3hree Things: Random Thoughts About The 2012 Grammys

Watch out for 3hree Things (usually) every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

grammy adele.jpg
Because a column that usually runs on Tuesdays should run on a Monday. Because the Grammys weren't spoiled at all* by airing them live on the East Coast while those of us who live a mere 45 minutes from where the award show was actually happening had to wait to watch it at 8 PM PST. Because wall-to-wall Grammy coverage hasn't bored the hell out of you already. Because all the memes haven't been exhausted yet. And because you care about a random brain dump by a musician who watched the show from his couch, has no "insider info", and has not, will not and will (likely) never have an opportunity to go to the Grammys**. Because we need more opinions like these. Because there aren't millions of them on Twitter already. Because the "close window" tab is right there in the upper left-hand corner of your browser.

That's why this is happening right now.

*For the record, I thought this year's show was one of the best in recent memory.
**And because I couldn't think of much else to write about.
More »

3hree Things: A Box Full Of Cassettes And Shame

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

craptapes.jpg

I'm not gonna lie. I didn't spend my formative years as a music listener (late-80's/early-90's)  listening to Fugazi, or Black Flag, or My Bloody Valentine, or MC5, or The Melvins, or this seminal band, or that seminal band*. Nope. Instead, I'd my way over to the Peer Records that used to be in the Irvine Marketplace, and stock up on piles of new cassettes and cassette singles full of audio garbage to willingly assault my earholes with.

I remember a fair share of those regrettable purchases (many of which have appeared in my Flashback Friday posts on my blog), but through the magic of selective memory I figured I'd actually managed to purge most of those regrettable purchases from the deepest recesses of my brain. That changed when I spent some time cleaning out my mom's garage and found (no lie) three huge boxes FULL of cassettes from the early-'90s. 

Right there, plain as day. Physical evidence of my poor decision-making, financial irresponsibility and godawful taste.

"Hey, just in case you forgot how much of an idiot you were, here are three massive boxes to throw you into a mild depression jog your memory a bit."

What follows, is a look at three of the worst from ONE box of worstness. I might save the other two boxed piles-of-disappointment-encased-in-an-obsolete-audio-medium for a day when I feel like I need to knock my middling self-worth down a few pegs.  

More »

3hree Things: On Super Bowl XLVI Gear

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

super-bowl-2012-logo.jpeg

It's a hockey goalie's mask. Or a maple leaf. Or a bee (kinda).

The Super Bowl. Have you heard of it? It's the most superb of bowls (!!!), featuring the mightiest team from the National Football Conference (that got hot at the right time of year and won two or three games) versus the mightiest team from the American Football Conference (that also got hot at the right time of year and won two or three games) in a showdown of gritty, gutty, footy balls. This year, America's favorite TV commercial fest and awkward halftime show spritzed with sporadic football things moves itself to Indianapolis (AKA- "America's Yawn") and will feature the Giants of New York (starring the Manning brother with healthy neck, but similarly weird face) and the Patriots of Insufferable Sports Fan Land (starring the guy that has sex with supermodels and wins all of the everything...always). Good times, they're on the horizon.

Now, imagine you're not a fan of either team. (Or don't imagine, because you really aren't.) Imagine you're invited to a Super Bowl party. Imagine you're someone that doesn't care about the food, and booze and camaraderie that a Super Bowl party affords you. You want to look and feel like you "get it", right? Like you're "in the know" as they say. Like this weekend is just SUPER (and bowly) and you're fully onboard even though you don't have a dog in the fight or a horse in the race or a turd in the punchbowl or...whatever. Right?

I've done a little bit of legwork here and perused NFL.com's Super Bowl XLVI gear so that you (via express shipping) can be decked out in the proper gear for your Super Bowl party.

More »

3hree Things: On My Maiden Voyage To NAMM

3hree Things, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California, usually comes out every Tuesday. Today is an exception because of, well, NAMM.
pointblankonlinenet.jpg
photo courtesy of poinblankonline.net​

I've been in a band for almost fourteen years and have been aware of NAMM's existence for that long or longer. I've been what I would classify as a "mild-to-moderate level gear nerd" for about a decade. I've lived no more than a twenty minute drive from the Anaheim Convention Center for my entire life.

And I'd never been to NAMM.

Until this year.

What follows is a brief look at NAMM 2012 from a first timer's perspective.

More »

3hree Things: (A Few Of) My Favorite Drummers At the Moment

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
riley_setup.jpg
​the above image was respectfully borrowed from Kick/Snare/Hat and taken by Sangsouvanh Khounvichit

Over the past couple of years, via Twitter and the comment sections of my blog and here at 3hree Things, I've received a decent number of inquiries about which drummers I'd cite as my main influences. I tend to shy away from addressing the question of drumming influences (or, at least, cringe when the question is posed) because I: a) always manage to brain fart and leave someone highly influential off the list, and b) find that who and what inspires me as a drummer is constantly changing. It's just a tough question to answer.

After getting a few more questions about my drumming influences during the roll out of my favorite albums of 2011 over the past few weeks, I figured it was probably time to address them here at 3hree Things. Rather than try to make the list comprehensive, or deciding to rattle off the names that might be fairly obvious or common (John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Jon Theodore, Josh Freese, Buddy Rich, JoJo Mayer, Gerald Heyward, Neil Peart, Joey Castillo of QOTSA, JR Conners of Cave In, etc.), I thought I'd try to narrow it down to three contemporary drummers I've found myself listening to a lot lately and that have provided me with inspiration to try to figure out how and why they play what they play, as well as how I can take what I learn by trying to figure out their parts and playing along to their records and make it my own without totally aping their creativity (or parts).

