Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sometimes I get really amazed by people and their musical tastes. Everybody likes different things, and some people like very different things. It's fascinating to me how much music is really out there. I like to think my taste in music is pretty good, but others probably think I listen to weird music. Those who think that absolutely have no idea whats out there. I'm not really that in to rap music, though I do like a lot of it I would rather hear and see people actually playing and writing the actual music. I think lyrics are important but theres something about the music itself and the way it makes you feel that is much more important to me. I have nothing against people who like rap that I find disgusting, but to me that usually means that they have a very closed mind. Individuals like that think whatever is really big at the moment or whatever the vast majority is in to is what they have to like to be cool or be accepted. Deep down hopefully they know that it's really not very good.
Anyway, on a lighter note, lets here some music. Today I want to try to display the range of my musical taste at it's widest points. When i was a little kid I was extremely into Michael Jackson for years. I actually bought loafers and pulled my pants up high to show my socks and would do the moonwalk in front of my family. I used to have Moonwalker  and HIStory on VHS, and this is one of my favorite parts from Moonwalker. On the other side of my musical taste you will find Rage Against the Machine, who I was also terribly in to and actually went to their reunion show at Coachella in 2007. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs. I hope you enjoy, and keep on listening to music!

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Starting To Happen

About a week ago I finally decided to do everything in my power to actually start playing shows with a decent band and have some success. I knew that the first then I needed to do was call my good friend Darren. I've known him and his brother Brendan since kindergarten. They've been playing piano, guitar and drums since we were in third grade. We were in bands together from about the 8th grade until sophomore year of high school when we kind of drifted apart. So, I called and told him I had these songs that weren't half bad and asked if he wanted to jam. Of course he was more than ready, so yesterday I went over to his house. We were playing each other our songs and were both equally blown away at how good they actually were. I'm not tooting my own horn here but they have potential. He immediately said we needed to go over to his friend Cody's house where all the equipment is set up. We go there, Brendan is already there rocking out on the drums and our other friend Randy was slapping the bass, so we sit down and play our songs. We ended up jamming non-stop for almost 20 minutes, until Brendan couldn't take it anymore. We sounded almost like everything and nothing I've heard before. Needless to say I'm excited for what's ahead.
As always I'll end the blog with a song by a band/ artist I'm really into at the moment. I'm sure I've posted an Arctic Monkeys' song but here is a great quality live video of The View From The Afternoon. Enjoy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great Findings At Your Local Record Shop

Just the other day my friends and I were milling about in Fingerprints record shop, checking out books and records and things. I've been in that store dozens of time but never really checked out the used cd section, which is a travesty, because they have tons of releases that I'm always looking for out in the new items but they don't have what I'm looking for or it's too much money. My friend and I spent about half an hour just scoping out all the CDs we were interested in buying, and I didn't get the always pleasant get feeling that I'm about to be broke if I drop 20 dollars on this here Cd, because at most it will only cost about five bucks. So I decide I'm not going to buy anything but I just then happen upon a band called The Coral's first self-titled album. I started going on and on about this tune I'd heard on a Teenage Cancer Trust concert show thingy on palladia called "Dreaming Of You". This song is pretty much everything you want to hear in a good song if you know anything about music and aren't frantically waiting for the New Kids On The Block/ Backstreet Boys tour to come to your town. If you are..... that's questionable. Anyway I talked this song up enough that my friend Spencer decided he was to buy this album and I think it was a very smart investment. This band has got some other good tunes so I recommend you check them out if you like this song.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sometimes I Just Want To Rock

