Another Under-Rated Guitar Player

Adrian Belew.

Adrian is amazing. This clip shows his unique ability to wrestle the weirdest sounds out of his strat, as well as his funky rythym playing, and Holdsworth-esqe soloing. A little Fripp action too. Playing drums, the oft mentioned Bill Bruford. Put your seatbelts on for this one.

Published in: on August 31, 2007 at 6:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Little Ditty From Sublime

Sublime were a 3 piece band from Long Beach Ca. They were just beginning to break, when their lead singer/writer/guitarist, Brad Nowell, died of a heroin overdose in 1996. This song is a take on Gershwins “Summertime.” I normally am not a big fan of sampling, but I love what they did with this. Brad could put a melody to a monkey fart if he felt like it. The guy was amazing. The bass player and drummer also kick ass. One of the most under-rated bands of the 90’s, probably due to their erratic live shows, as Brad was usually drunk or high. I got to see them about 2 or 3 months before he died, and while the show was rough, the crowd sang/shouted along to every song, almost drowning out the band.

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 12:15 am  Leave a Comment  

80’s Songs That Should Be Banned Forever Part 1

This will be an ongoing list, as I remember all the 80’s songs I despise. Songs that have been overplayed to the point that I want to put a gun in my mouth when I hear them. The kind of novelty of 80’s songs made them staples of radio stations starting in 1990. Most pop radio stations have some kind of “80’s at Lunch” or something like that, and these songs are used on a zillion TV shows, radio shows, commercials etc.

1.) She drives me crazy- Fine Young Cannibals.fine_young_cannibals-tabs.jpg

I hated this song when it was new, I really loathe it now. That guy’s voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I swear, I can hardly get through a day without hearing it somewhere. Aaaarrgghhh!

Tainted Love-Soft Cell soft.jpg

This is like the “Stairway to heaven” of the 80’s. To add insult to injury, it’s like 7 minutes long. It seems to never end, and the incessant “Ka Dink Dink” makes me want to put that synthisizer where the sun don’t shine, although I think they would enjoy that.

Come on Eileen-Dexy’s Midnite Runners 5702560.jpg

This was a cute song. For about the first 400 million times I heard it. Now? Umm…..Not cute. Let’s leave it at that, I’m trying to avoid using profanity.

Money for nothing-Dire Straits e83123z6234.jpg

You will never see me move so fast as when I hear the opening riff of this crapfest of a song. In 1985, this song was on a constant loop on MTV, and it seemed like whole radio stations were devoted to playing it non-stop. To this day, a staple on classic rock radio.

My beef with these songs is that they never went away. They went directly from over-played hit, to over-played nostalgia. We never even had a chance to miss these songs. If I never hear them again, it will be too soon……..wait….there it is….Ka Dink Dink…..

Published in: on August 25, 2007 at 7:51 pm  Comments (3)  

You Probably Haven’t Seen This In Awhile

Jamiroquai “Virtual Insanity”

I love this video. I still don’t know how they did it, because CGI was in it’s infancy.

UPDATE!! Here’s how they did it! (Fricken You Tube rules!)

Published in: on August 23, 2007 at 11:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Life Taken Too Soon

I wrote about Jeff Buckley in my 5 important albums post, but here is the title track to his album, Grace. He was truly a gifted songwriter and singer, one of those guys that really would have been a major influence on pop music as we know it. Jeff died under kind of myterious circumstances, as detailed here. I’ll give you the short version:

Thursday night, May 29, Buckley was hanging out with a friend at the Mud Island Harbour marina, half a mile inland off the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee. He and the friend were listening to a stereo and playing a guitar when Buckley waded, fully clothed, waist-high into the water. He started singing and laid back on the water, when a boat went by causing waves to come in to the shore.

The friend on shore turned his back to move the stereo away from the incoming waves and when he turned around, he couldn’t see Buckley. After a 10-minute search, the friend called local police. The Memphis police department began dragging the waters that night and continued to do so – for two days afterward. Harsh rains hampered their search efforts. They also checked, in vain, on the chance of him having wandered out the water. Friends were contacted and people in the area of the marina questioned. They came up with nothing.

He was found three days later by passengers on a steam boat, who saw a body in an Altamont T-shirt tangled up in some branches on the riverside, near Harbor Island.