These are those drummers (in no particular order) . . .
More »

3hree Things: The Best of ... From 2011

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
tldriley.jpg




For the uninitiated, that tl;dr stands for "too long; didn't read", which is (unfortunately) the perfect comment/response to any 3hree Things piece I've ever written, including this one. It's also my auto-reply to every email I get.

Before we get started on a new year of 3hree Things, I thought it might be apropos to take a look back at some of the "best" (read: most read, most commented, most "liked") pieces from the past year, and thank all of you who consistently read the nonsense that pours out of my brain on onto the internet via Heard Mentality. Whether you share links to these pieces on Twitter and Facebook, provide positive (or negative) feedback via the comments here or on Twitter, or just read and click a "like" button (or just read, enjoy, and go along your merry way), I want you to know that I truly appreciate your kind words and support. I'm hoping to do a quite a bit more writing both here and elsewhere in 2012, and it's encouraging to know that there are people who might appreciate that.

So, before we get to the "more writing...(in 2012), let's get in the Way Back Machine™ and go all the way back to June.

(note: click the title of each "thing" to take you to the original piece)

More »

3hree Things: My 12 Favorite Albums Of 2011, Vol. 4 of 4

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
6583521.jpg
 
Are we still doing this?

We're still doing this.

The following are my three favorite records from a year that was so jam packed with great new music that this list could have easily been thirty albums long (and taken ten weeks for me to roll out). Thankfully, I didn't subject you guys (or myself) to that extended list. You're welcome.

Please add any albums you think I might have missed in the comments below, and let's hope 2012 is as good or better as 2011 was. Happy New Year, and thanks as always for reading.


More »

3hree Things: My 12 Favorite Albums Of 2011, Vol. 3 of 4

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
tumblr_l642vaaJ2S1qzwp5qo1_500.jpg

Hello? Anybody out there? Is this thing on?

So, uh...maybe rolling this out in four volumes wasn't the best idea. Sorry. Rest assured that it has been duly noted, and if the folks at OC Weekly are kind enough to retain my services until next year at this time, I'll just dump my end-of-the-year list on you in a more traditional format that you may blow through it in mere moments as you continue your quest to win at the internet.

If there is a plus-side to the slow roll-out, it might be the following: should you hear something you like and want to purchase, you can do that, spend a week with said purchase(s), let the album sink in (or not), and avoid getting overwhelmed by picking up a slew of new music and not having enough time to spend any of it before the onslaught of 2012's best albums start punching you in the ear come the second week of January.

If you're still here, thanks for sticking with me. We're getting there.
More »

3hree Things: My 12 Favorite Albums Of 2011, Vol. 2 of 4

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native. Read the archives here.

tumblr_lspzuie1B91qzzh57o1_1280s.jpg
Last week, I said I'd probably rearrange this list every time I took a look at it, and I was right. Here we are at Volume 2 of My Favorite Albums of 2011, and I'm not only flip-flopping and waffling on the the order of the albums you're about to read about, but I'm looking ahead and changing things up toward the top of the list. OCD, party of one, your table is ready.

Before we get started with Volume 2, I thought I'd mention a handful of albumss that just missed showing up on this year's list.

I'd read and heard a ton of wonderful things about The Joy Formidable's Big Roar record that was released back in January, but for whatever reason I never really got around to listening to it. Eleven months later, I own the album, love it, have no idea where it'd end up on this list, but I'm pretty sure if I'd spent more than a week and a half with it it'd be on here.

 Tunnel Blanket by This Will Destroy You should probably be on this list as well. It's beautiful, and it was actually in the #9 slot until I revisited my total plays on iTunes and last.fm and realized that even though I love it, I didn't actually listen to it all that much. As a result, it got the boot when I snuck David Bazan's Strange Negotiations on the list at the last minute. The same goes for Explosions In The Sky's Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. The album is incredible, but the total plays just weren't there to justify inclusion.

Bon Iver's self-titled record might've made the list in a year in which I listened to more mellow music. I just didn't get into the album the way I thought I might when it was released because I was too busy listening to Battles' Gloss Drop (which just missed this year's list as well), and never really got around to doing due diligence on it, even after being blown away by his set at The Shrine Auditorium in September.

Other records I enjoyed but just missed making the cut this year were: Mastodon's The Hunter (in heavy rotation early, but didn't stick around like I'd hoped), both Loop and Let Yourself Be Huge by Cloudkicker (both very good, but I feel like I got them too late in the year to include on this list), Title Fight's Shed (high-energy punk rock that made me feel 19-years-old again, but didn't quite have the staying power to stick in heavy rotation throughout the year) and, in a shocking development, Radiohead's The King Of Limbs (marking the first time I haven't thought a new Radiohead album wasn't the "best thing ever").

Enough about which albums didn't make the cut, let's look at the next 3hree....

More »

3hree Things: My 12 Favorite Albums Of 2011, Vol. 1 of 4

tumblr_lspzuie1B91qzzh57o1_1280s.jpg
Sangsouvanh Khounvichit

It's that time of year again. The time of year in which we are inundated with year-end lists; bests, worsts, mosts, leasts, blah, and blahs. Honestly, I'm a bit tired of lists (maybe some of that has to do with the fact that I make one for this column every week), but there's something to to be said for tradition. I've been writing and publishing "Best/Favorite Records of ..." for several years, and while I realize that some of you couldn't possibly give less of a damn which records were my favorites of 2011, I'm about to drop them on you anyway. Suck it up and read on, or do something else.

Now, a few things before we get started. 

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Events

Links

Loading...