Lately, I've been writing a lot of ballad-ie type songs that sound really nice and pretty on an acoustic guitar. I'm worried, though, that when I apply these songs to a band setting they wont work as well. The songs might be too slow or too boring. In response to this feeling, earlier today I started to play this riff that is somewhat simple and generic, but still fun to play. I then wrote a chord structure around said riff. The structure is again quite rudimentary but still fun to play. I figured I needed a good rock -out song to split up all the happiness of my other tunes. Not to say that the other songs aren't alright, but it's good to shake things up a bit.
The reason for this change in style, I believe, is from watching this video of the Arctic Monkeys playing The View From the Afternoon at a show earlier this year. That band has proven to me to be one of the best of our generation. They have definitely come a long way and now they can really blow your head off. The Monkeys have matured in every way possible really. They've gotten much better at their instruments, especially Matt Helders the drummer. Some of his drum fills in their last album Humbug are truly mind-blowing. This band deserves to be bigger than any fake pop-act ruling the charts in America.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Food For Thinks

As I'm sure you're aware, The Beatles have finally released their music on itunes. It's not exactly everything, mind you. It's all of their studio albums and some live footage I believe, so it isn't all that a die hard fan like me would need, I mean, there's no Decca tapes, and I didn't realize until just now that they did put Past Masters on there which contains all of The Beatles b-sides and generally songs that weren't on the original U.K. albums. For a normal, non-Beatle obsessed person just looking for a miscellaneous grab bag of Beatle greatness, then itunes is perfect. Sure, I think $11.99 is way too much to pay for a download. I actually feel it's a couple dollars too expensive for an actual real-life album, that you can touch (but I've already discussed that in my last blog so, moving on), but if you are an avid itune-zer than get on there and get you some Beatles.

In other music news, my favorite band The Strokes , have finally finished their new album! After their tour in 2006 for their third album First Impressions of Earth, the band went on a four year long hiatus. All of them with the exception of this guy (Nick Valensi) released solo albums or started another group during this time. they were all good sure, but the world needs Strokes! In 2009 they started work on the new record and they finished it just this week. It should be out in March of next year. Hopefully a single is released before that, but more importantly hopefully it gets leaked so I can hear it before it comes out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Major Labels

Downloading music, or more specifically illegally downloading music has pretty much become the standard practice for an everyday music fan. I know I'm no saint, although if it's one of may favorite groups or artists releasing something new I'll try to but the actually record from a record store. Most people, though, find it much more convenient to just hop on a torrent and download some music. Perhaps they're really and don't have time, or what if they can't afford it. Most commonly people can't afford to spend seventeen dollars, or twelve dollars, or whatever it may be on some music they could easily get for free on the computer without even leaving there bedrooms. This is one of the big faults I think the major record companies make.

It's no secret that it's remarkably cheap to manufacture a cd. It does cost money to actually make and produce the body of work that is the album, but if the record companies weren't so greedy and made the albums cheaper I think they could sell a lot more. This is just my slightly educated opinion of course.

I don't think it would be correct for the majors to just disappear completely though. When Myspace started and bands could put their music up everyone got excited and said "Yippee, we don't need them big ol' labels no more!" (or something to that effect), but in reality we still do. How would bands make money? They could license their songs to commercials or movies sure, but how would anyone even know hear the song in the first place without the major labels marketing money.
It's a tricky dilemma that we're all in at the minute, that I don't think we'll see the end of for quite sometime.

On a lighter note here is some music for you to enjoy that you may not have heard before. It's a song written by Paul Weller and his band The Jam, called Carnation with Liam, Noel, and Whitey from Oasis, some other guy singing and playing guitar, and the man himself Paul Weller playing keys. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The All Important Demo Tape

In this day and age of the music industry being in the position that it's in record companies really don't have the time or money to invest in a group or band that isn't going to make them money. As sad as I am to say that I know what I would need to do to get signed to a label, and it's mostly hard work and luck smashed together. You need to invest copious amounts of time and effort into writing the best music you could possibly write and constantly improving. You need to make sure every show you play is more mind-blowingly powerful as the last so that the people who were there watching would want to come to see you again, and tell their friends about the awesome band they saw last night. Who know, maybe lady luck was smiling and a record executive missed his flight back to Scotland and decided to catch the band playing at the bar down the street. You might just give him the feeling that you guys might be right for his label, then bam! Next thing you know you're being paid to record your music, travel the world playing it for people. Hopefully when it comes out people like it enough to buy it, or at least a t-shirt so u make a little something back, but that's not what it's about. If this happened to me I would be ecstatic. My life would be made. There's a lot more hard work ahead for me though.

