Awhile back, quite awhile back actually, I was working on bringing one of my songs to Rockband. The process was complex as all fuck but it was a fucking undeniable blast to work on. Microsoft and Harmonix somehow worked out a deal together that allowed independent artists such as myself to release our own music on Rockband with one massive caveat; you had to know what the fuck you were doing. It also is how I initially got into game development. I never ended up releasing the song on the network and not because I failed but to keep this story short, in order for your song to be approved it had to be peer-reviewed. I'm not a big fan of that. Not a fan at all.
Regardless, I'll be at E3 this year and the first question I plan to ask at the Rockband 4 preview party is if they'll be bringing the feature back and how they will go about implementing it this time. Excited and scared at the same time.
I think it says alot about the music I care to listen to lately that I skip through a ton of songs in my library but Roxette's "It must have been love" comes on and I'm full on dedicated, full volume, air drums busting crazy core.
It says a lot, I'm just not sure what is being said. Great fucking jam though.
I've been so devoted to game design lately that taking a break for a quick little intimate evening with Howard Roarke seemed like the right choice. After declining a couple of times I finally accepted this invite from my buddy Rene of Never Too late. Nice thing is it's more of an acoustic night so I'll be performing bare bones with out any of the loud aggressive nature that is usually associated with my set. It's always a tough choice and a challenge to break things down to there most basic structure but it also shows the strength of it's underlying design. If you can't perform a song using a single instrument and convey it's message in the same way or as efficiently, was there ever a reason for it to be composed to begin with?
So my buddy Hector G has been working on a date for this show for quite awhile and he's finally nailed it down. January 23rd Howard Roarke will be joining the "EP Solo Army" a term that was coined by fellow Ask An Enemy podcast co-host Barry Peterson back in the day. I was playing a show as Lipstick, with The Reputation and a couple of other bands and while everyone else's descriptor was "ex-band that actually means something to peeps" mine was EP Solo Army. My reaction to that and the smile on my face are self explanatory. So yeah this show is about solo artists. Five individuals, orchestrating, demonstrating, and most importantly decimating. After last December's show at The Percolator, while surrounded by great peeps the show was riddled with technical difficulties, I need this. Also to the two chicks who made that show worth it, thank you, an undying amount. :)
Here are the set times for tonight @ The Percolator
7-7:30 Hybridge 7:30-8 Knox 8-8:30 Bakersfield 8:30-9:30 Gleewood 9:30-10 Howard Roarke
If you have nothing better to do tonight come on out and say hello!
10-10:30 Never Too Late
I can't even begin to describe how I feel after this, for lack of a better word, accomplishment. 3 years and the cd is done, printed and out in the wild. Now it's on to "Part Two - Demonstrate"; in due time of course. I was bed ridden for most of yesterday due to succumbing to something fierce after the show. Must've been the weather, must've been a stomach bug, or it must've been love but yeah, something fierce. Now that I'm back in full gear, slightly sore, but nevertheless full gear, I'm now able to post videos of the CD release. Hope you enjoy them.
I had a blast and judging from everybody's reaction, and the bands, they all did as well. I thought it was a great mix of performances and a main reason why I chose the bands the way I did. I saw some familiar faces and definitely some new ones. I started off the night super bricks shittin since load in was at 7pm and doors opened at 8; which gave my super simplified ass of a one man band technically one minute to setup, backline, and soundcheck. I honestly thought I was gonna give Gabe, owner and sound engineer at Tricky Falls, a heart attack but he calmed me down and told me to take my time and that everything would be cool; yeah there's a reason this guy's a fucking professional. Things were easier back in the Lipstick Device days when all I had was my trusty Tascam digital 8 track and its one fuckin output along with my four or five pawnshop pedals; I was also in my early 20's and could give half a fuck. As you get older you have a different outlook on things, you start to give half of that half fuck but it happens naturally. You don't change, it's just natural progression, of an art, of something you give a full fuck about. I'm honored to have been able to play the stage that bands like Green Day, Glasjaw, Sparta, and At The Drive-In have all embraced.
Lightning at the Opera, Never Too Late, and The Human Condition - an immense amount of thanks.
