Month: August 2017

Cover Song: Converge (The Cure)-Disintegration

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It’s been a minute since I presented you all with an intriguing cover song. There are certain things I look for in covers, for example, how the band approaches the song, do they make it their own, does it stand out in a good way or a bad way, and is the cover relevant to the band in terms of influence and inspiration.

The Cure are one of my all time favorite bands. So when any band I like covers The Cure, I am compelled to listen. A few years back the mighty Converge did a cover of Disintegration by The Cure. I recently rediscovered this gem of a cover while going on a Converge listening spree. They really take this song to another level. I won’t say anymore about it because, I want you to listen and take it all in.

 

Converge- Disintegration:

 

The Cure- Disintegration:

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Op Ed: Rock Schools

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Remember seeing School of Rock with Jack Black and then not long after all these “Rock Schools” started opening? I bet most of you, like me, thought what a great idea. Which isn’t very surprising. As of late though, there is a certain aspect of these schools that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to. There are a lot of great reasons why these schools are great; I’ll get to that as well but, there is one aspect of the whole thing that really cheapens it. Why aren’t these schools and teachers helping the kids to write their own songs? The teaching element of playing and learning other bands songs is great but when you are ONLY teaching these kids to play other peoples songs, then, I must take umbrage with these schools.

Where’s the originality? Why be complacent and teach these kids to do that? There is no reason why these kids should be relegated to play covers at these places. Obviously, they have the want and desire to play and perform, so why not take that and spark their creativity?! These kids, a lot of them are massively talented and it’s going to waste playing covers. I’d love for these kids to really start their own band and write their own songs. Look at all the singing competitions on TV. These people are being judged on singing and playing covers. There really is no sense of originality anymore. All these people are strictly “performers” at this point. The artistry is gone and American Idol, The Voice and now these “Rock Schools” have killed it for the next generation.

When the schools do showcase events, the kids are always just playing covers. It’s great that they can play the songs but, there isn’t a need for any more cover bands in the world. I can understand young kids, say less than 12 years old, jamming on covers but when you reach a certain age, there should be a switch to creating your own music. I remember the moment I wrote my first real song. I was at my house with my friend Karl, we must have been in 5th grade. I was already consumed and obsessed with music and was getting my friend really into it as well. At some point while hanging out, I picked up my guitar and started messing around with a riff, my friend Karl then joined me in humming a melody, within seconds we were writing our first song. It was a total simple punk rock song but, we really put our all into it. The song was called “Life and Death,” and we would go on to perform it a couple months later for our parents at a get together. The spark was there then, and it has remained. We were having fun and really digging on being able to write songs. I think we wrote 5 or 6 songs. To us, we weren’t happy playing covers, we wanted to do “our” thing. The name of the band was originally The Warheads and then we switched it to The Eternal Virus. To us it was real, to some people thought it was a joke but, no matter what they all thought, we did it because we loved it.

Please rock schools, embrace the creativity and desire of these kids. They are the next generation of musicians and deserve to be heard. Don’t turn them into a gimmick. Make sure they are getting the right musical education. Teach them about the influences of their favorite bands. Get them INTO music, have them study the greats of yesterday. Help them to understand the difference between being influenced and inspired.

Song Battle: Failure vs Sex Pistols- Submission

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It’s been a minute since I last did a Song Battle. I have a long list of these to go through with some very interesting “battles.” Here is one of those interesting ones to contemplate. Failure versus Sex Pistols and their songs “Submission.” What band do you think wrote the better song?

 

Failure- Submission (from the album Comfort):

 

Sex Pistols- Submission (from the album Never Mind The Bollocks…):

 

List: Best Rhythm Sections

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Rhythm Sections. The backbone of the band. The ones that are often overlooked in the band. This list is here to make sure they get their due!

As always this list is INCOMPLETE so, add who you think should be considered on this list. And… THIS LIST IS………IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER… (Ain’t nobody got time for DAT!!……. Though if you do I’ll send you a goodie bag of something cool).

