From the blog

From the blog

Crash Karma Fall Tour 2013 Wrap Up

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Thanks to everyone who came out to Tattoo Rock Parlour for our last show of the tour in Toronto. It was a great time!! Thanks to Jeff Martin of The Tea Party for joining us onstage to perform a killer version of ‘Heaven Coming Down’. Also thank you to Ian D’sa of Billy Talent for rocking our single ‘Tomorrow’ with us, and slamming that solo like nobody’s business! It’s always a blast having musicians we adore and respect join us on that stage. It was an incredible way to end the tour.

Check out all these tour photos from our fans! We love you guys, thanks for all the support!

– CK

 

One on one with the fans

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The band met up with a guy by the name of Connor last week. He was a contest winner of ours to hook up with us and do whatever he’d like. The best part about this contest was the fact that he only really wanted to just hang out and see what was going on. When I heard about this contest, I was a little nervous over the possibility that Connor may want to go bowling and put out my back or further injure Mike’s! What a cool dude though. He got to sit behind my drum kit, which rarely happens as I usually only allow my drum playing friends and family members to do so.

Jeff and Connor               Connor and Jeff

Feeling pretty blessed about this tour… Seeing a lot of old friends and making a lot of new ones! Thank goodness our contest winner wasn’t some freak except for his height, I’m tall but look at the size of that dude! Thanks for being great Connor!

Oh…and this happened.

      

– Jeff

Video Shoot

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So we are making a video!  Woohoo!  We didn’t want to make some lame video that we had to twist and turn into something that somehow relates to the story of the lyrics behind ‘Tomorrow’ because it just felt too contrived.  So Jeff and I were up one morning talking about video ideas, and we thought, why not shoot a video of us on the bus, playing gigs, doing all of these radio acoustic performances, breakfast television appearances, partying with our fans and having a blast.  We wanted the video to be authentic and real.  We wanted to show fans that this is what we did and give you guys a glimpse of tour life.  So I made some calls, and luckily I was able convince my main man Martin (aka footage) to fly out to Vancouver and chill with us for a week on our tour bus.  He is an insanely talented director/camera man, and I knew he would get the job done.  So here we are, Martin with us, and we are going to shoot this video for ‘Tomorrow’.  There is still one incredibly important factor to making this video killer.

We NEED you. We need our fans (after these many years under our belt we’d prefer to call you friends) to come out to the gigs, dance, and do funny shit for the camera.  So if you live in Kamloops, Calgary or Edmonton, and you want to be in our video, COME TO THE SHOW!!  We want you in our video.

This is about to get CRAZY!  Here are the shows we are filming at:

Kamloops TONIGHT (October 9th) at The Dirty Jersey

Calgary TOMORROW (October 10th) at The Gateway Bar

Edmonton SATURDAY NIGHT (October 12th) at The Starlight

 

See you at the show/video shoot!!!!

 

See you on the road…

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So here we are, on the road in our tour bus. Quarters are cramped but it’s a good way to travel. On the road with us is Andrew White who bears the heady title of Front of House engineer. You might use the term ‘sound guy’ but that really isn’t a fair term based on today’s world. Andrew never knows exactly what to expect in terms of the equipment he’s likely to see and what condition it’s going to be in. He kind of has to be the McGyver of the audio world. Add to this the challenge of keeping everyone happy onstage. We travel with our own monitor system so in general it’s pretty straight forward but there are always challenges, again being unpredictable in terms of condition and equipment. You really never know what’s going to be there but Andrew makes things hum along with as little of the fuss being visible to us as possible.

Jeff and Andrew

Andrew’s compatriot in this endeavour is Jakk Grandy. Jakk is our stage tech. He makes sure things onstage get set up in the way we’re used to so that when we get to soundcheck things move along easily. Also during the show Jakk keeps an eye on us and helps us with guitar changes. I use a few different tunings so rather than re-tune the guitar I’m using, it’s faster to change guitars to the one that Jakk has in the new tuning I need. Also he has to be a bit of a ninja and keep a watchful eye on the show as it unfolds so that in the event of an ‘incident’ he can swoop in to our rescue! You’d be surprised what can go wrong onstage! Things break, blow up, burn out, or fail in unpredictable (often epic!) fashions. That’s when Jakk has to be a ninja and help us overcome the new challenge we face, onstage in front of an audience. Often it can be the most entertaining part of a show!

