The Countdown’s Begun

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In 2007, nearly ten years ago, I had a dream to find a way to be creative for a living.  I was making these really colorful and unique musical images in a way that I saw no one else doing… and was inspired to see them large and wall ready.  I really pictured them on gallery-wrapped canvas.  So what’s a dreamer do?  He buys a large format, professional printer and starts practicing.  Within a year I was becoming really good at transferring my art onto the media that I craved and they started selling.

Soon after I worked my first art show and, in a conversation with a customer, was asked if I could do a similar type of art with a family photo.  I believed I could, and after much practice began a new venture called Max Electric Canvas, featuring digital painting services and professional printing services.  With no marketing push behind it, I was managing to garner enough orders to begin considering taking the venture full-time.  Then life happened, and my corporate-America bill payers relocated me to Oklahoma City.

This transition moved me into management for my company.  You know the Corporate America game… twice the responsibility for not much more money.  This is where I’ve been now for over five years, although after only a year in Oklahoma, I was relocated to beautiful Austin, TX.  This was my second time to live in Austin and I’ve been lucky to be back in an amazing city with some of my best friends.  Austin has hatched some other ideas into my world, also.  In December of 2012, after growing increasingly tired of the lack of good hard rock and metal radio that came without a Sirius or XM subscription, I launched Trendkill Radio.

Building an online radio station was a blast and over three years later, it’s constantly grown and presented more opportunity.  I realized approximately a year ago that mixing my love of vinyl collecting with the heavy music format was a great opportunity and we are now the only online radio station in the country that offers vinyl programming, vinyl merchandise (much more coming) and an online record store.  I’ve been lucky to have friends in the vinyl community come on board as show hosts and partners, so we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us.  In reality, it’s taken me over three years to get the station to a place where it really is set to take off… but the countdown has begun.

Many more fresh, new features are coming soon to Trendkill Radio, as well as Max Electric Canvas and The Art Concert.  I have built these separate, but interrelated, companies so that I can eventually monetize them to the point of waking up every morning to a cup of coffee and a job that I love.  Although there’s some vital pieces of the puzzle that I’m still working on, such as an overhaul of the Max Electric Canvas web store, the fruits of my labor are nearly within my grasp.  With this in mind, it was time to get this blog back on it’s feet.

Here, I will update anyone who’s interested on what it’s like to have a dream and go after it, in real time.  I’ll be sharing information on the new Art Concert material I’m working on, what we’re producing within the production studio of Max Electric Canvas, what’s brewing on the turntables of Trendkill Radio and mostly, how they all work together.  Subscribe if you want to jump on for the ride.  Soon… very soon… we’re going all in.

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Guest Post from Mack Malone of Max Electric Canvas

Yeah… I am Mack Malone of Max Electric Canvas. I’m reblogging this from the blog of a friend of mine and amazing photographer, Lynn. Check out her page and her work!

Town & Country Photography

Good morning! I have great news. For our clients who order their photos on canvas, we have found the best supplier. Max Electric Canvas is based in Austin, Texas & we are SO PSYCHED to be able to pass along his perfectionism! 

 

I Create Stuff… I Can’t Help It

 

My name is Mack and I am a creativity addict.  There, I said it.  To those that know me, that’s not a big shocker.  Creativity is something that I can’t imagine living without and I’m very thankful for the inspiration and self-therapy that it provides daily.  I remember the first time that I created something artistic and sat back and admired it… it was a sense of wonder that here, through the piano arrangement and lyrics that I’d written over it, was a song that had not existed when I awoke that day, and I immediately wanted to create…

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The Best $9.99 I Spend per Month

The Best $9.99 I Spend per Month

Being a music connoisseur, junkie and addict is expensive! I buy several new pieces of vinyl each month and am constantly struggling with what to buy, because nothing tweaks my ears and my budget more than buying something that I’m not going to listen to more than once. New vinyl records can run from $16.99 to $39.99, these days, and who has money to waste?

In the old days, before the advent of the internet, it was a total craps shoot. A band you like comes out with a new record and, in your mind, you’re thinking, “This is going to be awesome!”. You get home totally stoked for something amazing and, halfway into the record, you realize, “This ‘St. Anger’ record isn’t Metallica AT ALL!”. Then you shelve it and lose to the gamble that is blindly (or deafly) buying records. Money down the drain. This was my life for years and I have countless CD’s and records that I’ll never listen to again. But… not anymore!

For $9.99 per month, I can listen to almost every new release on Major, Minor and Indie Labels the day after it’s released. YES!!! If you don’t want to own physical records, why even buy them??? I wouldn’t recommend that, as there’s nothing like the experience of taking some wax out of it’s sleeve, placing it on the turntable, dropping the needle and sinking into the artwork, liner notes and lyrics on a first spin. But, being able to listen to any record out, start to finish, no commercials, no hassle, on your phone, tablet, home computer, smart tv… for 10 bucks a month? Heaven!!! Not to mention the fact that I save far more than $9.99 a month by being able to preview records and only buy the ones that I know I’ll listen to throughout my life. Dodge one lame record a month and I’m saving about $500 per year… I call that awesome.

So, you use Pandora… great. Here’s my problem with Pandora. You can’t check out as much new music on their service, even if paying for premium… but that’s not really it. I’m a songwriter and the music that is out there being listened to was written by someone, recorded by someone, produced by someone, manufactured by someone, promoted by someone, you get the idea. These are all folks who are trying to make a living… and Pandora is constantly pushing for lower and unfair royalty rates for the usage of music for their streaming service. In a nutshell, they are trying to take well-earned money out of the mouths of those that create the soundtrack of our lives. Not cool with me… shouldn’t be cool with you either. Without these people, they have no product. Spotify gets that… and as a result, has the support of the music industry. That’s important to me.

