Mongrain

I’ve been out straight with all sorts of things lately but I saw this video and had to post it.
As a musician, I am in awe of this guy.
Not sure if he came before ‘August Rush’ or if he was the actual inspiration for it.
Judging from the movie clips I’ve seen, the August Rush kid smiles way too much for my comfort.
Kinda freaky and ala the Shining, so very unlike Mongrain.
Check it out.
Crazy.
This is some tres cool shit.
Off to bed, folks.

~m

Advertisements

Nano Shuffle

I put my Nano on “shuffle” tonight and wrote a little bit about the 5 tunes that randomly came up. Check it out.

*Michel Camilo – Just Kidding (from the album, One More Once)
What can I say? I have a new favorite piano player.
This tune has intense tight, screaming horns and is not for the jazz squeamish.
Camilo’s piano solo is the quintessential jazz solo. Amazing.
The man plays right-handed octaves faster than a frickin’ machine gun.
One of you guys better be listening to this guy after all I’ve said and posted about him.
Truth be told, I want someone to pinch me and tell me I’m not dreaming.

*Los Lobos – Colossal Head (from the album Colossal Head)
I’ve listened to these guys forever.
Raw, unpretentious and innovative, LL wrote the proverbial manual on how an electric guitar should sound in the studio.
If you’ve ever witnessed two musicians arguing over the difference between tube amplifiers vs. solid state you’ll eventual hear this: Solid State sucks!
The guitar sounds on Colossal Head totally support this statement.

*Fourplay – Kid Zero (from the album X)
Bob James (keys), Larry Carlton (guitar), Nathan East (bass) and Harvey Mason (drums), need I say anymore?
Alright, I guess I should.
You’ve heard all of these guys play more than you could ever imagine.
Believe me.
Kid Zero is a very cool song for all you smooth jazzers out there.
The hidden gem on the album is Michael McDonald’s vocal on “My Love is Leavin'”, an old Stevie Winwood tune off the album Chronicles. Schweet.

*The Tubes – I don’t want to wait anymore (from the album The Best of the Tubes 1981-1987)
I’ve loved this song forever.
Hardcore Tubes fans hated it because of the way it sounded.
It was produced by a musician named David Foster, another serious keyboard idol of mine from way back. (again, you’ve heard this guy before, you just don’t know it)
My playing resembles his in many ways. Ask my wife.
This tune sounded nothing like the old Tubes. It was a few years later that they hit the pop charts with “She’s a beauty”, another Foster produced mega-hit.

*Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Here’s that rainy day (from the album Solo)
Not exactly sure what to say regarding this one but if you like jazz piano and have yet to hear Rubalcaba, you ain’t lived.
Period.
They guy is a frickin’ piano machine.

I had fun with this.
I’ve also posted an Amazon link for every album.
Click and scroll down the page for a quick listen to each tune.
There’s some real nice stuff here.
If there are a few tunes you think I might like, leave a few titles.
I’m always looking for new stuff to keep the musical boat afloat and make the train ride just a bit shorter.

~m

Like a Glove

I got this from my good friend Annie.
This will meme me out for a while but this one was damn good . . . and fun too.

These are the rules:
1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings (scroll down and you’ll seen them separated by decades on the left in the sidebar)
2. Pick a year you were in high school
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of that year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more people

 

Fame – David Bowie

What I remember most about this song is its infectious beat.
It had all the elements of a cool funk tune blended seamlessly into a rock anthem. Girls liked to dance to it and us guys used to like to watch.
I also loved the weird vocal stuff Bowie did with his vocals in the studio.
A classic tune for me. I love Bowie.

You’re having my baby – Paul Anka

I’m going to cut to the chase here.
This song buuuhlows and Anka should have had his junk blown off just for recording it. This is a total lameass piece of musical shit.
And that’s giving it something.
This ‘baby’ should have had a clinic visit long before it ever gave birth on the AM airwaves.
This song makes Rosemary’s Baby seem like a Walt Disney character.
Really crass . . . sorry.

The Joker – Steve Miller

“Some people call me the space cowboy yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
[insert your woo-woo HERE]
Cause’ I speak of the pompetous of love”

When they talk about songwriting it’s all about “the hook”, the line that grabs the listener.
This song had more hooks than my Uncle Bill’s tackle box.
IMHO, when you can combine space cowboy, gangster of love and pompetus ( a word that doesn’t even exist) in one song and make it sound like pure poetry, you’re a frickin’ genius and Steve Miller is damn close.
To this day, Miller remains prolific and ultimately solid as a songwriter.
His melodies will hopefully be around for generations to come.
Aren’t they lucky?
You bet your bippie.

