Monday, January 23, 2012

Cooking up The Manifesto

Greetings, comrades of the Revolution!

I hope your week is off to a snazzy good start. It's foggy over here in Maryland, but I've got the fireplace going, and the classical radio station on. It's quite cozy.

I've been wandering the winter woods and fields, walking down along the Potomac river, watching the eagles, all the while plotting, plotting, and plotting some more. This is what I've got so far.

I made a big announcement on the radio recently. In case you missed it, it's this:

I'm building a million-person army of the Revolution to Overthrow Bad Music! And I want you to be part of it. Actually, I want it to be your army, too. Will you be one of a million, Comrade?

Here's the details:

We all agree that Bad Music is a gathering storm, and the darkness has been creeping up so fast that it's all but choked the life out of the places to hear tunes. Flip on the radio, and BAM, there it is! Go to the grocery store, and it rappels out of the speakers, hides behind the canned green beans, and assassinates our ears.

We must fight this menace! That's the first part.

The second part is this:

The "interwebs", as I fondly call the net, has/have made it super easy to network with people who listen to music. "In this business, we call 'em fans, son", my inner Texan might drawl. However, it's a fine line to walk between talking with people and talking at them. It's far too easy to fall into the promotion trap, and start spamming folks with an endless barrage of show invites, merchandise, and information.

As a fan, I like to be included in the creative process - if it is sincere. I always feel bad when I go to see a musician I like, and I can't talk to them, or feel insignificant. While of course I'm just a drop in the bucket, each person is important to an artist's success. I think everyone hates feeling like they don't matter, and this is the dangerous part of the online experience. Us musicians can sometimes start to put on airs rather quickly to the detriment of our supporters, when, in fact, they're really our bosses! We're working for each and every person who listens to our music, after all.

Here's what my idea is: Building this army should be more than just a gimmick for getting likes on a facebook page. It should literally be a revolution, an-all inclusive movement where everyone is a VIP, each person is fighting bad music even if they can't sing "Happy Birthday" (I can't), and every single soldier is a true Comrade of the Revolution.

What if: Instead of me signing autographs at a show, you gave me yours? I need to get a guitar for everyone to sign!

What if: There was a wall in my studio where any comrade could send a photo of them overthrowing bad music? What if there was an online site with the photos, complete with a map, so we could see just how close we were to taking over the world?

What if: There was merch you could get at cost?

What if: I recorded a song incorporating samples from everyone in the army?

What if: We all wrote that song together?

What if: I helped you get the word out about your music?

What if: We really took over the world?

For too long, I've been too competitive. I thought guitar was some sort of Highlander or something, where there could be only one. Baloney! Well, hey, maybe that's the case, but today, I'm letting that go. Steve Vai, you win. Local musicians who are more popular than me - you win. I'm putting down the hatchet, and picking up a party hat. A COMRADE Party hat! Bad Music - consider this fair warning. I'm cooking up an offical manifesto in the Komrade Kitchen. It'll be done shortly.

This Revolution is all about the fun. Let's get a million people with us.

Can I hear a "Sup, COMRADE?"

Saluting you!
- Josh

Friday, January 20, 2012

Google + Hangout on Saturday!

Hey Comrades!

Woooooo! Who has Google +? Who wants to VIDEO CHAT and plot the demise of bad music?

Join in the fun tomorrow, which is Saturday, which is January 21st, at 12:00 noon EST! My page is

They've got a cool feature called "hangout", and it's a group video chat. I want to start doing more of these, and get a whole bunch of you comrades involved. Bring your guitar, bring your plans, bring your fine self, and we'll chat! Man, talk about a cool international guitar club! (EVERYONE is welcome, not just guitar players!)

Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012



All across the internet, websites are going dark today to protest the disastrous legislation currently awaiting a vote in Congress.

Here's info on the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills that, if passed, could effectively censor the internet.

Now, while Wikipedia's silence is a real stop-and-think moment, mine would simply be an "oh thank goodness he's gone away for a minute" train of thought.

SO, in order to raise awareness, and "encourage" you to call your representatives (find 'em here:, I will not stop talking. If I did, it would be a reward. Instead, I will start talking about celebrity gossip until you call Washington.

(If you've seen the new Muppet movie, you can quote Jack Black when he's listening to Fozzie's comedy routine: "Oh God, make it stop!")

WOW! Did you HEAR that Taylor Swift said she was awkward in middle school and high school?
Maybe 'cause she is like ten feet tall? The Annoying Orange would say "Hey! Hey! Hey Giraffe! Hey Giraffe Hey! Wowwwww! You're the most beautiful Giraffe I've ever seeeeeeeeen!"