Amir and Edwin having a bonding moment on stage. Thanks to Robert Olsen for the photo.

When we’re done, ‘Drew and Jakk break down the stage gear and stow it under the bus and off we go down the road to the next show. Joining us is our new ‘Merch guy’ Mack. We’ve only just been introduced so we’ll see how he fits in to our little road family. We’ll certainly get to know him being as after every show we head out to the merch table to say hi and hang out signing whatever folks want so Mack will have to keep things humming along out there.

So there you have it, come on out and say hi to us and our crew, that’s why we do this thing in the first place!

The guys in Windsor at The Dominion House. Thanks to Frank Presello for the photo.

Best,

 

Mike

 

Fall Tour 2013

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The time is finally upon us.  Crash Karma is getting ready to gear up and hit the road.  The drive across this country is truly majestic.  We have so many incredible different landscapes, it really makes this country different than all others.  Touring is the whole point to Crash Karma.  When I started this band it was nothing more than a silly idea, that I hoped would lead to a gig or two, and maybe some recordings.  Well, two albums deep, a 5-week long tour coming up to the west coast and back, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Every show is an experience, one we share with only those in that room that night.  There is a very special bond that occurs with our fans at our shows, and it’s something that I cherish.

If you dig Crash Karma, come out, enjoy some music, and hang out with us!  It’s going to be a fun set list, with a few surprises in store.

We can’t wait to meet every one of you!!

And to everyone on the east coast, we’ll be coming your way soon.

 

Amir

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At this point I think most people have heard about James and Karla Begley and their son Max. Max was diagnosed with severe autism when he was two years old. They received a hate-filled screed from some sub human troll that pretty much turned the world’s collective stomach. I heard about this more or less as it happened because James is an old friend. He’s also one of the people I admire the most.

I met James many years ago, high school to be precise. We played in a couple of bands together and really thought we were on to something. We liked all the newest music from the UK and we tried to set ourselves apart from the same old stuff that was around at the time. We had a purpose! My very first band was with James (Sorry James, I have to call you Jim now!!). He played the drums and man, did he ever work hard at it. We were a bunch of snarling punk rock kids that couldn’t play loud enough or fast enough. I vaguely remember parts of one song from back then. It was called ‘Lobotomy’ and it clocked in at 190 BPM and lasted an exhausting two and a half minutes even though it had the requisite 2 verses, 2 choruses, a rudimentary bridge and even a guitar solo! I also remember practicing and seeing a pool of cast off sweat around Jim for a good 4 feet. Like I said, he worked HARD. Time moved on and Jim decided it would be way better to be the singer. Did I mention he was smart? That band was a little more successful, playing more shows and garnering more attention with Jim was always being the one that tried to push things in new directions. Still working hard! There are a few great pictures from that era that some might find embarrassing due to some fashion choices that may not stand the test of time. I’ll bet none of the people in those pictures feel embarrassed because we remember the fun they represent. There were so many good times over the couple of years we spent doing the band thing that – I could write a long book about them. Then I ‘d have to edit out all of the incriminating stuff and it’d be a short essay!

Time passed, as it always does and we all went on our individual paths, mine lead to a career in music (still feels odd to make that claim). Jim also continued with music, I remember dropping by his house to record some guitars for a project he was working on but back then I hadn’t really gotten used to the studio thing and it just ended up being a nice hangout. No worries and certainly no time lost, just time spent together.  I continued playing (I think it was an early version of OLP by then) and Jim continued doing what he was doing. In time Jim’s path lead him to his beautiful wife Karla. About 15 years ago they got the wonderful news that Karla was pregnant with their first child, Jackson. Jackson has also been diagnosed and falling on the spectrum of autism but is very high functioning, in fact he’s pretty awesome! During the course of Karla’s pregnancy with Jack they also received the devastating news that Karla had Multiple Sclerosis, yet somehow they took it in stride. Jim was still playing music; in fact he was an award-winning Elvis tribute artist, winning his category at the Collingwood convention of Elvis tribute artists. (Who knew there were Elvis tribute artist conventions??). One time all the friends from that era got together at one of Jim’s shows to bid farewell to a friend that was moving away for a job and witnessed Jim doing his GI era Elvis…Awesome! Even then Jackson, all of about 6 years old, was musical. I remember him performing a song that night with Jim and the band and having such a good grip on things that as he was finishing the last lines of his song he turned to the seasoned show band veterans behind him and called out ‘Big Finish!’ Jackson is certainly the son of the Jim that I know.