Brad Wilk/Time Commerford- Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave
Mitch Mitchell/Noel Redding- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Mike Starr (RIP)/Mike Inez/Sean Kinney- Alice In Chains
Ed Breckinridge/Riley Breckinridge- Thrice
Troy Sanders/Brann Dailor- Mastodon
Krist Novaselic/Dave Grohl- Nirvana
Liam Wilson/Chris Pennie (former)/Billy Rymer- The Dillinger Escape Plan
Nate Medel/William Goldsmith- Sunny Day Real Estate/Foo Fighters
NateMendel/Taylor Hawkins- Foo Fighters
John Baker Sanders/Barrett Martin- Mad Season
Flea/Jack Irons/Chad Smith- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Cliff Burton (RIP)/Jason Newsted (former)/Robert Trujillo/Lars Ulrich- Metallica
Ben Sheppard/Matt Cameron- Soundgarden
Jeff Ament/Dave Abbruzzese/Jack Irons- Pearl Jam
Jack Bruce/Ginger Baker- Cream
John Paul Jones/John Bonham- Led Zeppelin
Ray Manzarek/John Densmore- The Doors
John Entwistle/Keith Moon- The Who
Dee Dee Ramone/Tommy Ramone- Ramones
Glen Matlock/Paul Cook- Sex Pistols
Paul Simonon/Topper Headon- The Clash
Tom Araya/Dave Lombardo- Slayer
Frank Bello/Charlie Benate- Anthrax
Dave Ellefson/Nick Menza- Megadeth
Geezer Butler/Bill Ward- Black Sabbath
Nate Newton/Ben Koller- Converge
Caleb Scofield/JR Connors- Cave In
Simon Gallup/Lol Tolhurst- The Cure
Chi Cheng (RIP)/Sergio Vega/Abe Cunningham- Deftones
Greg Edwards/Ken Andrews/Kellii Scott- Failure
Jean-Michel Labadie/Mario Duplantier-Gojira
Duff McKagen/Steven Adler (former)/Matt Sorum (former)/Frank Ferrer- Guns N Roses
Alex Katunich (a.k.a. Dirk Lance)/Jose Pasillas- Incubus
Steve Harris/Clive Burr (RIP)/Nicko McBrain- Iron Maiden
Jeff Caxide/Aaron Harris- Isis/Palms
Eric Avery/Stephen Perkins- Jane’s Addiction
Peter Hook/Stephen Morris- Joy Division/New Order
Lemmy/Phil Talyor (RIP)/Mikkey Dee- Motorhead
Ryan Martinie/Matt McDonough- Mudvayne
Nick Cageao/Ben Koller- Mutoid Man
Dave Edwardson/Jason Roeder- Neurosis
Reilly Herrera/Aric Improta- Night Verses
Anton Dang/Michael Martens- O’Brother
Rex Brown/Vinnie Paul- Pantera
Stefan Olsdal/Steve Hewitt- Placebo
Colin Greenwood/Philip Selway- Radiohead
John Fahenstock/Jaime Miller- Snot
Robert DeLeo/Eric Kretz- Stone Temple Pilots
Paul D’Amor (former)/Justin Chancellor/Danny Carey- Tool
Peter Steele/Johnny Kelly- Type O’Negative
Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen Jr- U2
Michael Anthony/Alex Van Halen- Van Halen

Billy Gould/Mike Bordin-Faith No More

Ultimate Set List: The Doors

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The Doors are in my top 5 favorite bands of all time. They are groundbreaking and beyond inspiring and influential. Over the years I’ve read so many books about them, watched documentaries, and even gone to see them individually and when they would play shows with Ian Astbury of The Cult as their singer. Naturally, one would assume that I have made my “Ultimate Set List” for The Doors years ago, which I did but, in order to fit within my guidelines for this category, I’ve had to shorten it a bit. With that in mind I present to you my “Ultimate Set List” for The Doors.