Free Ride – Edgar Winter Group

This song brings me way back.
Remember Tango, Blackberry Brandy and Sloe Gin Fizz?
I used to go to concerts played by popular area bands on Saturday nights at the Middle School in my hometown.
Ah, the memories.
There was usually one stall in the boy’s room coated with Tango splash monkeys by the end of the night.
This song made you feel better even though you were already feeling pretty damn good.
How can you not love that?

You Light Up My Life – Debbie Boone

Another song from the gurgling bowels of some netherworld I’m obviously unaware of.
It even has one of the smarmiest lines of lyrics anyone ever had the sack to write:

“It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right . . .”

It makes me feel better when I make believe the songwriter was talking about sticking his head straight up his ass, an observation this song truly deserves.
If you must know, yes, I’ve played this song for many weddings (and spit anything coming up into an empty Heineken bottle)
(and yes, I’m kidding…I usually vomit after the set, I’m a pro).
The only thing that would have made this song even remotely salvageable is if it were totally re-worked (and I mean totally) by the Talking Heads or Devo.

 

A few songs that didn’t make the list—

We gotta get you a woman – Todd Rundgren (I love Rundgren)

Tears of a Clown
– Smokey Robinson (how can you not like this tune?)

How can you mend a broken heart?
– Bee Gees (I know. Gay.)

Uncle Albert – McCartney (weird tune. that’s me.)

Frankenstein – Edgar Winter Group (albinos just can’t be this funky, he must be an alien)

There’s my list of 5 (+) tunes.
I could go on for days but . . .
I’m not tagging anyone but I’d love to see Hannah, Evyl, Miriam, Yvonne and Zoe do a post.
How’s about it guys?

~m




 

 

 

Smile

Occasionally I pick a number, turn on my Nano and hit the forward button until I reach my selected number.
I then write a bit about what comes to mind when I hear the particular piece that’s playing. A real favorite of mine came on today.

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
although a tear may be ever so near
that’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

It’s a song that makes one side of me quite content while the other side is quite a different story.
There’s a sweet and sentimental sadness about the music that has always “reached me”. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the melody and music
were composed by Charlie Chaplin, a black and white icon I’ve always thought of as a simple and sad little fellow.
Maybe he wasn’t quite so simple after all.
I put this song in the same category as “You are my sunshine” in terms of emotional complexity and ability to yank your heart out of your chest.
But maybe it’s just me.

Most folks that visit here regularly will find it no surprise that my mother used to sing and play both of these songs when I was a child.
So I have the maternal/internal attachment as well as a musical one.
This song made me think about my father too.
I wrote a piece a while ago called “Just Like Chaplin” because at the time that’s how I viewed my father’s physical capacity in addition to his ‘silent movie-like’ demeanor.
I think of how many times that song would involuntarily start playing in my head just sitting with him.

All this from one song.
Powerful stuff, huh?
Music once again continues to astound me.
Almost forgot –
the version I listened to was by David Sanborn off his “Closer” album.
Just humming the song can make you feel better too.
Try it sometime for me.

smiles,

~m

Kyrie

I listened to this tune on the train home tonight and wondered if the video was on YouTube.
My question has obviously been answered.
If you think you know nothing about this band called Mr. Mister, think again.
Check the Wikipedia site for more info on Richard Page.
He’s the voice behind the song Kyrie and his long time friend Steve George is playing keyboards.
I’ve loved this man’s voice forever and followed his career relentlessly.
It’s hard for me to believe he’s not a mega-star.
Maybe that just wasn’t his gig.
Turn up your speakers and enjoy this tune.
If you can find a copy of the album ‘Pages’ on CD, let me know.
It should have a track on it called “You need a hero”
If you do, I’d love you forever.
Know that Page is singing ‘Kyrie Eleison‘ and not ‘carry a laser‘. . .
Enjoy and have a wicked pissa weekend.
~m

2022

“The Year Zero” is a new album by Nine Inch Nails.
It was inspired by a daydream Trent Reznor had about the end of the world (which takes place in 2022)
What the hell does this guy eat for lunch anyway?
YZ is a concept album that is far too complicated to even attempt to explain here.
It seems like a game of ‘Clue on Glue’ set to a seething and throbbing Techno/Alternative musical background.
I found a very strange website that contains, among other things, several MP3’s from the new album.
I’ve yet to give them a listen so it’s at your own risk.
This appears to be an intentional internet leak, I presume.
But be warned, Reznor’s apocalyptic vision is disturbing on many levels.
It’s also intensely creative.
If this sounds interesting, click the pic above.
While you’re there check out a few of the links and download a tune.