I have to say that Jim is a friend by a most treasured type, that which I call an ageless friendship.  You know how it is, there are some people in your life that you might not see for a year or two but when you do it’s like no time has passed, no awkwardness, no redress for the time apart, just the friendship, always there, never changed.

Over the years Karla’s MS began to advance and they decided that while she was still in good health that they would have another child. That child is Max. Maxwell was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of 2. He is currently mostly non-verbal although he and his family and friends have their own system of communication. He understands and is able to communicate his wants and desires, just not always through traditional language. Raising Max has had its share of challenges but the Begley’s are a close and loving family. Unconditionally and absolutely bonded and tightly knit. Truly a family whose bonds we could all use as an example in our own families. Karla continues to face her MS with the support of Jim and the boys and has remained positive and warm throughout. I’ve seen her at intervals over the years so I’ve seen her go from walking with a cane to using a walker and I’m told she now mostly uses a wheelchair. Yet, each time I see Jim he’s still the Jim I knew. I’m a fairly astute observer of folks and their state of mind, so Jim always amazes me. I can never see a weight on his shoulders. No complaints no tired, downcast eyes and ‘Woe is me’ demeanor. I’ve told him before regarding his situation that he’s pretty much my hero. If you want to know what it is to grow up to be a man, a truly strong and good man, check out my good friend Jim.

So when I read that awful, hateful, truly vile letter I was incensed! My immediate reaction actually now saddens me a lot. I felt an absolute rage, a violent, vengeful, nearly bloodthirsty rage. I have no doubt that letter would have upset me at any time regardless of whom it was written to but this was personal. It’s awful to write this to anyone but these are my friends. I cannot allow this, I will not allow this, not to these people; don’t you know what they’ve already been through? What they go through everyday? You talk of Max’s future? Don’t you think they know about the future of their beautiful family? Don’t you think that’s clear on every front? Screw you!! I wanted to find that person. I wanted to find them and hold them to account for this evil. I won’t talk about what I thought I would do had I been able to, I’m ashamed of it. I will say it involved a deep, dark hole. That person made me into something I’m not; a little bit of their evil took a hold of me.

Then something kind of wonderful happened, like something from a Christmas movie of the week only not so corny. People all saw how wrong it was. Some thought it was a hoax and I can see why. You claim the title ‘Mother’ and you can say these things? Couldn’t be true, could it? Sadly it is. But the amazing thing is that the one bad person has stirred up a hornet’s nest of good people. James and Karla have had offers of help on all fronts, people are rallying around Max to show their support in amazing numbers. People raising awareness and educating themselves about autism, people decrying that awful letter. It made me realize that the good in the world outnumbers the bad; it just usually does so quietly. Just like Jim facing his challenges quietly, just getting on with what is the only option without any hesitation. Of course he loves his family, what are you crazy? They’re awesome! All of the tasks he has to do that seem like additional work he just does because they need to be done for the people he loves, no drama, no fuss. I imagine Jim sleeps well at night, partially because the man must be super human doing all that he does, but mainly because he can sleep with peace of mind, a profound peace that he earns everyday.

That awful letter brought out a portion of myself that I’m not proud of but it also made me realize how that tiny portion is a part of me. There are those who can write that letter, but they are a similarly tiny portion of the overall populace. There are so many, many more people that will denounce it and rush to the aid of those under attack. The good outweighs the bad, always has, always will. People are basically good and all it takes is something to remind them of what they are. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take such drastic things to bring out the good next time.

 

-Mike

What is a BLOG anyway?

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They said I have to blog….
What is a BLOG anyway?

Boring Long Ongoing Garbage?
Buy Lots Of Gin?
Beware Low On Gas?
Babes Like Older Guys?
Bite Lick Or Grind ?
Best Let Others Grow?
Beautiful Ladies Of Georgia ?
Bet Large On Games?
Beware Low On Grip?
Beautiful Law Of Gravity?
Bullshit Lowers Our Game?
Be Like Others Generally?
Boys Like Outgoing Girls?
Bend Lower On Ground?
Best Leave Our Group?
Boner Love Orgasm Gushing?
Brains Learn On Google?
Bend Light On Glass?
Bad Legs Old Guy?
Big Lung Oyster Goo?
Better Love Over Greed?
Blue Lilac Orange Green?
Behemoth Lays On Grass?
Brain Lost On Ganja?
Broke Lazy Old Gay?
Big Lump Of Gold?
Black Lace Over Genitalia ?
Before Long Oops Goodbye?
Bullshit Links Our Globe?
Blatant  Lies Of Government?
Big Life Of Giants ?
Boy Likes On Girl?
Bacon Lettuce Onion Gorgonzola?
Being Late On Going ?
Better Lucky Over Good?
Bin Laden Osama Goodman?
Bushy Legs Of Goats ?
Big List Of Groceries?
Brain Lacks Oxygen Generally?
Bright Lessons Of  Genius?
Big Lyrical Orgasm Gift?