The Kardashian empire seems to be falling. Thank goodness. Now, instead of getting paid mega-bucks to go to parties, maybe Kim will go out with me. Judging by the duration of her marriage, proportionately the date would probably be as long as it took to say"hello, goodbye." Let's just hope that dinner won't be ordered in the meantime. Something tells me she has expensive taste.

Have you called Washington yet???


OK, well, then...

Brad Pitt got snubbed at the latest round of awards, whatever they're called. Ricky what's his face (last name starts with a G) was obnoxious. Shocker. But Brad really should have won something, judging by how sharp his sideburns were in the movie "Moneyball", which, actually, was pretty darn cool. I guess that's cause Aaron Sorkin helped with it!

Remember, comrades, make the call, tell 'em NO to SOPA and NO to PIPA.

AND...Send Prince Harry an email and tell him NO to Pippa. She's trouble, trust me, dude.

- Josh

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The impermanence of war

Happy New Year, comrades!

As I rattle around town in my dog tags and preach fiery rhetoric about the Revolution and overthrowing, a funny thought is dawning on me. With the use of the internet, the Revolution is starting to go international. And with the area that I live in, too, diversity is one of the main attributes, and one of my favorite parts of the DC area. In addition to talking to lots of different people, I read quite a few news stories and historical accounts.

The strange thought is this - how both utterly devastating and life altering war is, and how strangely impermanent the causes of the conflicts are. In short, a total "not fair" for people caught in it's withering crossfire.

I've got a new buddy from Vietnam that I've met through my music. I've got an old buddy that I know through my music who fought in Vietnam. The new buddy was joking about the picture I have with the rocket launcher on my shoulder, asking where I got it. I quipped that Americans have a reputation for being heavily armed, but we typically stick to handguns. It then occurred to me how strange it was that our fathers could have fought each other. (My Dad was in the Coast Guard in 'Nam, but didn't see any combat. My other buddy, though, most certainly did.) Here we are joking about bazookas while chatting guitar. It's wild.

The second thing that made me think was this: Another comrade emailed me to set up a lunch. Our grandfathers were sworn enemies. His grandfather was an officer in the Japanese army during WWII, mine was in the US forces in the same conflict. Stationed in Europe, he was in charge of a German POW machine shop. He even had a secretary named Helga. It makes me think of Hogan's Heroes. I doubt his tenure was funny, though. War isn't kind - at least that's what they tell me.

My buddy told me an amazing story once. He said his grandfather was on a mission once, and, while crossing a footbridge, accidentally broke it. It was a grave error resulting in his demotion of one rank. Fortunately for him, though, shortly after that, all of the officers of his previous rank were ordered to commit suicide.

This buddy's mom (the officer's daughter) was the one who gave me my first teaching gig.

If it weren't for the mistake of an "enemy" soldier, I might not be a guitar teacher, and I certainly wouldn't know the fellow that I'll be plotting music with over lunch in a few days.

Remember the red menace? (The real one, not Santa.) What person over fifty would have thought I'd have a video called "Santa is a Communist" hosted on Russian-based

It's enough to make my head spin. Well, granted, it's USUALLY spinning, but make it spin even faster!

Cut to earlier today, when I was reading the story of how some Marines snapped in Iraq, and killed 24 unarmed civilians in their homes. I wonder if my kids will be on Skype with Taliban kids in fifty years, talking about how to play "Pumped up Kicks" - "you know, that old American classic rock song."

War is on my mind, and it's bloody confusing.

- Josh

Friday, January 6, 2012

Big Announcement

Comrades! Happy New Year!

I hope your brave new year is off to a rockin' good start. Mine sure is!

I've been walking to visit the river lots. Visiting my wise friend is a cool way to facilitate some serious thinking. I've been writing in two little notebooks a lot during my daily hikes. It's hard when it's cold outside. If you think my writing is bad normally, well...

The river is ever changing. Each day it's a different color, and a different personality. I wonder if George Washington watched the river, too, for his house is a few miles upstream on the opposite shore.

Through these walks, talks with my innermost comrade circle (that would be my family), and plotting and pondering, I've come up with a cool idea and brave new plan for the new year.

I'll be announcing it on my radio show this Saturday, January 7th, just after 3:00 pm EST.

Listen in at ! I hope to see you there! For those of you on Facebook, here's a link to the online listening party

WOOOOO Can't wait to tell y'all what's new! It directly involves you, so don't miss it!

- Josh