Archive for the ‘Life, the Universe, and Everything’ Category

15 Game-Changing Albums

Posted by on September 5th, 2014

Someone recently challenged me to list 15 “game-changing” albums that were very influential to me.  So here they are, in roughly the order I first heard them.

  1. (Untitled) – Led Zeppelin
  2. A Night at the Opera – Queen
  3. Love Gun – Kiss
  4. The Wall – Pink Floyd
  5. In 3-D – “Weird Al” Yankovic
  6. Revolver – The Beatles
  7. Electric Ladyland – Jimi Hendrix
  8. Weld – Neil Young
  9. Gretchen Goes to Nebraska – King’s X
  10. The Doors
  11. Nevermind – Nirvana
  12. Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan
  13. Mutations – Beck
  14. Innervisions – Stevie Wonder
  15. Countdown to Ecstasy – Steely Dan

Happy Crimble and a Very Goo Year

Posted by on December 27th, 2013

HermanFrom the ashes I’ll rise again, I will rise again
To sing a new song
From the ashes I’ll rise again, I will rise again
And fly headlong into the rush of improbable moments

– from “Burning Down Both Sides”

(Blog title shamelessly borrowed from the Beatles)

A Belated Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted by on February 15th, 2013

Sun of LoveDespite being a day late, an apropos musical message from the “Messenger of Love”.  We celebrate not just romantic love, but any old kind of love.

Hey, all you people with you heads bent low
Break out of your cells, your cells
I was a prisoner, too, not long ago
Until I broke the spell, broke the spell

I’ve gone beneath the surface of things
I’ve got the real stuff, the real stuff
I’ve seen what the future can bring
If we work hard enough, hard enough

I’m a messenger
Messenger of love
A messenger
Messenger of love

See all these people, how they cling to the past
And living in fear, in fear
The past is over and the present won’t last
The future is here, it starts here

They may put you down and call you a freak
But don’t you hesitate, hesitate
If only they would think before they speak
We’ve got to set them straight, set them straight

I’m a messenger
Messenger of love
A messenger
Messenger of love

Secret sisters, come and play
Others like you feel this way

Song From a Dream

Posted by on February 1st, 2013

Tom Petty

Very early Monday morning I had a dream in which Tom Petty (and also Will Henson) were helping me write a song called “Westwood”.  I was working on a verse when my wife inadvertently woke me up.  As it turns out, that was probably fortunate, because I was able to remember the verse I was working on, the title, and some other ideas.  Within a couple of hours I had completed the song and recorded it demo.  It will likely be the last song we will record in sessions for the upcoming album.  It’s one of those songs that seems familiar but so far I’ve not been able to identify any particular song that it’s based on; rather there are bits and pieces of a lot of different songs that bear some similarity.  John described the style as “Neil Young (without the high whining voice) or Bruce Springsteen (without the lower gravelly voice)”.  Thanks, Tom and Will, for your help in my dream, but I’m afraid that dream-people aren’t entitled to songwriting credit.

Mixing and Matching

Posted by on January 25th, 2013

mixing boardI started my formal musical education rather late (about a year and a half ago, in fact), but I’m now immersed in learning and loving it.  I never knew how much I didn’t know.  I’ve just started a class called the “Art of Mixing”.  For those readers who don’t know what mixing is, in a nutshell it’s blending the sounds of all the instruments in a recording to make it aesthetically pleasing.  The class is coming at a good time, because I’ll be ready to mix the new album soon and I look forward to making use of the new things I learn.  We’re mixing real studio recordings of various artists, in various genres.  Last week we did “All That’s Missing is My Baby” by singer-songwrtiter David Newbould, and this week it’s a country-pop song called “Close Up Shop” (not sure about the artist).  I’m excited to be brushing up on my skills, and I think it will pay off in upcoming Chameleon Red endeavors.