It’s actually short for Weblog
well…. Thats Just Silly.

 

E.

The Art of the CRASH KARMA Extra Spicy Bloody Caesar…

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Ever since my first taste of a bloody ceasar at the Keg in Vancouver back in 1990, I have never been able stay from this fabulous meal in a glass. Imagine the surprise when I found out that my new band would enjoy these spicy, savory concoctions as much (almost) as I do! This is what happens after every gig…Either Edwin or I head to the stash of magnificent ingredients and prepare for what will be forever our post show toast – The CRASH KARMA extra spicy bloody caesar.

INGREDIENTS:
-4 red cups
-1 bag of ice
-2 bottles of Mott’s Clamato juice
-2 bottles of high quality vodka
-1 bottle of Tabasco brand pepper sauce
-1 bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
-6 fresh large limes
-1 bottle of celery salt
-1 salt & pepper
-1 bottle of pickled asparagus or dill pickles

PREPARATION:
-Rim red cup with the juice from the lime wedge and a combination of celery salt and salt.
-Add 4 ice cubes
-Add 2 shots of vodka and Clamato juice.
-Season with salt & pepper, fresh squeezed lime juice, a touch of dill pickle or asparagus juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces to taste.
-Stir well and garnish with lime wedge, pickled asparagus or pickle (no pickle juices for Turner…)

ENJOY like CRASH KARMA and drink responsibly!

– JEFF

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Hey all, it’s Mike here…..Alright, there’s something I need to get off of my chest and it’s been on my mind for a long, long time. I hope that you won’t think less of me after you read this. Seriously, don’t judge me too harshly…

 

I confess. I love food.

 

There…it’s said…God! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders..it really feels good to finally let it out, you know? You don’t hate me know do you?

Yup, I love food. Most any food as long as it’s a good version of what it is. I’ve eaten at the table of some of the best chefs in the world and eat occasionally at my local chip truck and I love them in nearly equal measure. This has lead me to become an aficionado (more like addict) of any food oriented TV show/Media. In fact, I go all the way to food documentaries, full length movies no less! Check out ‘Jiro Dreams Of Sushi’ for the singular pursuit of perfection in the strict and elegant world of sushi. or ‘El Bulli: Cooking In Progress’ to see the LUNATIC lengths that Ferran Adria goes to in order to make a meal so much more than just physical nutrition. In fact that’s one of my regrets. The restaurant the documentary is about (it was considered the best in the world) closed before I could eat there. Here’s a clip of Anthony Bourdain at the last service at El Bulli In fact, Bourdain is a grat source for many things food. He doesn’t get precious about it, he’s pretty Rock and Roll in general (actually check out his book ‘Kitchen Confidential’ it’s a great insight into the lunacy that drives food people). Here’s a great clip of him hanging out with Fucked Up in Toronto on his show ‘The Layover’ that (later on) has my favorite quote”:

 

‘Am I going to wake up all covered in bone marrow fat and Bourbon, AGAIN?’

 

Haven’t we all said that at one time or another? Seriously?

 

I’ve largely bookmarked my travels while touring by what foods I can eat wherever I am. That and vintage guitars were my vices (not the worst vice one can get while on the road, by far!)

 

Anyway, I’m glad I finally got my little confession out in the open, I certainly feel better about it and I hope you do too. I think I feel even closer to you all now that you know my secret!

 

As we go on and there are more of these little missives from each of us you’re likely to read more of my musings on food…you know, cool things to eat, cool places to eat, cool things that help you make cool things that you then get to eat. You get the picture, I’m all about food!

Oh, and guitars.

And Formula One racing.

Oh and working on old cars.

And yoga, yoga’s cool too….and…and… Oh, look, a squirrel…..

 

gotta go.

 

 

m