In terms of performances next up is El Paso Comic Con in September, but for now it's back to game design, new material, and the Ask An Enemy TV livestream.
To keep everything organized I created a YouTube Channel specifically for Howard Roarke and knowing the way I am I can never sit still with any creative thought so I'll be working on new videos from time to time so keep your eyes on Youtube.com/HowardRoarke and if you feel so inclined go ahead and subscribe. Peace for now.
Hey guys so over at AskAnEnemy.com I tend to use the power of Livestream for my video game addiction, however with the Howard Roarke CD Release coming up in just a couple of hours, 28 to be exact, I figured I'd call on the bands performing and poke and prod them a bit. The following links are to the second episode of AAE TV live and the livestream for the show proper. Have any questions? Leave them here in the comments below or by calling 915.996.1223
Here's the link for the livestream tonight where I interview Lightning at the Opera.
This here's the link the actual show at Tricky Falls. If the internet holds up, fingers crossed, I'll get to stream the whole show for you guys otherwise you can just suck it up and show up. It's free! This livestream I primarily set up for my brother to watch from Japan but anyone else can watch it from the comfort of their own home.
Hope you guys have a blast and if you feel so inclined order a copy of "You Can't Destroy the World Without a Soundtrack: Part One - Orchestrate" from the storefront starting July 27th 2013.
Here's looking at you kid.
So it's about that time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme. The art and master have been sent out to Disc Makers for production. It's been almost three years since I first started this project and fortunately the hold up wasn't for lack of creative control, PR management or band drama, but simply for financial reasons. I wanted to see this project through to the end professionally. That meant recording at a professional studio, having an engineer that knew his fucking shit through and through, and even though it is 2013, I wanted a physical product in my hand that I can break if angered, hold if abandoned, and most importantly be buried with if destroyed.
It's these types of projects that push you to your limits, they break and build you, only to inform you that, yes, you are alive. In a city like El Paso you become overwhelmed by nothingness, by the fear of never accomplishing anything other than the expectancy of life. If you have nothing to lose you give it everything you've got and the only person you've submitted to is yourself.
The CD release is scheduled at Tricky Falls, 209 S El Paso Street; the best sounding, most well rounded venue in all of El Paso, Texas. I'm honored and humbled to have this be the place in which I gather with this great group of musicians to bring an end to a project I started nearly 3 years ago and kickstart it's life into the wild.
Friday, July 26th 2013
The show is Free. There is absolutely no charge to attend. Simply walk on in and enjoy the show. CD's and Shirts will be available at the price you wish to pay. Every one can place value where they see fit. Any merch sold on this site is sold at the value I place on these items. You are free to agree or disagree with your wallet. See you at the show.
It's about that time. Finally I can put this thing to sleep, at least until the next one of course. "You Can't Destroy the World Without a Soundtrack: Part One - Orchestrate" will finally be released almost three years later from when I first went into the studio.
I'm currently in the process of finalizing the artwork, rehearsing, and rearranging the live set for the show in July. The album will feature former Devices in Shift guitarist Manny Maldonado.
The album is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 26th at Tricky Falls in downtown El Paso; 209 S El Paso Street to be exact. Musicians performing that night will be Never Too Late, The Human Condition, and Lighting at the Opera. Hope to see you there
I've decided for the time being it's best not to continue Howard Roarke as a three piece. I will not compromise this project for anyone, any reason, or anything. This is my project and only I will determine it's fate. Howard Roarke is not a band, it is an ideal. You are now free to cue the soundtrack.
Ok guys, so I don't normally do this (push for donations) but I will this time. Please support this show regardless of what you think of ANY of these bands. This show is not about them but about the cause. I'll admit I was completely oblivious to the benefit part of this show when I first glanced at this flyer, but once I found out what it was for and who it was benefitting I immediately 180'd. Tickets are only $5 and if you can't make it at least buy the ticket, maybe even give it to someone who can. Yes I'm essentially asking you to make a donation to this cause. I do not break from this easily but when it comes to seeing scrap roam the earth while good down-to-earth legit fucking people suffer it basically cracks any barrier I have of containment.
[[[Buy tickets here]]] or at Tricky Falls the day of the show.