Hope this helps some of my music loving friends find more new music they love and avoid throwing some money away. For a music junkie, a Spotify subscription is like a druggie getting an unlimited supply of their drug of choice for one low monthly rate… and I have a problem. Until next time, keep your music true… and turn it up ’til it moves you.

My God is the Sun – New QOTSA Tuneage!!!

Hey Peeps (I use this term in honor of Easter)… Just wanted to highlight a new tune from Queens of the Stoneage, which they performed on 3/30/13 at Lollapalooza Brazil. The song speaks for itself and highlights new drummer, John Theodore. After listening, I have to think that Dave Grohl wrote the drum track in the studio. What do you think?

I think you should have a happy Easter, keep your music true and turn it up ’til it moves you.

Sevendust – “Decay”

I’ve been a fan of this band for almost twenty years and have been looking forward to the release of their new record, “Black Out the Sun”, for three months. It finally dropped on Tuesday and I’m slightly amazed that a band with their longevity never release a bad record. It’s different from previous releases, but has that same groove that keeps me coming back. Check out the first single “Decay” right here… then go check out the rest. Other tracks I recommend are the heavy and groove entrenched “Faithless – 1”, “Nobody Wants It” and the title track. There’s some really tasty acoustic work on the record, too, and “Got a Feeling” is a sound I haven’t heard before on a 7D record. Truly, there is only one thing that I don’t like about this effort from one of my favorites… they’re not releasing it on vinyl. Oh well… life’s not perfect… but it’s close.

Oh yeah… and since I haven’t blogged since I moved to OKC in August of 2011, it’s good to be back. Keep your music true… and turn it up ’til it moves you.

Where in the Download is Mack???

So, I’ve had an insane month.  New promotion at the day gig… canvas orders for Max Electric Canvas… a family reunion in Kentucky… SO, it is with all that being said that I sincerely apologize for not getting you some feedback on the experience that I had at The Download Festival, 2011.  Let me just say that it was, without a doubt, one of the coolest musical experiences of my life.  I’ll try to tell you more about all of that later.  For now, however, I’m just going to show you some of the amazing things that I saw while I was rocking my soul off for 3 days.  Pictures are all by me… videos are all courtesy of fellow downloaders.  Enjoy…

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Here’s some cool clips of Rob Zombie that I found, ironically, from someone who had to have been about 5-10 feet behind and to the left of me.  I can’t believe that I don’t see my hand pop up on the right side of the screen to snap a picture during this video.  Of course, I was slamming pretty good through most of this… because it was one of the best Zombie shows that I’ve ever seen.

One of my other favorite moments of the festival was seeing Kentucky boys, Black Stone Cherry, rock the crowd.  Especially gratifying was the fact that BSC is MUCH more appreciated in the UK than here in the states, where I’ve seen them a few times and have always wondered why the crowd wasn’t 110% on board the BSC train.  In England, though, they are much-loved and, as a Kentucky boy, seeing drummer John Fred sporting the Kentucky State Seal on his bass drum was really cool.  Also cool was the fact that they covered Adelle’s “Rolling in the Deep” and that it was amazing.  This is the best clip that I can find of it…

Another one of my favorite bands that I’m always excited to see is Sevendust.  Oddly enough, when we got in and were waiting on them to play, we realized, from locals, that 7D have only started getting recognition in the UK during the past couple of years.  Wow… one of my favorite bands of the past 20 years are just now being noticed there… but they definitely got the attention they deserved at this show.  Rather than show you a great video of the band, here’s a couple that, not only show you how insane the crowd went during this set, but also include me and my partner for this adventure, KM.  The first vid was shot from just behind me and you’ll see my red hat through a lot of it, while you’ll also notice that it was next to impossible to stand still up in the front.  This was, by far, the hardest set that I tried to get pictures of but, if you want to get the shots, the best spot is in the pit.  The second vid, while short, will show you what we were dealing with during this amazingly awesome set from 7D… and if you look close, you can catch me at :03-:04.  Crazy.

Since we’re playing, “Where in the Download is Mack?”, and since Alter Bridge was another one of my favorite sets at the festival, here’s the opening of AB’s set.  I’m in there at :19, so good luck with that.  Oh, here’s a hint… I wore a blue Kentucky hat that day.  Alter Bridge were amazing as always and I still insist that they’re one of the most talented bands in rock today, churning through hits off of all three albums and leaving us all ready for more.

Alright… lastly, for now, is Clutch and their performance of “50,000 Unstoppable Watts”.  You won’t find me in here (we were right up front… awesome) but their set was a solid mix of old, new and in between that didn’t disappoint.  I still need to see these guys in a club but, for my third time seeing them at a festival, this was my favorite.  Good audio on this video, too, which rocks.

So that’s it, for now.   I may get time to post some more later but, with a house to sell and a move to pull off in the next month, we’ll see.

Until next time, keep your music true… and turn it up ’til it moves you!”  Cheers.

A7X “So Far Away” Video

Alright, I don’t usually post videos or the like on my blog… usually because I just don’t have time.  This video just came out, though, and I feel really compelled to share it.  If you don’t know who Avenged Sevenfold is, they’re a band who had a founding member die last year, drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lose a friend that’s been there from the early days, let alone one who was such a cornerstone for your own career.  This video is such an awesome tribute for their best friend, drummer and partner in musical crime that I think I should  post it, so… here ya go.

You can catch A7X on tour all summer and I’d highly recommend it… well, if you like lots of pyrotechnics and killer rock and roll, anyways.  Until next time, keep your music true and turn it up ’til it moves you.