He was 30 years old.

Sorry about the You Tube thing, just click it a few times, it will go to You Tube and play the vid.

Published in: on August 22, 2007 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

More Guitar Dorkery

You Tube is so fricken awesome. This is Steve Morse, a great guitar player, most known as the leader of The Dixie Dregs, and currently with Deep Purple(!?).  Guitar playing is kind of a dying art, so that’s why I’m putting this stuff up. If I had You Tube when I was learning to play, I never would have left the house. Don’t worry, this won’t be a completely guitar centric blog.

Published in: on August 22, 2007 at 8:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

4 Over-Rated Guitar Players

Eric Clapton clapton25.jpg

By far, the most over-rated guitarist of all time. To be fair, his work with Cream and Blind Faith was great, but after that, he focused on songwriting, and screwing the wives of ex-Beatles, and has become a total loungey hack. He hasn’t made a good record since 1973-4. His 80’s work was terrible, and now he just sneezes out white-bread, bland, blues covers. Get over it people, he ain’t all that. Not a pimple on Jeff Becks’ ass, as far as I’m concerned.

Carlos Santana carlos_santana_narrowweb__200x257.jpg

Credit where credit is due, you can identify him after hearing 3 or 4 notes, but that’s about it. One-trick pony all day long, and hasn’t made a decent record in 30 years. Unless you really like that Rob Thomas shit. Not to mention, he’s a total loon.

Joe Satriani satch.jpg

Technically, a good player, but instrumentals fit for sports shows get old after about 5 minutes. Also, commits the cardinal sin of putting a guitar neck on a banjo. Either learn to play a banjo or don’t, but don’t cheat. Couldn’t write a song if you spotted him the chorus. Still, he’s better than his star pupil-

Steve Vai  steve_vai.jpg

Vai is probably one of the most technically great players out there, but he severely lacks one thing-heart. That boy ain’t got no soul, I think he actually did sell it to Legba. Watching him try to play blues is painful, I mean, it physically hurts. He is a total robot, which, after you’re done being amazed by his proficiancy, leaves you colder than Kaiser Soze.

Published in: on August 21, 2007 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

6 Under-Rated Guitar Players

I like about a zillion guitar players for different reasons. A player doesn’t have to be technically proficiant to impress me, just have style. Here are 6 that I think don’t get the credit they deserve. Each of these guys were a huge influence on me, (I’m a guitar player) but are not necessarily my favorites. Take your time to watch the vids, some are kind of long, but worth it. Especially the Eric Johnson vid. Enjoy!

1) Jeff Beck

Beck was in the Yardbirds with Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton (not at the same time). While those 2 went on to fame and fortune, Beck chose to do what he damn well felt like, namely doing instumental jazz rock fusion. He also did a few albums with keyboardist Jan Hammer, most famous for doing the soundtrack for “Miami Vice.”

Becks’ style is explosive. He pulls sounds out of a guitar that are other-worldly. While the world was kissing Claptons’ ass for being a blues-rock hack, Beck was quietly innovating his own totally unique style. Fun Fact: Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap was clearly based on Beck.

Recomended listening: “There And Back”  with Jan Hammer, “Wired” “Blow by Blow”

Allan Holdsworth

Holdsworth is virtually unkown to anyone but really serious guitar players. He’s known mostly for being a sideman to people like Jean-Luc Ponty and Bill Bruford, and as a member of prog-rock “supergroup” UK, which also included bassist John Wetton, later of Asia, and the formerly mentioned,Yes drummer Bill Bruford. If you like prog-rock, you may know him. His style is a fluid legato, and his tone sounds like a saxaphone. In fact, his biggest influence is Charlie Parker, and you can hear it in his playing. His solo in the song “In the dead of night” by UK, is in my opinion, one of the greatest guitar solos ever. He was also a huge influence on Eddie Van Halen. The You Tube clip here contains just a piece of the solo I mentioned, but you get a little taste of his style. His solo albums are pretty hard to listen to, but when limited by a group, or as a sideman, he really shined.

Recommended listening: Bill Bruford “One Of A Kind” UK, “UK”.