~m

addendum~
I downloaded these songs:

*My Violent Heart
*Survivalism
*Me, I’m not
*In This Twilight

I should add that they sounded incredible.
Pure NIN.
~m 

Moleskines and a meme. . .

Now and then I do something to push and inspire me to write.
As I said in a previous post, February has always been a brutal month for me in terms of creativity. Anything I can do to root myself in the right direction seems the thing to do.
It can be something as simple as a new (cheap) pen or as complex as listening to a Charles Ives piano piece.
That said, I found myself at Borders in Copley Square last Saturday morning with a 25$ gift card I’d received at Christmas.
I had about an hour to kill and began my search for the perfect whatever.
It didn’t take long before I found a Chuck Klosterman book I’d been wanting for sometime. Klosterman is a psychedelic version of David Sedaris and one unique author you should consider reading at least once.
I absolutely love the way he writes.
The book was $14.
I had more money to spend.
And spend it I did.
I’m writing this post in a Moleskine journal that I bought, a writing paper used by the likes of Hemingway. (no, I’m not implying I’m a pseudo Hemingway wannabe but damn he had a great name for a writer)
The quality of the paper we write on is obviously not as important as what we write.
But the line spacing in the Moleskine is a bit different than what I’m used to and I can’t help but wonder if that will affect the way I write.
The paper is smooth as silk, to be honest.
More words are finding their way onto the page and I’m hoping that my writing flow improves in some way.
Obviously, I have to write for this to even have a chance to work. (duh)
I have also decided to read for at least 45 minutes to an hour every day, a minuscule allotment I realize but with my working hours it’s all I can reasonably spare.
I’m thinking about doing a writing exercise modeled after Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” called “Night Pages”– three pages of continuous long hand writing about anything; basically it’s a free-write that’s crazy out of control.

I’m hoping to empty out any extraneous bullshit swimming around in my gallon or so of cerebrospinal fluid; a purging of thought and a mental dusting of the long forgotten cranial shelves that possibly harbour literary gems I can (for right now) only dream of.
I am committed to this writing thing, (and should be committed. period.) but I’m also curious . . .
What keeps you writing against all odds?

Here’s an awesome meme from Red, do it if it feels right… (I refuse to tag you!)

“If your life were a film, what would your soundtrack be?”

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

Opening Credits: Kid Zero – Fourplay

Waking Up: I got the news – Steely Dan

Life: Angel in the House – The Story

Falling in Love: Morph the Cat – Donald Fagen

Make-out Scene: Embraceable You – Joe Sample (how perfect)

Breaking Up: All you need – Mike Stern

Mental Breakdown: The Border – Mr. Mister (Richard Page at his finest)

Driving: Late Night Duke Street – Acoustic Alchemy

Getting Back Together: All I know – Jimmy Webb ( I love this man. . . kinda)

Wedding: Panama – Van Halen (David Lee Roth, rocked)

Birth of Child: East of Eden – Michael McDonald (no words)

Final Battle: Sneaking up on Boo Radley – Bruce Hornsby (again, no words)

Death Scene: Route 17 – Lee Ritenour

Funeral: Blue Monk – Thelonious Monk

End Credits: Eraser – Nine Inch Nails

If you do this meme, puuleeese let me know.
I’d love to see your tunes

~m

Ipods n' books

Found a nice site that has some very slick downloadable material for
your Ipod. From Poe and Kafka to Dostoyevsky and Dickens there’s something for everyone that has an MP3 player in their lives (and likes audiobooks).
Best of all, it’s free.
Click on the stack of books above (the contents of all would easily fit on one 4G Nano).
Any guess as to what kind of cat is sitting on the stack?

~m

Ipods n’ books

Found a nice site that has some very slick downloadable material for
your Ipod. From Poe and Kafka to Dostoyevsky and Dickens there’s something for everyone that has an MP3 player in their lives (and likes audiobooks).
Best of all, it’s free.
Click on the stack of books above (the contents of all would easily fit on one 4G Nano).
Any guess as to what kind of cat is sitting on the stack?

~m