NFL Week 2 Recap, Lightning Strikes

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The NFL’s week 2 is now in the books excluding Monday night’s game. The theme for this Sunday’s festivities…”Lightning!” Three separate instances of electric streaks.

There isn’t much that stops NFL games weather-wise, except, lightning. Both the Saints/Buccaneers and later in the evening the 49ers/Seahawks games both sustained delays due to the electricity in the air.

Then of course there was the San Diego Chargers striking a Bolt right across Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles bow. Pre game predictions ranged from Charges had no chance to they would give up 60 points, nope just put a beat down on the Eagles.

Of course with all the lightning going on my head starts playing a bunch of songs with Lightning or similar references in the title.

Metallica’s, “Ride the Lightening”

AC/DC’s, “High Voltage”

Ozzy Osbourne’s, “Lightning Strikes”

However, the song that truly stuck in my head all day was, Aerosmith’s, “Lightning Strikes.”

So here it is, Enjoy!

RIP Deacon Jones, NFL Great

DJI never met Deacon Jones. I never really saw him play…I was too young. He was, however, one of the characters of the game of football, as well as, one of the best defenders of all time. I was really sad to hear the news that he passed away on Monday.

A member of the Fearsome Foursome, Deacon Jones was a larger than life celebrity off the field, an American Icon in my opinion.

Rest in Peace, my friend

Randy Rhoads, 31 Years Gone, Still Influencing Guitarists!

The Classic Randy Rhoads Poster
The Classic Randy Rhoads Poster

The first concert I ever went to was Ozzy Osbourne, January 4, 1982 at the San Diego Sports Arena. I remember it like it was yesterday. The only bummer about this show was that it was right after Christmas vacation from school. Since I was counting down the days until the show I was in essence counting down my vacation….

But, not only was it an Ozzy show, it was Ozzy with Randy Rhoads. Randy Rhoads the guitar legend who would tragically be killed in an airplane crash just over two months after this show. I can still picture the crushed students at my Junior High School wearing black armbands. That was the cool way to pay tribute to a fallen rock idol in those days. John Bonham and Bon Scott were two others so honored, I recall. I always cherish the fact I was lucky enough to see Randy live and my first concert!!

Randy was the first guitar hero to blend a classical approach with heavy metal. Most guitarists at the time were more blues/rock influenced. With only two studio recordings, “Blizzards of Ozz,” and “Diary of a Madman,” to his credit, Randy has left a huge legacy regardless. His influence still reaches out today 31 years after his death to new generations of guitarists.

RIP RR

“SATO,” is a cool song, maybe not one of Randy’s classics. I picked this video as it does a great job featuring him!

2012 NFL Predictions ‘Rock n Roll’ Edition

Here are my 2012 NFL ‘Musical’ Predictions. I used only songs from my own music library. If you are unfamiliar with any of the music, check out the songs and broaden your musical horizons.

These views are my own, if they are inflammatory towards your favorite team or player, it IS intentional but all in good fun…except the Raider cracks!

So here is the 2012 NFL season as I see it! Come back after the season and we can re-hash and I will probably even have a playoff version!

Good luck to your favorite teams!

AFC WEST

San Diego Chargers–Loving You Sunday Morning, The Scorpions

Bolts are my team win or lose. Let’s go with win, despite Norv Turner!

Denver Broncos -The Gambler, Kenny Rogers

Elway is gambling on Manning’s health…All In! Probably gonna be a good bet!!

Oakland Raiders–Living in the Past, Jethro Tull

Yeah we know you won….a long time ago…but you’ve been pretty bad since. Find a new argument Raider fan! Not that you have the fastest player…that’s tired as well!

Kansas City Chiefs-Castles Made of Sand, Jimi Hendrix

They are relying on Matt Cassel,  that’s not a good thing for Chiefs fans.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans– New Kid in Town, The Eagles

No more Manning in the division the South should be theirs for a year or two at least.

Tennessee Titans– Caught In the Middle, Ronnie James Dio

They wont be first, they wont be last, they wont be memorable, they’ll be caught in the middle.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Cat Scratch Fever, Ted Nugent

That’s what these cats are gonna give their fans not much else.

Indianapolis Colts-Upside Down, Jack Johnson

We’ve bee used to seeing them on top but should get used to seeing them on the bottom for awhile, definitely in 2012.

 AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens–Hard to Handle, The Black Crowes

They may be hard enough to handle all the way to the Superbowl. D can’t do it all. Gonna rest on the shoulders, actually the arm, of Joe Flacco.

Pittsburgh Steelers-Steel Bars, Foo Fighters

Where Big Ben belongs? How long do you call a franchise classy when their star clearly is not. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. They will fight for the division and settle for a wildcard.

Cincinnati Bengals-Breaking the Law, Judas Priest

Yeah, we all know the Bengals offseason exploits. If they could focus all their criminal energy to the field of play they could be good…don’t see it though.

Cleveland BrownsI Am the Walrus, The Beatles

Not sure even Mike Holmgren can fix this mess especially not this year.

AFC EAST

New England Patriots– Same Old Song & Dance, Aerosmith

Yep, they’re still here, still good, still got a shot at the Superbowl and adding to their dynasty.

New York Jets-Just the Two of Us, Grover Washington, Jr.

If Sanchez and Tebow do not make a music video arm in arm singing this song and sharing the backfield… 2012 will be a DISASTER in New York.

Buffalo Bills–Dream On, Aerosmith

Maybe another strong start but playoffs look like a dream.

Miami Dolphins-Bad to the Bone, George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Nobody likes bones in their fish and these fish just stink.

NFC WEST

San Francisco 49’ers– Who Are You, The Who

This applies to the whole team but especially Alex Smith. Were they for real last year? We’ll look for them to be tough

Arizona CardinalsThree Little Birds, Bob Marley

“Don’t worry, ‘Bout a Thing” Mostly mediocre division, nobody expects much. If they get any kind of QB play …”Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright” Just not sure that will happen.

Seattle SeahawksJust the Way You Are, Billy Joel

…Mediocre, and that’s the way they’ll be this year.

St. Louis RamsBad, Michael Jackson

Someone had to get this song why not the Rams, the shoe fits.

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints– Bounty Hunter, Molly Hatchet  ..And Justice For All, Metallica   Redemption Song, Bob Marley

Bounty Hunter…they did the crime!

…And Justice For All…They are paying the price

Redemption Song…They proclaim their innocence.

They still have LOTS of offense and I see them outscoring teams in the regular season.

Atlanta FalconsDevil Went Down to Georgia, Charlie Daniels

Seems like he only shows up in the playoffs though, unlike the rest of the team. Maybe their year to break the playoff bug with the Saints down but I still see them as a wildcard.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2

Tampa fans should be more worried about the Rays catching the Yankees, cause I dont see the Bucs doing much in 2012. Sundays could be tough.

Carolina PanthersThings Can Only Get Better, Howard Jones

With Cam Newton a year older Carolina fans have got to hope this is true.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers-Run With the Pack, Bad Company

It would be a good bet to run with the ‘Pack.’

Detroit Lions-Welcome to the Jungle, Guns N Roses

Who woulda thought the Lions would be players in the NFL watch out for em!

Chicago BearsBlowin in the Wind, Joan Baez

In a division with GB & Det…their hopes like their great city are in the wind.

Minnesota VikingsOutshined, Soundgarden

Looking California but Feeling Minnesota…gonna be a long year.

NFC EAST

New York GiantsLimELIght, Rush

Yes Eli has 2 SB’s but in SD we remember his snively limp wristed attempt to hold the Bolt jersey on draft day. Giants will be good but hunted! Better be ready for everyone’s best shot.

Dallas CowboysWhere Have all the Good Times Gone, Van Halen

America’s Team No More….never was as far as I am concerned although they have made some serious NFL history in their heyday.

Philadelphia EaglesDog Eat Dog, AC/DC

Oops did I go there? Good things happen to good people and bad things… to Vick!

Washington RedskinsWaiting on a Friend, Rolling Stones

If and when RGIII is ready the ‘Skins will be ready

Click here for other sports & music posts!

Symphonic Music and the NFL, NFL’s 2012 Season Opens Today

This a great week for sports fans as the NFL makes its 2012 debut.

It is very exciting that there is a game tonight, the first of the year, but it wont feel like football until Sunday when there will be a full ledger of games and scores to keep an eye on. Although, in San Diego we will have to wait one more day as the Chargers open the season on Monday Night Football.

For some reason over the years there has been a musical link with the NFL and symphonic music. The greatest themes all employ dramatic horns, strings and percussion to paint a picture of the weekly gridiron battles we have come to love. I am guessing NFL Films would be the originators of pairing symphonic themes with football but I would need to dig a little deeper to prove that claim. One could argue that if they were not the first they might be the best.

Perhaps the greatest gift to football fans and music lovers is the fact we are finally rid of Hank Williams Jr.’s “Are You Ready for Some Football.” If I knew all it would take was to get ol’ Bocephus to talk politics to get rid of that song I would have baited him myself!…years ago! For those of you who liked it, rest assured the brain trust at the networks have most likely found an equally horrible and annoying anthem to fill in.

Here are a couple classic sound clips to get you ready for the season! Best to your favorite team…unless they are playing my Chargers of course!

Keep an eye out for my NFL 2012 predictions is song coming very soon!

Mike’s Musical Influences!

Wow! Thought it would be fun to list every musician who has influenced me over the years. I am not even sure this page is even logical since there are SO many, but, I will try! This post will take me all the way back to my little baby self when I started to love music. There are some of my local San Diego guitar and San Diego State University music teachers to sports stars to the big guns to family members who have had an influence on my music in one way or another. Some may have been one hit wonders like Manfred Mann’s Earth Band to greats like Eddie Van Halen. Some of the acts below I dont even really like…but they had influence in some way.

Here is just a random start…

AC/DC, Accept, AEROSMITH, Isaac Albeniz, Alice In Chains, Louis Armstrong,  JOHAN SEBASTIAN BACH, Agustin Barrios-Mangore, The Beach Boys, THE BEATLES, Ludwig Van Beethoven,  The BeeGees, FRED BENEDETTI, Chuck Berry, Beyonce, BLACK SABBATH, BONO, Doug Booth, BOSTON, Johannes Brahms, Junior Brown, Dave Brubeck, DOUG BRUCK, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Federic Chopin, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Pablo Cruise, Edgar Cruz, my DAD, Charlie Daniels, my DAUGHTER, Miles Davis, PACO DE LUCIA, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Neil Diamond, Al Di Meola, Dio, JIM DOHNER, The Doors, Dream Theater, Carl Douglas, Duran Duran, Brent Dutton, The Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire, The Edge, Danny Elfman, E.L.O, Elvis, Kevin Eubanks, Fight, Wayne Findlay, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto, DAVID GILMOUR, Gipsy Kings, Giuffria, Goo Goo Dolls, Macy Gray, Vince Guaraldi, TONY GWYNN, Sammy Hagar, Rob Halford, Stu Hamm, TOM HANKS, GEORGE HARRISON, Heart, MICHAEL HEDGES, RICK HELZER, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Hoey, Gustav Holst, Whitney Houston, Intervals, TONY IOMMI, IRON MAIDEN, CHARLES IVES, MICHAEL JACKSON, KEITH JARRETT, ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM, Billy Joel, ELTON JOHN, Eric Johnson,  Howard Jones, JUDAS PRIEST, K. C. & The Sunshine Band, Alicia Keys, B.B. King, Kool & The Gang, Mark Knopfler, William Kraft, LED ZEPPELIN, Geddy Lee, John Lennon, Franz Liszt, Living Colour, Mad Season, GUSTAV MAHLER, Yngwie Malmsteen, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Chuck Mangione, George Martin, Paul McCartney, Megadeth, Men at Work, METALLICA, Pat Metheny, ROGER MILLER, STEVE MILLER, Molly Hatchet, my MOM, WES MONTGOMERY, Gary Moore, Steve Morse, James Morton, WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, The Muppets, MIKE MYERS, WILLIE NELSON, Aldo Nova, The Outlaws, OZZY, JIMMY PAGE, Partridge Family, JOE PASS, Pearl Jam, NEIL PEART, Joe Perry, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, The Police, Mike Post, The Pretenders, Queen, Queensryche, Trevor Rabin, Ram Jam, Ratt, Maurice Ravel, RANDY RHOADS, Sonny Rollins, RUSH, Carlos Santana, JOE SATRIANI, MICHAEL SCHENKER, Peter Schilling, SCORPIONS, Sesame Street, Brian Setzer, Jean Sibelius, Horace Silver, Alan Silvestri, Carly Simon, Jim Soldi, Starland Vocal Band, Thomas Stauffer, Steve Stevens, Igor Stravinsky, Stray Cats, Strunz & Farah, Styx, The Sugarhill Gang, Supertramp, Sweet, John Sykes, George Thorogood, Triumph, U2, STEVE VAI, VAN HALEN, EDDIE VAN HALEN, Adrian Vandenberg, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Ventures, Antonio Vivaldi, DAVID WARD-STEINMANN, Joe Walsh, Ann & Nancy Wilson, White Lion, The Who, my WIFE, JOHN WILLIAMS-guitarist, ROBIN WILLIAMS, Edgar Winter, Stevie Wonder, ANGUS YOUNG, Zebra, ZZ Top

911 Hero Michael D’ Auria

For the past five years my wife and I along with a group of family and friends climb 90 DAuriaDudeflights of stairs at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton in honor of fallen first responders from the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Climbing is tiring but it is ultimately a fun and extremely moving event. Every year there is a guest speaker who was at ground zero that fateful day, a piece of metal beam from the World Trade Center and a chance to honor and REMEMBER the heroes who did not survive the attacks.

Having no personal connection to anyone who was there that day I simply picked a fireman with the same first name as mine, Michael additionally his last name’s proximity to a musical term(Aria). Over the past five years Michael D’Auria has become ‘somewhat’ of a personal connection to 911, although, of course in no way as intense as losing someone as Michael’s family has endured.

 

This time last year I was just beginning recording/writing my CD, “Dude.” During this period at the 2017 Stair Climb I had the idea to honor Michael and his memory with one of the songs. The song which would become D’Auria is based in part on Brahms’s 4th Symphony. The stately nature of the music was perfect for the dedication. Special thanks again to fellow guitarist Fred Benedetti for lending his musical expertise on the track.

 

Michael is remembered as a son, brother and inspirational member of his extended family especially with his positive influence on younger relatives. The 25 year old was also known as a great chef among his fellow fireman gaining their deep culinary gratitude!

I think about Michael a lot even though I never met him…wish I did though! I also think about his mother Nancy whom I contacted to make sure she was ok with the idea of a song and his photo being used on the CD. A concern of hers is that Michael be remembered! I will continue to climb in his honor every year and promote his story. I even got a chance to present Michael to the climbers in my start group.

Rest in Peace Michael and Thank You for your selfless sacrifice!

 

When Music & Sports Collide, Trevor Hoffman, HOF

If you ask pro athletes many say they want to be musicians. If you ask musicians many want to be pro athletes. I still have the occasional recurring dream that the Padres manager tells me to grab a bat! Im in the show!

Grass is always greener I guess….I think we gravitate towards the things we should for a reason. I was a good baseball /football player as a kid but guitar won out…then as I got more serious about music, sports become the enemy…one funky catch and mess up a finger… skateboards are the devil…as a classical guitarist even a broken fingernail is no bueno!

There are those rare dual threats like my cousin Chase d’ Arnaud…plays  MLB for the San Francisco Giants (formerly Padres, Red Sox, Braves, Pirates)  and sings and plays guitar professionally on the side.

Every player and team has ‘their’ song these days. But there are a few cool music/sports combos that have true identity and transcend time. The Chicago Bulls-Sirius from the Alan Parsons Project. The NFL’s incessant use of Start Me Up/Crazy Train/Machine Head and a few others over the decades.

If you are from San Diego you know…

Hells Bells-Trevor Hoffman!

Milwaukee got a taste too…if you are a baseball fan that pays attention outside of your own team you know and for a good decade when The Bells rang San Diego sports fans went nuts. The Bells meant victory was coming!

Trevor enters the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend. One of the few greats in San Diego sports history and only the second true Padre to enter the Hall following Tony Gwynn.

Congrats Trevor! Thanks for staying loyal to San Diego as few athletes have!!

 

 

Dude CD Extended Liner Notes

Check back as I will be adding info about the making of Dude CD400_out

Chill- The basic structure of this tune was originally written right after the 2003 release of Slayen & Fox Guitar Duo, “Reflections of San Diego,” CD. Ive been performing it live ever since. For  “Dude,” the song received a little re-working from a ‘live’ riff into a complete song.

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Free Again- Free Again was kind of a musical game or challenge to compose. It is centered around what is sometimes known as a ‘phrygian cadence,’ used in many nova flamenco tunes. Being such a popular progression I thought I would play with it a bit. The song modulates a handful of times and not always to related keys. I challenged myself to make all the modulations as natural as possible. The songs starts in an A-minor mode and ends in A-flat minor.  Not a typical progression but I think it works and not jarring to the listener.

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Brown & Green– My daughter’s eyes are brown, my wife’s are green. The base chord progression is Bm-G. I associate Bm with the color brown(sometimes purple) and G with the color green. They were the inspiration for the song although the mood of the song took on a life of its own not so much related to them other than the original influence. This is another tune I have played live for a few years although I just improvised over the changes. All the melodies were composed durning the recording of the CD.

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The Secret- Hmmm mysterious….I could leave it at that…actually the song was originally going to be a ‘secret track,’ at the end of Brown & Green. The song kind of grew into a stand alone song and became its own song. So the working title of ‘secret song’ became The Secret…shhh don’t tell anyone though….its a secret….Another typical flamenco progression although I used open voicing in the chords to give a different feel.

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Just Between Us- Wouldn’t be a guitar CD without a solo guitar piece. Just me and the listener…Just Between Us… Odd meters, Travis picking, pull-off riffs, open parallel chords, the kitchen sink…lots of things going on but they flow together.

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Ice Cream- This is a really fun tune! Funky Jack Johnson vibe, with AC/DC style pull offs, a big dramatic middle section leading into the extended solo. Lots of layers compositionally. Fun also as some of the Dude supporters donated to the project for a chance to play a guitar part on the CD. Thanks to Genene Johnson, Mace Thomas, Jason Megraw and Greg Allen. Greg who is the dessert wine maker for Dolce, a Far Niente wine, supported the cause knowing he could not get to the recording studio. He wanted his part to go to a deserving student….I chose Chloe Valdez who did an excellent job! Actually all of them did a great job. The coolest thing was how much fun(and some anxiety) they had in the recording studio.

Ice Cream was a working title from my daughter. I told everyone a million times during the recording that the name would be changed…but by the time the CD was done the song was “Ice Cream,” and that is what it shall be for the ages.

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Jasmine (Sienna’s Song)- When my daughter was little we would always smell the jasmine flowers on our walks. I told her I was going to write a song called Jasmine and hear it is! Based on a simple chord progression with color tones on all chords for an ‘openness’ to the sound. A couple random metered measures because as my recording engineer, Jesse Johnson, would say…”It wouldn’t be a Mike song if it didn’t have some kind of twist.”

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Dude- Duuuude, Dude Double IPA from Oceanside Ale Works, Big Lebowski–however you interpret the Dude it was fun song to write. With the above influences in mind I went with a Mississippi Blues-esque sound. Tuning the guitar to an open Dmin chord let me play with a variety of sounds you don’t usually get on a guitar. That said, if you get a chance… try the Dude, Double IPA

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Human Nature

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D’ Auria

 

The Mighty Zep!

Zeppelin 1Did you catch it?

No not a lot of hype but it must be mentioned!

Led Zeppelin’s self titled debut album was released 45 years ago this month…thats 1969 for those slower in math and those struggling to get into their Monday groove.

Yes the Led Zeppelin era is middle-aged and unbelievably, Jimmy Page, the bands patriarch turned 70 earlier this month.

The 60’s belonged to the Beatles, but, the 70s were about Zeppelin right up to drummer John Bonham’s untimely death in 1980. Bonzo along with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones took rock n roll to new heights throughout the decade.

Much like the aforementioned Beatles, Zeppelin’s stronghold on fans was achieved utilizing a variety of musical styles beyond just rock n roll. Zeppelin’s repertoire features among others; blues, country, psychedelia, classical, Indian, Reggae, Latin and mystical influences.

Personally, I have been through many Zeppelin phases, from constantly listening  to not listening much. Either way I can’t imagine a world without Zeppelin. Certainly, the quartet and most notably Jimmy Page’s guitar and compositional prowess have had a significant impact on my own music development. Not to mention all the good times with friends over the years featuring Zeppelin as part of the soundtrack!

I was barely born when Zep debuted. Most my students today weren’t even born before they disbanded. Not to mention many of them were not even born in the same millennium Zeppelin prevailed. However, Led Zeppelin is still influencing young musicians today in 2014. Just taught a kid, “Heartbreaker,” this weekend. “Stairway to Heaven,” “Kashmir,” and “Over the Hills and Far Away,” are still staples of the guitar’s ‘must know’ landscape. When I am out performing, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” always gets one of the biggest crowd responses.

I always wonder what the shelf life of rock music will be. Technology and global media seem to have added to the life of the rock n roll era. Keeping it out of the dinosaur ‘symphony halls’ for now. As much as I want rock n roll to be around forever, I’d love to see what future generations/incarnations of popular music will hold?