Now that We are Through

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

Röyksopp – Melody A.M. (2001)

I kind of set this up more than a month agoFollowing a rap rock rabbit led me down a worm hole past Beck (his song Where It’s At, not his newer stuff), Bloodhound Gang, ChumbawambaRage Against the Machine, 311, and other artists we’ve covered in this game to more electronic groups, which all of culminated in a Norwegian EDM duo a guy from my church introduced me to more than 10 years ago (and I haven’t really listened to since). Continue reading

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There’s Nothing You Can Do That Can’t Be Done

For the first time I can remember, my dad and I went and saw a RomCom together:

I would have gone and seen it anyway, because I love The Beatles. Actually, I like most movies about music. But the premise of this movie especially struck a chord with me (pun intended) because I often worry that the songs I write are plagiarizing someone else’s work. I probably couldn’t do what he does in this movie – but I’d probably try. But it brought up an interesting question – if someone had never heard of The Beatles, what one song would you start with? Continue reading

When Everybody Has Fun

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963)

This week my uncle invited a bunch of people over to his house to listen to this album and Revolver. But since my friends and I had already covered Revolver a few years ago, I decided to just suggest they listen to With The Beatles with me. But I do recommend you go back and check out our thoughts on Revolver. Continue reading

In the Sky or in My Mind

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

This is the third week of my uncle’s in-person version of this game and they’re doing Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, so I’ll be updating my review of that.

I, however, have been super busy with work, taking time off, and such, so am only sharing with you a single (and perhaps some other songs for context) for the third week in a row.

I have a goal of recording 12 original songs this year, and in the past month or so been working on writing some of those songs, and am trying to be very conscious of some of the influences on my music. These three songs I’ve shared all fall on that list for various reasons.

Don’t be fooled by this campy cover art. The dragon is fairly accurate, but the wizard and the other guy don’t look that clean or smooth in the movie. It’s like a different artist drew them based only on someone else’s description of the characters.

Don McLean’s Flight of Dragons (1982)

This is, perhaps, the oddest pick on the list.

Perhaps because of the Tolkien movie, I’ve been on a bit of a Middle-Earth kick lately. I was introduced to that world in 4th grade, when my teacher would read to us from The Hobbit after lunch recess. Soon after, I discovered the Rankin/Bass (yes, the Christmas claymation people) productions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King, as well as the trippy Ralph Bakshi version of The Fellowship of the Ring (which they simply called The Lord of the Rings). If you haven’t seen them, I recommend finding them.

After that, I read the books and was excited for (and a little disappointed in) Peter Jackson’s adaptations. I recently took the nine hours of his extended edition of The Hobbit movies and edited them down in to a single five hour film (the first part got down to two hours, and the second and third parts each got cut in half).

And then I discovered this … gem from 1966:

What I really wanted was to share the soundtrack to The Return of the King featuring ’60s folk legend Glenn Yarbrough of The Limelighters. The highlight for me, and the reason I put it on my list of inspiration, was because of the song the orcs sing as a disguised Frodo and Sam march with them across Mordor:

It inspired the bridge of an otherwise Heart-, Peter Frampton-, Pearl Jam- and Deep Purple-esque tune. Continue reading

Fire in the Sky

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

I was offsite scouting an event location for work, and then at a conference, and otherwise busy. So I just shared a another single this week.

I know I’ve already said this, but just for context: I have a goal of recording 12 original songs this year, and in the past month or so been working on writing some of those songs, and am trying to be very conscious of some of the influences on my music.

Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water (1972)

This is a song everybody knows, but probably hasn’t listened to all the way through for a long time.

From their Machine Head album, this is probably the first (perhaps only) song people think of when they hear the Deep Purple name. But I think most people would be surprised to learn Deep Purple isn’t always this heavy; they’re usually more progressive (which can be heavy, but not necessarily).

Whenever I think of this song, I think of Queen, but because of a real-world reason, not a musical one (so I’ll leave you to look into that more).

The songs on my list of inspirations are all on there for various reasons. Like many other people I know, this song was one of the first I learned to play on the guitar. It just has such a great riff. So while I can’t point to anything specific, it generally inspired maybe six of the heavier songs I wrote while with my teen-years band – along with The Allman Brothers, Bad Company, Cream, Heart, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Peter Frampton and The Who.

Let me know down in the comments section what you think about this song, some of the first songs you remember learning on a new instrument, or if there are any songs you know inspired your own stuff. If my friends ever respond, I’ll post their thoughts here.

Dreams are like a Memory

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

I was offsite filming for work for a couple of days, and then I took a couple of days off. So I just shared a single this week.

I have a goal of recording 12 original songs this year, and in the past month or so been working on writing some of those songs, and am trying to be very conscious of some of the influences on my music.

The Delmore Brothers’ Blues Stay Away from Me (1949)

There are hundreds of blues tunes, but this might be the first one I ever remember hearing and recognizing the form.

I know this is an influence on my music (rather than one of those other blues songs) because I heard someone cover this simple little country blues song once years ago, and I immediately went out and wrote my own blues tune … but I added in more punk rock. I also have a version that maintains that shuffle feel as well. I don’t really remember who the performer was, but I knew enough about music to figure it was a cover anyway.

If there’s one thing to listen for in this original version, it’s their harmonies. The “bass” riff is pretty generic, the harmonica is a bit much, and the lyrics seem like typical country blues, but because they’re brothers, their voices blend really well.

Let me know down in the comments section what you think about this song, or if there are any songs you know inspired your own stuff. If my friends ever respond, I’ll post their thoughts here as well.

Working for a Paycheck

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life (2005)

I was at a national park for most of the week, so (when I got back) I just shared a single that is an inspiration for a song I’m working on. My song is still in the very beginning stages. And it has been for 10 years. Continue reading