Guitar, Wine & Relaxation…a Black Friday Alternative, A San Diego Guitarists Performance Blog

Once again, I had the pleasure of performing at Orfila Vineyards and Winery in Escondido. This time the day after Thanksgiving.  I really didn’t know what kind of crowd to expect. Would everyone stay home? Be burned out? Turkey hangover? Shopping?

Well, the first sign it was going to be a nice crowd was there was no parking except the overflow. Walking up with my gear, it was packed. That always gets the musician juices flowing. But, it was also nice to see folks using their ‘Black Friday’ to relax. Even better they were supporting some locals over the big box chain stores. Including Orfila, myself and local jewelry maker Katy of KD Custom Jewelry, who’s always a pleasure to work with. Darn Good Food Truck was also there, but, I was so busy I never got a chance to go see what they were all about, sure they were ‘darn good’ though.

With the holiday season upon us, I only have one more scheduled public performance and you guessed it…I will be at Orfila on Dec. 2…3:00 to 5:30 PM. If you haven’t been to Orfila yet it is a must. There is truly something in this valley overlooking the vineyards that always  makes for a great relaxing day. If you are planning any events or weddings definitely take a look here!

Some photos of the day!

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One of My Students Recent Performances, Great Job!!!

Here is a recent video of one of my students. He performed at a high school function and played great!!!

Keep up the good work Mr. W!!!!!

In full disclosure…he worked this piece up all by himself!! See what practice can do!!!

This Performance May be Why the Term ‘God Bless America’ is Used as a Curse Phrase

Congrats to the San Francisco Giants on their 2012 World Championship!

The Giants swept the Detroit Tigers 4-0 in baseball’s Fall Classic. Of course the Giants were my pick to win it all!

On a somewhat different note did you happen to catch the rendition of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch?

As a performer I absolutely feel for these singers…however, this was really bad!

No more baseball for a few months…of course being a San Diego Padres fan I could say it has been a few years without real baseball!

Previous music/baseball posts

Related Posts

Celebration

Cap Photo

Playoff Beards

Orfila Winery, A San Diego Guitarist Blog- Performance Aug 24, 2012

Had  great weekend of gigs! Friday evening at Orfila and a cool wedding on Crystal Pier on Saturday.

Orfila is a winery located in San Diego’s North County near the Wild Animal Park…its still hard for us native San Diegans  to call it Safari Park.
Not exactly sure what is it; the mountains in the background, the gardens overlooking the vineyard, the wine or the music but Orfila has the mojo for relaxation. Everyone who has been there to see me play has a great time.

I had a blast playing a mix of classical, flamenco and rock/pop guitar for them once again. Here are a few pictures from the night. Thanks to all of you who made it out!!!

My next Orfila event is September 30 3:00-5:30, a Sunday afternoon.

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Performances

Click an event for more info. Feel free to email as well.

Unless otherwise noted all events are solo guitar.

No Fear!

No Fear!

Well, maybe some…but that’s ok. Its more than OK its human.

Performing can be a tough gig for seasoned musicians. How about for successful career oriented adults who just wanted to learn to play the guitar?

This Friday, four of my ‘successful career oriented adult’ students ARE taking the stage. Not only taking the stage but it is in front of their peers at a large Qualcomm function!!

These four deserve HUGE props in my book. Going out of their comfort zone and grabbing their guitars in front of millions…well not millions but it doesn’t lessen the accomplishment at all.

I am not sure they even want their names posted so I won’t do that  but PR, RS, GJ, OS I am really proud of you all!

Try to enjoy the performance cause it will go quick! And after that no one can ever take it away from you!!!

Serious props to you all for even agreeing to do this!!!!

Your Fearless Leader 😉

Mike

More Human Than Human, A.C. Jobim

get-attachment-29.aspx“More Human than Human” is a blog series here at 12 Notes & the Truth! dedicated to the unexplainable moments in music that defy words.

Sometimes there is an extra-human element that finds its way into recordings and performances that can’t be explained…a visit from the Muse!

You know the parts of a song that you play over and over because the way they make you feel? Here is my attempt to bring you some of the moments that have moved me over the years, hope they hit you the same way.

“Aguas de Marco,” is a nice little tune written and recorded by A.C. Jobim, the famous Brazilian Bossa Nova composer. In this clip there is a vocal interaction between Jobim and Elis Regina. An exchange that results in a laugh and a light-hearted tone that could not be planned. It could have been edited out as an outtake, but, thankfully it was left as performed! All this happens over an intertwining of descending chromatic lines set by Jobim.