As usual here are the rules:

Rule 1: What line up of the band would it be

Rule 2: Where would you want to see the show

Rule 3: maximum 25 songs (In order of how the set should go)
Lineup: Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek

Venue: The Whisky A Go Go

Set List:

01) When The Music’s Over
02) Soul Kitchen
03) Roadhouse Blues
04) Wild Child
05) End Of The Night
06) The Crystal Ship
07) Waiting For The Sun
08) Spanish Caravan
09) Been Down So Long
10) Not To Touch The Earth
11) Peace Frog
12) The Soft Parade
13) Strange Days
14) My Eyes Have Seen You
15) You’re Lost Little Girl
16) Indian Summer
17) Moonlight Drive
18) Five To One
19) People Are Strange
20) L.A. Woman
21) Riders On The Storm

Encore:
22) Break On Through (To The Other Side)
23) Light My Fire
24) The End

Band Of The Week: In Urgency

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Over the years I’ve come to really enjoy different genres more and more. In particularly, the post hardcore genre, has fast become one of my favorites. There is still the “heavy” elements to the music but, there is an added sense of melody that rings through it. Recently, I came across a band called In Urgency that has really impressed me. They have a bit of a Brand New vibe to them (which doesn’t hurt, especially since I really love Brand New), and a bit of Thrice too. Those two bands alone make for a great basis of inspiration and influence. Armed with a dual guitar and vocal attack, singers and guitarists Chris Anderson and Sam Mountain, create melodic riffs to go along with their soaring vocals. Drummer Javier Caudillo, provides the backbeat to give the music it’s pulse. While bassist Michael Capuano, provides the rhythmic accents needed to fill out the sound. In Urgency has recently released their debut full length album, Painting Parallels, which is a stunning debut full of big hooks, choruses and melody. In Urgency is definitely a band to be on the look out for.

 

In Urgency- Painting Parallels:

 

In Urgency- The Holy Ghost:

 

 

Alive and Still Rocking: Sponge

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There is something that a lot of bands and musicians “feel” that a lot of people just don’t get. It’s a sensation or a feeling that compels you to keep at it and the creative drive that pushes you to still perform and release new music. This topic is here to highlight the bands that still have that feeling pumping through their veins, and Sponge is a great example of just that.

Sponge was formed in 1991, in Detroit, Michigan by singer Vinnie Dombroski, Mike Cross, Tim Cross, and Joey Mazzola. They released their debut album Rotting Pinata in 1994, which was a big success selling over 500,000 copies. You probably remember hearing the song “Plowed” all over radio and in the cult classic Empire Records. As well as the song “Molly (Sixteen Candles).” Their follow up album Wax Ecstatic, was a bit of a departure from their debut but, it really showed the songwriting abilities of the band. The song ” Have You Seen Mary” was included in the film Chasing Amy. Their next album New Pop Sunday was released in 1999, on an independent label but didn’t get a lot of attention. This would also be the last album to feature the original lineup. Vinnie Dombroski would continue to steer the ship after that album. Sponge would go on to release 5 more albums with different lineups. Their most recent album The Beer Sessions, was released in 2016.

Sponge though, is still out there on the road and rocking audiences. Sure there are people that are there to just hear the “classics” from Rotting Pinata and Wax Ecstatic but, the other songs they have in the setlist are quite rocking. You can tell from watching video of their live shows over the years, that the drive and passion is still in there. It’s quite refreshing to see bands and their members (even if it’s not the original members) still out there doing it for the love of the music and for the fans. Sure the venues might not be quite as big as they once were but, the love and desire is still huge and that’s what creates longevity. Cheers to Sponge for not giving up and still fighting the good fight!

 

Rotting Pinata:

 

Wax Ecstatic:

 

For All The Drugs In The World:

 

The Man:

 

Galore, Galore:

 

Stop The Bleeding:

 

The Beer Sessions: