Ladies and Gentlemen, by Saliva

Sometimes, there’s just nothing on my mind except the wondrous articulations of head-banging music. Yes, it happens. And that’s what’s been going on with me, pretty much all day today. Just indulging myself with some melodic jackhammering on the loudest dot com on the planet. I just heard one of my favorite songs of the past year… Ladies and Gentlemen, by Saliva. I had to find it on Youtube, right away! This is one of those songs that stops me on my tracks and makes me stand at attention! It never fails, every single time I hear it! It has every element I love about modern rock music. The heaviness, the infectious groove, the Beatlesque melodies and the Industrial sensibilities. All rolled into one. If I’m in a band today, I’d be making and playing music like this one. This ain’t no sissy rock, by the way.

Dreaming of white picket fences

Every once in a while, I feel the need to post a music blog. Much like some people do a photo blog. Hey, maybe I should try that too, at some point.

Anyhow, yes, a music blog. For now. Maybe it’s because, in a particular moment, I am reminded of a time when a song I wrote had everything to do with it. Like my failed marriage, for instance (I apologize for having to mention this over and over). But then, there are times when I am simply reminded of a friendship. A partnership. A time when art was created through a collaboration. Sometimes, even a necessary collaboration. As in the case of this song.

White Picket Fences was written and recorded back in the summer of 2001, in a basement of a friend’s house in Kennesaw, Georgia. Jeff and I had a friend at church that got married fairly recently. This couple was a happy one. They dreamed of a life together. Of white picket fences, as Jeff was fond of calling it.

The bitter part of the story is that, way before his wedding day, he knew that his soon-to-be-wife will be dying of cancer at some point in the near future. To make a long story short, we wrote this song the day after attending her funeral.

Funny how, at times, I find myself dreaming of white picket fences myself. And, it almost came true, in fact.


I love eerie music

After a good chat with a co-worker today on themed music, I found myself listening to some random tunes tonight. Something I haven’t done in a while, actually.

I was digging through my collection for a good couple of hours. And, from what I’ve gathered, it seems like not much has changed with me after all these years.  I mean, I’m still drawn, mostly, to the foreboding sounds of gloom. The melodic variety, I should say. Having grown up on the Beatles and Sabbath, it’s just natural for me to be lured into this path, I guess. Although, I love a good, loud and obnoxious headbanger, there’s something about a dark, gothic sound of a harpsichord plucking its way into your trembling soul. When I was growing up, I used to play our very old piano (my brother keeps it now) which sported two candelabras. I made good use of those in the middle of the night as I played Steven, by Alice Cooper. I might’ve spooked the neighbors a little. I don’t know. But if you’re familiar with the song, you know what I’m talking about. If not, just think Lizzie Borden with axe, to get the picture.

I know, it’s probably not such a good time to talk about all this, being Christmastime and all. Which reminds me, “Silent Night, Bloody Night” is on tomorrow. I better write that down. Hold on…

Now, talk about eerie! Have you ever heard Silent Night, played in a minor key? Imagine it and see if you don’t get goosebumps.

Anyhow, where was I? Oh, I just wanted to share this video of a song that I really like. It’s one of those that the pious will shy away from lest their holy flesh catches fire. 🙂 I was trying to find one of NIN’s Right Where it Belongs, but all of them are crappy. Too bad. I like the way the piano blends with the buzzsaw distortion of the synth in that song. Excellently disturbing, I would say! So anyway, I’m putting this one down of Marilyn Manson called Godeatgod, instead. This is pretty brutal, beware. For the record, I don’t share his views AT ALL. But he’s a person merely asking questions… and that, I can understand. And his music hits the spot, too.

Now, if you’re easily offended in a religious kind of way, or if you just got done listening to Deck the Halls right now, you might want to pass. Seriously.

Otherwise… buckle up and enjoy. 🙂

Old farts

The past week or so have seen my inbox fill up with those “Check this news out” emails from my lovely rock music inclined friends from all over. For the most part, it’s about the recent Led Zeppelin reunion one-off show in London. On the 10th, I think it was. But before I go through my discourse on the subject, I just want to give a quick shout out to them and say, thanks, guys… but I do read the news too, y’know. 🙂

I’m a fan. No, I’m a BIG fan. Not only of music, but of musicians themselves. To this day, yes. Since I grew up listening to rock, I was always crazy not only about the music but with everything that went with the culture as well. Or the mania, if you will. You name it. I bought the records. All of them! I owned the videos. I joined the fan clubs. I read the magazines. I was informed of up-to-the-minute news. Yes, the gossip too. Again, to this day. And why yes, I grew my hair long and I WORE THE MAKEUP too, as a matter of fact! When I was younger though, posters hung on my wall as well. And tour t-shirts hung on my body. I went to all the shows. Heck, I even fought to get backstage to meet the bands. I am a fan, indeed.

Now, I’d be the first one to admit that Led Zeppelin are, indeed, the greatest rock band that ever was. Hands down. Don’t even argue with me on this one! But I also believe that no matter how legendary one’s status gets, or how much people are begging for a comeback, there comes a time when memories are all that really needs to live on, lest their hard earned merit gets diluted with inevitable, yet distasteful mishaps… i.e. hair loss, weight gain, etc. 🙂

Okay, I’m being a little cynical perhaps. But I agree with Robert Plant as he rebutted when asked about a possible full-on tour… the merciless reproduction of a magical moment is not what it’s all about. I’m paraphrasing a little here. But I admire the elder statesman of rock for his profound perspective and integrity. Spur of the moment should be cherished and not made redundant. So anyway, if such is the case, what is it all about then? What is it that validates the case for a comeback tour from these guys? Or anyone else, for that matter? I’m convinced it’s primarily about the money. It’s quite distressing that people actually pay what they pay for a ticket these days. I mean, I just want to hear some tunes for a couple of hours, not buy a car! I’m really not against them hitting the stage again as much as I am about the whole deal being financial gain-centric. Plant’s upcoming tour with bluegrass star Alison Krauss is so much more appealing to me now because of this. It seems more truthful and organic that way, I think. 

So, why can’t it be just about the music anymore? Like a good, dirt-honest punk show. Say, the Ramones at the John Anson Ford Ampithteater! Or Pearl Jam at the Greek! But that’s really for another post. Sorry, I got carried away. 🙂 Did I mention I’m a fan?

Well, hey, I saw Robert Plant in concert too. That’s right. Twice, even. For a whopping fifteen bucks! Not to mention the gas money I had to shell out to get from Hollywood to Orange County. And the beer! The beer that spilled due to the crowd pushing its way to the front of the stage. Man, was I broke after all that. I have to say, though, that the guy seemed larger than life that it almost passed for a Zep event. Not quite, but almost. For fifteen bucks! And I read today that not only did the tickets cost an arm and a leg, but people actually flew to London from fifty different countries. Goodnight! And I thought I was a die-hard fan!

I want that guitar, Jimmy. Can I have it?In all honestly, though, I would be delighted to see Led Zeppelin live myself. I’m sure it would be the thrill of a lifetime. How could you not want to see Page pounding his Les Paul with a cello bow? That’s like climbing atop Mount Everest. To me, it is. But I can’t help thinking of them as simply old farts anyway when I have to consider closing my bank account just to get through the door. Sorry, but I’m not falling for this highway robbery! I’m sure the DVD would be just as breathtaking. Heck, I might even just go to youtube in a few days. That’ll work too.

In the same manner, it’s sad that John and George are now gone. Yet, it’s a blessing in disguise that the Beatles will now be forever perceived exactly the way they were in their day… pure unadulterated magic. No critic can stain that shirt. Like a boxer retiring as a champion. Ah, now that’s legendary.

And I take it that Paul and Ringo aren’t doing so bad financially either.