Artist Spotlight: Blake Best

We at RevPub love music. It’s pulled us through good times and bad, and there’s truly nothing better than a good concert. This month, we’re spotlighting Nashville-area musician and guitar instructor, Blake Best. Be sure to reach out to him and show your support!

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Contact info: Best Guitar Instruction, 615-406-7268, bbbest1085@gmail.com

Instruments played: Acoustic guitar, electric guitar

RevPub: How long have you been playing, and what made you want to play music?

I have been playing guitar for 15 years. My parents were both avid music fans, and my father was a professional guitarist, so I grew up surrounded by music.

RevPub: What is the most important thing to you in regard to your music?

The most important thing to me is for my music to retain my thoughts and feelings. I write music for me, and I always have. It just happened that others appreciated it and felt a connection to me through it. I also play multiple styles, which has helped keep me versatile and has kept my creativity flowing. I toured for five years as a member of a signed and well marketed metal band, but never gave up playing the rock and alternative music that defined me in my formative years.

RevPub: Who/what are your biggest influences/motivators?

What a question! There’s so many…Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, TRUSTcompany, Adam D and Joel of Killswitch Engage, Boston, Alice in Chains, Robert Englund (an actor but one of my greatest creative influences), my Mom and Dad, and my fiance Lisa. She has always been supportive of me and of my music career. She is my soulmate and encouraged me to continue on my musical journey.

RevPub: What are the most important things you’ve learned throughout your musical career?

Patience and gratitude. The music business is a cut-throat industry full of hard knocks and bumps. I strongly believe that if you’re patient, you’ll get your chance to show everyone what you can do. I also believe gratitude is important. Be thankful of everyone who supports you, because without them, what would you have?

RevPub: Why is music such a big part of your life and who you are as a person?

Music is just part of who I am; it’s natural to me, like breathing. I’ve always found music to be a source of comfort and peace, and I enjoy sharing this with others. Though I enjoy playing and recording and being involved in the music industry, I began teaching guitar in order to share my passion for music in a way I could never do as just a performer. Teaching is a way for me to ensure that others have the opportunity to enjoy music as much as I do. Hopefully, my sons will want to learn so my musical legacy lives on!

Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Life Lessons from Video Games: Every Day Video Game Influences

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Video gaming has affected modern culture in strange ways. Many of the more recent ways spring from online/multiplayer culture, but surprisingly the games I grew up with, the ones from the 80s and 90s, have had a lingering effect. Things I do day-to-day still show the touch of the 8-32 bit era and just recently I thought to document the weird game references I do in everyday life and here are just the top ones…I’m sure everyone does something like this…

5.) Korobeiniki: I’ve found this to be more common than I realized. As someone with an advanced degree in OCDs and organization I’ve found that organizing anything, desk drawers, folders, shelves, U-Hauls, is always accompanied by this song playing in my head, and occasionally I hum it aloud. I never even played much Tetris because of how messing up lines made my OCDs want to eat my brain but I attached this song indelibly to putting things in order, in nice right angles, NEAT UND TIDY!

4.) Null sweat, chummer: Yes, yes I know Shadowrun was a pen-and-paper RPG before it was ported to the Sega Genesis and turned into an action/adventure masterpiece in 16-bit glory…but I never knew that in the 90s. I knew Shadowrun as a cool used cartridge I got with a very interesting futuristic landscape and creative lingo. Every now and then instead of the usual “No problem,” “sure,” or “My pleasure,” “Null Sweat, Chummer” pops out, much to the bewilderment (usually) of the person receiving this statement. I think if I ever say this to a girl and she responds “Keep running in the shadows” I’ll probably propose…

You say sure thing…he says “Null Sweat, Chummer”

3.) At Doom’s Gate: I spent more time running down the hallways of Doom than I spent in school I think. It’s a rare game I could put on godmode and not get bored. Thirty days in a row… To this day moving swiftly down hallways, corridors, or even through crowded mall makes this music pop into my head. Given how much time I spent blasting hellspawn in that game I wonder if I should fear for the crowd…

2.) Test Your Might/Flawless Victory/Fatality: Mortal Kombat…it briefly held our attention by being more cartoonishly bloody than contemporary games. Even beyond that it started its own mythos…you could find secret characters, see secret things, and half the rumors about it weren’t true. The fighting parlance of the game though far out-lasted the novelty of ripping people’s spinal columns out. I use the above three phrases a LOT in day-to-day life. “Test you Might,” any time I have anything to do really (not just breaking big blocks of steel, rubies, or diamonds). “Flawless Victory” is usually reserved for a better-than-expected result, with “Fatality” brought in when that result ended in total ownage.

1.) HADOUKEN: I use this ALL the time. It’s sad. I use it when I throw clothes across the room. I use it when I toss my phone on the desk. I use it when I drop a dish in the sink. I have no idea why but anything leaving my hand at any moment and any speed equals HADOUKEN to me. It’s probably from the ridiculous spamming of that move that came with playing any version of Street Fighter II… If I ever do figure out how to throw a fireball (I’ve tried moving down, then slightly down forward, then forward and yelling it…it didn’t work) the world would be in big trouble (see my comments on crowds in the “Doom Music” section above….).

 

Take Action or Stop Complaining

RavenRant

Satisfaction. Fulfillment. Happiness. All things we strive for every day. But what makes able to achieve those things?

I proofread an article this week about how we as humans are never satisfied with what we have. We’re too hot, too cold, too fat, too skinny, and the list goes on. We take simple things for granted. We never stop to think things could always be worse. However, there is a flip-side to this: we can do things to make ourselves more satisfied and happier.

People complain about many things, but I have noticed most complain about their weight and job – two things most of us have total control over. If you’re unhappy with your weight, then eat healthy and exercise. If you’re unhappy at work, then it’s time to look for something else. Simple, right?

I’m not saying it’s easy to lose weight or get another job, but it is easy to take the steps to get there. For example, you can’t write a book without writing the first chapter. You can’t get your driver’s license without learning to drive. Same concept – you have to start somewhere.

Listening to people complain wears on others around them and affects others’ moods. I’m not the happy police, but I will say when I have been unhappy at work, I found another job or applied for one. If I felt out of shape and my clothes were too tight, I cut back sugar and started exercising. If I find myself complaining too much, I stop. I don’t want to hear myself drone on about something, so I know no one else does either. At the end of the day, I know I did my best to resolve the issue instead of complaining about it.

I don’t rant often, but recently change has been all around me. I told a good friend 2014 so far has been the year of change and new beginnings, and we have all been just fine. For the most part, we’ve all been happier, too.

So, why don’t more people take action? Because it’s easier to whine and complain. Change takes balls, and it’s often inconvenient and scary. But it’s often worth it as well.

What actions have you taken to make your life better?