

Though I have observed it for a few years, I never really considered how one holds the neck in relation to how they play.

I notice that generally people who primarily play rhythm hold their fingers very tight and very close together. Their grip and attack on the strings is very sure and true. They keep it anchored in the sense of the song is maintained.

Then you have the people who hold on loosely. They live on the edge. They fly by the seat of their pants. But they mostly are guitarists that solo or primarily play lead. The fingers can fly faster without a firm grip on the neck.

Its mostly a theory of mine. I notice videos of my favorite bands with these nuances of loose or tight on the neck.

What kind of grip do you have, and how does it effect your style of playing??

Lexikat