Lighting at the Opera, Panic at the Disco. It's a joke I've practically Pet Semetaried the shit out of, but fortunately for the band it's only an inside joke and reflects nothing on their talent. Lightning at the Opera is my pal Ed's new musical endeavor. I haven't had a chance to see them live yet but if their single "Kleem" is anything to go by, I'd say my qualms were more an insult of my judgement than anything else. It's short, poppy, to the point and doesn't dwell in itself longer than it needs to; a thought, in and of itself, is only as powerful as the visual it represents, dwell to long and your voice is lost and ostentatious.
We are honored and excited to open for them this Friday at The Network (317 E Mills) for their EP release party. Why not CD release party? Man, ain't no one buying CDs anymore it's fucking 2013 mothafuckas, shit be digital. I wouldn't be surprised to see some T1000s in the crowd handing out download codes for the album. The show starts at 11pm. You might think that's crazy but we think that cuuuurraaaaayyyuseeee!!!!!!!!
As for us we won't have shit for you guys but a rocking sweet time. Our EP is still on hold while I finish up the vocal tracks, but we will have shirts and stickers within the next month fo sho! Till Friday, suck on dat!
I recently picked up two new pedals from Electro Harmonix, the newly revised HOG2 and the newly released successor to the 2880, the 45000. I'll go into details of the two in a future episode of AAE TV but for now I honestly just wanted to mention how insanely awesome the two pedals are.
The 45000 is a multitrack looper that allows you to not only make loops but create individual tracks for each loop with each one having independent volume giving you extreme control when attempting to create some cacophonous soundscapes. It will probably be awhile before you really hear this pedal implemented into any future Roarke jams though; sound for the sake of sound is tumultuous and borderline pretentious - I got bronchitis y'all. In the meantime I plan on using it to trigger some samples that my SP505 can't fit onto it's memory card foot print. Once I receive the foot controller though all hell will break loose in your caboose, ladies; I've been told by Sweetwater Music that it's on back order until later this month - also, this.
Then comes the HOG2 a revision to the original HOG released back in 2010. I owned the original HOG for awhile and I can honestly say the differences, while major, are still very subtle. The HOG2 adds a master volume slider replacing the original input gain slider which makes a shit ton more sense. It's now easier to go from a wet to dry signal or vice versa without it becoming so apparent. The foot controller adds the ability to store 100 presets up from 6 with the HOG and tracking is still impeccable. The expression pedal is a completely different beast. With the HOG EHX shipped a piece of shit M-Audio expression pedal that was not only ridiculous it was stupid; here's a $500 piece of equipment shipping with a sub $20 expression pedal. It seems EHX learned their lesson with the HOG2 but only in a superficial way. They shipped it to me with their new "futuristic" line of expression pedals that you kinda have to see to believe such nonsense. I'll admit it's aesthetically pleasing but not in any way practical. I'll reserve some judgment until I fully get to break it in. Until then, on AAE TV you'll hear me refer to it as "look at this piece of shit, it's awesome."
Well hello there! You've just stumbled across this mess we call music, this mess we call a band, this city we accept as our home. I speak in dyslexic definitions of apathetic acknowledgement at times, so bare with me, and with us. Here is where you'll find all the latest decisions we've acknowledged as true. Feel free to browse around. I'll be back to post some more soon.
Peace while the middle feasts.
It's official. November 27th we go in to Clap of Thunder for an alpha mix of the new album before we make it final. It'll be a year and 23 days since I went in there alone as The Lipstick Device to lay down the drum tracks. In that time frame I was lucky enough to have my boy Manny "it's Matt guey!" Maldonado climb aboard the S.S. Salinas and work tooth and nail to get this album done. This isn't a project, this isn't a band, this is life. We are Howard Roarke. The e is intentional and while it is silent, interestingly it's quite possibly the loudest part of the whole package; that's a conversation for another day.
You follow in the footsteps, you learn, you fail, and you learn again. In the end you come to you're own conclusions and you wind up alone, and separated from a world you still interact with, but you're motives and distractions are you're own and they become unique.
You wander outside, you take a deep breath, and you casually hit play. You can't destroy the world without a soundtrack.