Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Comrade Spotlight - Anthony Richardson


  It's with great excitement that I bring you a new video series:  The Comrade Spotlight!  This is a program to spotlight some of the outstanding comrades in the Revolution to Overthrow Bad Music and honor those who fight the good fight!

  The series kicks off with an interview with Anthony Richardson, who, at only 14, has been making quite a name for himself with his Riff 'O The Week series on Soundcloud, writing and composing constantly, and shredding it up on his trusty JP-7 guitar.  He opened for none other than Michael Angelo Batio when the shred legend came to town in November of 2013, and recently made his cello debut with the Charles County Youth Orchestra.  He's one busy, productive, and genuinely nice dude, and I had a chance to catch up with him for this interview.  Check it out, and share it with your friends - tell 'em that YOU heard about Anthony first on The Comrade Spotlight!  And there's bound to be lots of news about him in the near future at the rate he's going!  And, of course, check out his Soundcloud page.  


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Hypebot Interview


  I hope your week is rockin' right along!  WOW, it's been off to a crazy good start over here.  I had a super fun trip to Richmond on Saturday (got some Thelonious Monk AND Tommy Tutone on vinyl, DJ'd a Classic Radio Hour at the VA home, and then hosted an FM broadcast across town), and yesterday...the Hypebot interview about the Kindness Exchange went online.  WOOO!

  Mr. Clyde Smith is a very kind man, speaking of kindness, and we talked for almost an hour last week...well, OK, I talked for almost an hour last week.  He's a very good listener, and an excellent writer.  Here's what he composed:

Thanks, Clyde!  The Revolution salutes you!

- Josh 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Josh learns Zumba


  It's been an eventful week.  I electrified a diddley bow (one string guitar) and took my first Zumba class.

My ability and willingness to look like a total idiot serves me well.  For starters, it's a lot of fun!  And man, it affords a lot of freedom.  (It can also be dangerous to the ankles.  Seriously, who puts rocks on a dance floor?) But one of the biggest benefits is the way it allows learning. As someone who's on both sides of education (a guitar instructor, and a lifelong student of well...everything), I see how important this can be.

  I see many people come through my lesson studio with such an earnest desire to learn, and a studious approach that inspires great admiration.  I hope those same qualities were mirrored on my face as I flailed away at the gym, hoping that nobody noticed me way in the back.

  The biggest challenge facing me as a teacher is to make the student feel comfortable, and try to help them get out of their own way.  "You wouldn't go to a doctor if you're well, so why would you come here if you already knew how to play guitar?" I ask them.  Still, they universally feel self-conscious and embarrassed when they make the mistakes inevitable with learning (especially the female students.)  I try to lighten the mood (and have way too much fun doing it) by yelling "WRONG!  YOU MESSED UP!" and pointing at them as I bounce up and down in my chair with great glee.  (Ha, maybe I should cut that out...but it's not gonna happen!)

  I need to remember this in my next quest.

  So, now I will offer a new example for my guitar students, as well as taking a lesson from watching them.

I will learn to dance.

I will look like a fool.

And I will ignore that.  It's something I'm really, really good at.

I'll concentrate on the learning, realize that I'll make more mistakes than imaginable, trip over those stupid rocks in Zumba class, attempt to shake my hips but instead move, connected from my shoes to my hair, like an inflexible iron beam having a seizure, sweat my eyes out, wonder how people aren't dying, embarrass myself countless times, step on the feet of hot girls and probably ruin their shoes, contort my face into bewildered expressions because...I came here to learn.  Anytime I start to feel silly, I'll picture the instructor as me, trying to transfer information, and not at all concerned with how reasonable or competent I appear.

I'll look cool later.

On the dance floor.



Stay tuned for progress!

- Josh