Here's a guy who worked hard all his life and is just fantastic, and if you don't like him because of the crap you heard about him in the media, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. (what a horrible phrase, disregard that.) :D enjoy!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Perform For Us!

Performance and the actual writing of the music go hand in hand, and for me performance is sometime more important. When you go see a band you want to see something that's going to get you going, and blow your mind right out of your ears. There's really nothing worse than being into a band's music and being really excited to see them, and they're show be really disappointing. Perhaps they just came out on stage, played the songs and left or put no real emotion into it. It makes you feel cheated. Sometimes you don't feel anything, just, blank emptiness. Music should never do this to you. The best bands, for me, are ones that come on and get the crowd going. Maybe not with the cliches necessarily, but people feed off the energy you give so if you give the performance everything you have, then the crowd gives you their all, and you play catch with some vibes.
I used to be in all the acting and performing arts classes when I was in elementary school. I was heavily into it mind you. This was before I or any of my friends could actually play music so this was like playing a concert for us. I really got the sense of what it was like to act and sing in front of large audiences, and I long for that feeling again.
One man who is a brilliant performer/songwriter, and is a real hero of mine is Pete Doherty. I know he gets a lot of flack but when you look deeper, watch his interviews and behind the scenes footage, and become a real fan you really do appreciate what he's done for music. Here he is with Babyshambles. ENJOY

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting That Deal

Getting a record deal can be one of the greatest accomplishments of any artist or band. I could only imagine what it feels like to one day be working at a job you most likely hate, for a boss you most likely despise, and the next day get the opportunity to make records and go on tours. That is without a question my dream scenario. I can't think of a better job. Especially for someone like me who loves music so much and actually has the passion for it. I get really angry when I see bands who, when they become successful or really popular, say they never wanted any of it. Give it to me, I'll gladly take it off your hands!

Sometimes things can go wrong though. Music industry sharks do still rip people off and screw bands out of the money they earned or get them into horrible contacts. An Example of this is Bruce Springsteen. After his huge success with the "Born To Run" album, his manager Mike Appel wanted, basically to control every aspect of his career, even down to the music it self. Springsteen sued him for control but in that time he couldn't go into the studio and record. He kept his career and band going with tours, thankfully, and eventually won the suit and went on to make more classic albums.

I pray that I never have to go through any of what Bruce went through, and I'll leave you with some early Bruce Springsteen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oldie but Goodie

Writing a good song is hard, as I'm sure you've heard and I'm sure I've said many times throughout my blog history. Therefore, when I write a good song (some might say great song), forget it, and then months later remember it, a wonderful rainbow volcano erupts in my soul and I feel quite happy. Thats basically what happened to me a few days ago. I was just strum, strum, strummin' along on my guitar when suddenly this chord progression popped back into the good side of my brain where the happy dreams live. All the happy dreams in my head started to go crazy again. I was visualizing myself headlining Glastonbury Festival, 100,000 people going bananas when I ride out onto the stage on my Harley-Davidson, Undertaker style. We open with a cover of I Am The Resurrection by The Stone Roses and go on to play one of the most legendary sets Glastonbury's ever seen. With the exception of perhaps the Undertaker Motorcycle part (that would be diabolical) these are the dreams I know I can accomplish if I keep writing songs as good and better than this one that I've remembered. I'm not trying to say it's an anthem or anything like that, thats pretty preposterous but it's definitely among the best that I've written.

Now, I have gotten a request to post some of My music on my blogs, and believe me I would love to, but I haven't figured out how. I've tried but I don't think you can upload strait mp3 files onto a blog. SORRY

I'll leave you with a band that I mentioned before, and that I'm deeply slumped in a phase with at the moment. They're truly fantastic. They blew the doors wide open for real music in Britain in the 90's. Without them, music today would look very different. The Stone Roses

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finishing things is good for the soul...

Almost finishing things is almost as good for the soul. I've recorded and mixed a song somewhat and I must say, it sounds pretty great. I played it for my friends and they were really into it. The only thing missing from the song that I didn't record was a vocal track. I think I have a melody hat I want to use but I have no lyrics, well no good ones anyway. I'm really self-concious about my lyrics for some reason. I always feel like they're not good enough. Maybe they are or maybe they're not but I can never tell.
 I really do consider myself lucky to even have an interest in a musical instrument, let alone be able to play more than one well enough to record and play with bands. If I didn't have music my life would be much more of an unhappy one to live. Thank god for music, eh?

Alright, it's time for some actual music, not fake, manufactured b.s. made for the sole sake of making a lot of money. Also some music that is actually just the basics (guitars, bass, drums, and vocals) but at the same time FANTASTIC! Here is some Oasis for you

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gotta get the ball rollin'

Sometimes you just need to sit down and make yourself do what you need to do. Procrastination is such a phenomena in my life as I'm sure it is in everyone else's, and it's not easy for me to overcome. I'll know that I have something extremely important to do thats due the next day, and I'll wait until nine o'clock the night before to do it, even though I had all day. With music, it's a bit different. I virtually have all the time in the world to record my songs. I have all the equipment there, all that I need to do is get it out of my drawer, set it up and record. Wanting to give it my all and really make it something good is whats difficult.
That is what I did today though, and what I've been trying to do for the last couple of days. I've ben recording bits and pieces of things but not an entire song. So, today I just said "alrite, that's it, I'm doing it" and I got it done.... for the most part. The song I recorded isn't what I would call spectacular but it's ok. Once I show it to my friends and we kick the s*@t out out it, it should sound pretty great.

Ok, I'll leave you with some more music you probably wont listen to and that you've never heard of, but its great, and here's Blur.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Writer's Block

Music can be a very fantastic thing, if you let it. If you're having a hard time communicating with your friends who are supposed to be in a band with you, it can be one of the most frustrating things in life. I've been coming up with songs in my room, and I'll play them and play them, and I'll think they're really great. Then I bring them to my friends and play them in another room and setting and they just don't feel right. I honestly don't know what it is. Is it the songs, or is it me? Am I just so self conscious about myself that I think nothing I do is any good? What makes it even more horrible is that when iI do play them for my friends,  I get no reaction. I guess maybe they don't share the same passion for it as I do. This is really stressing me out, seeing as how I'm trying to focus on that and school at the same time. I know what I need to do though. I need to start recording my songs myself again and not rely on them. It's hard work but I have the time. I need to stop being so lazy about my schoolwork and my music and I think good things will come of that.

On a lighter note I'll share with you a video of a band that I'm really into at the moment and one that you may have never heard of. I tend to like british bands more than american ones for some reason and here's one of them. It's Kasabian, and this video has an interview in the beginning so you can skip that if you're not interested and MIND BLOWING performance.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learn Something New Every Day

Sometimes, when you stumble upon something you've never really understood before you don't even care. Other times, though, you get really excited and you use whatever you've learned to advance in the ranks of joy and happiness in your life. That's exactly what I've done now. I was messing about on the guitar just coming up with melodies, when i played a variation of a chord that I never knew how to actually use in a song. What it is, basically, is playing an arpeggiated chord (you probably have no idea what that is) but lower on the guitar. There's a Strokes song that I learned some time ago that used these chords called Whatever Happened, but I couldn't figure out how to use them in one of my songs. Well that day has come. I've written a couple tunes already using thee chords. There's so much more to do with them, I feel like I've opened up an entirely new world on the six strings instrument, that was right in front of my minds eyes this whole time. This is, in essence, the start of chapter 3 in my musical career. Now my songs are going to be much more diverse and better. This just proves that if you keep working at something, it eventually pays you back in the end.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Age of the Understatement

Lately music hasn't been flowing to me as rapidly as it should. I'm pretty sure it's due to all of this school work that i need to be focused on, taking up most of my mental space. That's all well and good but i would much rather put all my focus into writing songs for my band but thats another story another day entirely.