Neil Geraldo

Neil is Pat Benatar’s guitar player/husband. You’ve no doubt heard his playing. A great rythym player, writer, and soloist, most people just aren’t aware of how good he is. This clip, “Hell is for children” is a nice example of his tasty rythym playing, and soloing.

Note: Neil is the guy without the afro.

Brian May of Queen

Brian is also well known, but like Neil Geraldo, most normal people(ie, not musicians) don’t know how great he is. His tone is amazing, you can tell it’s him immediatly. His layering of guitars is phenominal, his phrasing is lyrical, just an awesome unique player. I actually met him once. It was at an L.A. bar called the Cathouse, in the late 80’s. Everyone there was way too cool to aknowladge that Brian May from Queen was there, and he was standing by himself with his girlfriend or wife, and looking kind of lonely. So I went up and said hello. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy.

Steve Lukather

Luke is a member of Toto, but don’t hold that against him. He took the Larry Carlton jazz style, and added a rock edge. I’ve seen him jam at a small place, and he totally blew me away. Fun Fact: An in demand studio player, Lukather played on almost every hit song of the 80’s, including “Thriller” and almost every Lionel Ritchie song. Again, don’t hold that against him.

Eric Johnson

Eric is pretty unkown to the gen-pop, but is just a scary talent. I had the pleasure of seeing him up-close and personal several times in small bars, and I would say, in person, the best guitar player I’ve ever seen. His records don’t translate how good he is, you have to see him live. Fun Fact: Eric does not age, he may be an alien.

Published in: on August 21, 2007 at 6:38 pm  Comments (6)  

5 Important Albums (to me)

This is a list of 5 albums, or cds, that I think are either under rated, or that I just never get sick of, or that I think are masterpieces. Your opinion may vary. These are in no particular order:

1) Jeff Buckley-Grace             gracealbumqi61.jpg
This one is in the masterpiece category. Buckley died shortly after this record came out, and it’s his only truly complete album. An eclectic (I hate that word) mix of Zeppelin, Irish folk, prog-rock, and haunting ballads. This album is so intense to me, that I have to gear up to listen to it, if that makes any sense. It did well sales wise, but he remains a cult favorite. This is the album Chris Cornell will always strive in vain to make.

2) Sublime-40 oz. To Freedom      sbcd02.jpg
I never get sick of this. Another dead guy, Brad Nowell. I think they made this for like $12.00. Brad is another guy that could have done great things, had he not O’d. He was an amazing singer, and No Doubt used to open for them. In fact Gwen Stefani did a vocal on one of their songs, from another album, before No Doubt took off. Not a clunker on the whole thing, and there’s like 22 songs. This is what every “punk” band wishes they could be, the real deal, dirty garage band, punk rock reggae, but also a lot of fun. Their major label debut “Sublime” is also great, but I love the rawness of 40 Oz.

3) Tears for Fears-The Seeds Of Love  seeds.jpg
Yeah, I know, this one seems kinda gay, but I think this is a great album. The musicianship is amazing believe it or not, and for me, it really holds up after almost 20 years. Roland Orzabal is an incredibly talented singer, and guitar player. Worth the price of admission just for “Badmans Song”.
4) Van Halen-Fair Warning         albumcovers-vanhalen-fairwarning1981.jpg
I think this is the least popular Van Halen album sales wise, but for me, it’s their creative and rockin‘ peak. The fire burned into these tracks is palpable. Definitely Eddie’s best work. The thing all the fire-breathing guitar players always missed when they were ripping Eddie off, was his soul. Eddie was a really soulful player, but the tricks kind of obscured that. He’s also the perfect example of what happens to young virtuosos: they burn out. When people talk about all the awesome stuff Hendrix would have done, just look at Eddie.

5) Prince-Sign O’ The Times     b000002lbm_01_lzzzzzzz.jpg
Prince has like 900 albums, and they all have their moments, but I think he was the most focused on this one. A double album, with just tons of great stuff. Prince is hardly under-rated, but damn, he never ceases to amaze me.

You may notice these are all pretty old, but what can I say? Nobody seems to be making music worth a crap anymore.

Like I said, these are just 5 albums that I think are great, and I even admitted I love a Tears for Fears album.There’s about a million more. Feel free to add some of your classics in the comments, all 2 of you.

Published in: on August 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm  Comments (2)