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Music
#1
Music 
Listening to anything specific lately? Is there music that you use at certain times?


When reading or wanting some background that allows me to think and mellow - I often play Pink Floyd's The Division Bell mixed with Roger Waters' Amused to Death. Currently, that's the mode I'm in as I recover from surgery.
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#2
Don't care for post-Waters Floyd.

Just last night listened to a bunch of Zep. Recently I re-discovered Buckethead.
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#3
I'm actually dusting off the ol' chops, planning on coming out of retirement and hit a few open mics with an all new set-list (all songs are modified to some extent to be performed by a one-man acoustic act). I'm still working on the set list, but this is what I've got so far (and thus what I've been listening to lately)...

If I Go Away by Savatage
The Killing Words by Queensryche
Gunga Din by Jim Croce
The Rock by Harry Chapin
18 & Life by Skid Row (my specially modified blues version)
We Want Our Brothers Back by The Gone Jackals
Future World by Helloween

Songs I'm currently contemplating adding to the set list:
Double Take by Blondie
Jesus Lived in a Police State by John Whitehead
Touch the Sky by ManOwaR
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#4
"All anyone knows from Harry Chapin is 'Cat in the Cradle' and 'Taxi', but he has such great songs; each one is a story," she told me in complete earnestness. "Just listen." So I listened and I understood why "Cat in the Cradle" and "Taxi" were the songs anyone knew. Because they're the only songs with characters anyone would give a rat's ass about. I mean, a janitor who liked to sing? Who cares? And the music was quite predictable, too. "You know this song?" "Never heard it before." "But you were humming along." "Not difficult."

But I'm sure "The Rock" is a fine song with plenty of depth of character and melodic intricacies.

That said, WOO, Jim Croce!

Is it wrong that every time I fly, my mind is filled with Jim Croce, Ricky Nelson, and Buddy Holly songs? Occasionally some Bob Denver and Big Bopper slips in.
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#5
It's strange. Every criticism I've ever heard of Harry Chapin I've found makes specific points that 180 degrees opposite of my experience. For example, I've heard some criticize his songs for being preachy. I just don't see it. I see just the opposite.

As for the charge that his music is overly simple. Yeah, I've heard that one, too. I just think the opposite is true. I will try to explain where I'm coming from.

As someone who actively plays an analyzes music, I get into the fine details. I've been a semi-pro for years. Understand that what gets me off musically often goes undetected by the music layman.

So when I write, I tend to get very intricate to make me happy as a musician while simultaneously making it sound simple for the casual listener.

I feel this is an apt description for Harry Chapin's music, and that is why I enjoy Chapin's music. I know first hand the immense amount of creativity this takes, and he does it admirably. If it sounds familiar or predictable, it's deliberate. That's actually a defining characteristic of the folk genre he's emulating.

I'll end with a question and a comment.

Question: Can you REALLY hum or whistle a Chapin tune you'd never heard before, or do you only think you can? In other words, if I tested you with a sampling, are you sure you'd be humming on key?

Comment: I'm also a big fan of Queensryche. Geoff Tate once stated in an interview that they set out to make music that sounds complicated but in reality is simple at the core. The very opposite of what I do and what Chapin does. Still, huge amount of appreciation for Queensryche.
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#6
(04-16-2014, 05:57 AM)Lunamancer Wrote: Question: Can you REALLY hum or whistle a Chapin tune you'd never heard before, or do you only think you can? In other words, if I tested you with a sampling, are you sure you'd be humming on key?

The on key part is always debatable where my singing abilities are concerned for the last 30 years. Think Darlene Edwards. But by the second stanza of the songs played I had the gist of the melody, had it nailed by the third, and anticipated the bridge. *shrug* Or maybe I was just so disappointed after the build up of the songs and with the realization that the girl I'd spent all this time getting to know wasn't all that bright that I've created a new reality where I get to feel better about myself.

Nah. Harry Chapin sucks.


By the way: The Greatest Note in Rock'n'Roll
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#7
(04-15-2014, 08:47 AM)Lunamancer Wrote: I'm actually dusting off the ol' chops, planning on coming out of retirement and hit a few open mics with an all new set-list (all songs are modified to some extent to be performed by a one-man acoustic act).
Kudos dude! That sounds exciting!

I usually feel I'm on key, but when I play back the recording it's never quite what I thought I heard. When I sing, I have a decent high end and low end but fumble in the middle. I probably should take lessons.

While I used to play piano and any brass instrument, nowadays on rare occasions I just pull out my bass guitar and bang away until I'm tired. I always start with Meddle and often end with Money by Pink Floyd, but I play an eclectic mix in between and most of the time I'm just making stuff up. I can't call it jamming. I haven't jammed with other people in a year or so.
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#8
Oedipussy,

I completely relate to being disappointed after a build-up. It used to be that when people would find out I was a Queensryche fan, they'd try to sell me on Dream Theater and Fates Warning. I found FW boring and DT... kinda gay, for lack of a better word.

Incidentally, I was considering using this very example in the sales training video series I'm currently planning.

Because it occurs to me that where people went wrong when trying to sell me on a band (and perhaps this is where the girl went wrong with you as well) is they never even bothered to ask just what it was I liked about Queensryche in the first place before pitching bands that they just knew I'd love. They were overly anxious to sell me their favorite bands, so it was enough that many considered the bands to fit the same genre and off to the sales pitch they go.

Do you have any insight as to why she thought you'd love Chapin? Do you feel her build-up was more a symptom of her own enthusiasm for Chapin's music than it was an appeal to your tastes?

And just for the record, I do not consider The Rock to be the epitome of what I love about Chapin's music. I know I love Chapin. But I also know Chapin would put most people to sleep. I chose The Rock because it has sort of an eerie intensity. My hope is that it contributes to the overall energy of my set rather than sapping it.

Kersus,

If I had a bass guitar, the first thing I'd do is learn Big Bottom by Spinal Tap.
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#9
I want a six-string fretless bass, but I'd totally rock it instead, because Primus Sucks!
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#10
I'd like to learn Cello, but it's a rich person's instrument.

Listening to Miss Emily, The Abrams, Darlingside, and The Rifle and the Writer. Probably enjoying Darlingside the most!

All of this live. I bought a Darlingside CD and a Rifle & the Writer t-shirt (with magnet/bottle opener). From the Festival of Small Halls to a local Turkey Fair. It's my bluegrass weekend I guess. There's a folk festival at the capital this weekend I think they all were passing through for.
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