The Arctic Monkeys' first album was the fastest selling debut album in british music history, their second album is even better in my opinion, and their third album is a departure into a harder direction. They're one of my favorite bands and I've been listening to them a lot lately. Yesterday I burned the lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner and his friend and lead singer of The Rascals, Miles Kane's side project "The Last Shadow Puppets" album "The Age of the Understatement" on cd. I have to say, it's amazing. It's much more symphonic, but not cheesy. It sounds like a soundtrack for a really great 60's Bond film. If you listen to the album from beginning to end it's like going on a journey. Like I said it's much more symphonic than the Monkeys, and thats not really my style, so some of it gets a little overwhelming, but i definitely recommend downloading it or watching some of the stuff on youtube.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

God I Love Grooveshark

Hello again fellow bloggers and bloggettes, time to discuss the topic of sweet sounds we like to to move our bodies in synchronization with. I know my last blog was a little all over the place so I'll try to keep future blogs focused on one subject at a time... hopefully.

Yesterday a friend of mine and I were hanging out at his house, jamming on guitar and keyboard, showing each other songs we'd recently written or started to work on, doing what we normally do. He then brought up a website that I had never heard of but is now definitely my new favorite site for music. is the site he asked me about, and I told him I had no idea what it was so he pulled it up.
It's basically every song any artist or band has ever released. So theres tons of rare b-sides and live music on there that I've never really heard before. We sat there for half an hour looking up our favorite bands and searching for songs we hadn't heard and rocking out to them once we found them.

One song in particular by one of my favorite bands The Strokes, is one that I've heard before but I had a really bad recording of it from a different show, and you could only hear one guitar, but this recording of it on Grooveshark sounds so raw but you can actually hear all of the instruments and I felt like I was at the show hearing one of their brand new songs or something. It was amazing and now I'm obsessed with the song, I can't stop listening to it and I learned all the guitar/ bass parts. If you wanna check it out its here, and it's called "Sagganuts" (it was a working title) and it's awesome.
Use Grooveshark, listen to good music, and have a nice day.
                                                 Signing Off

Saturday, September 25, 2010

That's Music To My Ears

Music really is something special, isn't it? Its something cosmic that we can't explain. Pythagoras and all of those guys way back in the day somehow figured out octaves and fifths and and the scales, and learned how to make music, and to me thats amazing.

You can obviously study music and get writing it down to a formula and a fool proof system, but, to me, the best music is made by just pulling it out of the air. Finding a pretty melody, writing some nice chords around it,  forming it into a great song that people will enjoy. Thats my main passion in life, it really makes me happy. Writing music and playing it for my friends, who usually say it's great. I believe them so hopefully they're not lying.

I never go into writing a song with a certain genre in mind that I want the song to be, which I think is a big mistake a lot of bands and song writers make. Bands will start, and they'll come together and say "what kind of music do we wanna play?", and the others say " well I like jazz music", and another will say "I like blues", then the drummer will go " I want to play experimental metal!". So they say the band is experimental jazz blues metal fusion, but they quickly realize they cant write a song and they break up after one practice because they don't have it in their soul. You have to play whats in your heart and what comes out comes out, you can't force it.

I know I went on a bit of a rant there but you see where I'm coming from. Ok, I want to leave you guys some music that I'm really into at the moment, and if you've never heard of this band you can give em' a listen and maybe you'll like what they have to offer.
                   Signing Off