Additionally, there is a slightly out of tune whistling over the piano line that creates an odd chorus-y toy piano sonority.

A small song that packs a heck of a ‘More Human Than Human,’ punch of emotions over a brilliantly composed tune.

Enjoy!

Why Hire a Professional Wedding Musician?

I get plenty of these type responses, as to why people don’t want to pay a professional musician to perform their ceremony…

“My nephew plays guitar,”

“My Uncle’s barber’s son plays guitar and will do our wedding for $50,”

“Our best man plays guitar,” and so on and so on.

Careful you might get this person!! That is assuming they even show up. I often book last minute weddings from those who hired their uncle’s barber’s son, who chicken out two days before the ceremony when they try to learn the music and realize they can’t play it…

Here is why you might want to have a second thought hiring family, a friend or friend of a friend.

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Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” 100 Years Today

Ahhhh Classical music, enjoyed by the aristocracy, your grandmother’s tea sipping friends the 1% in todays terms….

Well that was the scene 100 years ago today as Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” was premiered. Well that was allegedly the scene. Would you believe these said music aficionados and high society folks kind of started a riot? Booed so loud the music could not be heard? Began throwing anything they could find?

However it went down that fateful night the music has absolutely stood the test of time. 100 years later the piece’s centennial is being celebrated all over the globe with performances and tributes.

Yes, for most people’s tastes, even today it sounds odd and perhaps ‘ugly.’ For those who have found their way into the works masterful composition it is a thing of beauty. When I first began studying music I was a Mozart and Bach fan. The ‘modern’ art music was not for me… But, through time and guidance of some of the most amazing musicians, my San Diego State music professors, I have learned to appreciate and yes even enjoy, ‘modern’ music.

To really explore the piece, I bought the score back in college so I could immerse myself, visually and aurally, inside the compositional and instrumentation processes Stravinsky employed. Try following the notes on the video below, the piece’s first section.

You have to laugh a little at what in art is called ‘modern,’ because most of it is extremely old. The 20th Century may well go down as the “Modern Era,” for hundreds of years to come. Like the 14th Century is known as ‘Ars Nova,’ or new art.

‘Modern,’ music may never be fully encompassed by humans. Perhaps it lies just out of our centered humanness and can only be appreciated and enjoyed by those who seek to study and look for it’s beauty.

I find myself extremely lucky to be able to love music, such as, the “Rite of Spring,” with all its complexities both in sonority and compositional structure and then listen to a 3 chord AC/DC hard rock song and be moved by both.

The part of the “Rite of Spring,” that has always moved me most both sonically and compositionally starts at approximately 7:45 on the video below. Specifically at 7:56 through the 10:30 mark, although the WHOLE piece is a true masterpiece!

Open your ears and Enjoy!!

Yngwie J. Malmsteen, San Diego Concert Review

I have seen a lot of musical acts in my day. My first concert was Ozzy with guitarist Randy Rhoads just two months before his fatal plane crash. I’ve seen Eddie Van Halen, Michael Schenker, Jimmy Page legendary rock/metal axe-men. I’ve seen classical greats John Williams and the Romeros. I’ve been to the Chicago and Los Angeles  Symphonies. I’ve seen local and less-known musicians come through town and absolutely blow everyone away. I’ve seen some of the biggest acts in the world; Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith…, as well as, some of the most incredible street musicians in America’s big cities…the people you miss your train simply to hear a few more songs. I’ve been to shows in rock, metal, Jazz, classical, world music, pop,…on and on! But, I never saw/heard anything like I did Tuesday night at San Diego’s House of Blues.

Rising ForceYngwie J. Malmsteen put on a clinic!

Since his debut album, “Rising Force,” in 1984, I have been a fan. His blistering fast runs and arpeggios combining Heavy Metal with musical phrasing of the Baroque and Romantic periods are absolutely stunning. ‘The man obviously took his guitar lessons seriously,’ as one of my friends put it!

The knocks against Yngwie for the past thirty years are as earned as his virtuosity.

He is known for being a bit of a Diva and arrogant. ‘Bit’ might be an understatement. His music, although it has stood the test of time for thirty years, is thought to be lacking in general appeal to those outside of the music/guitar aficionado. There are not a lot of hits, hooks and catchy tunes in Yngwie’s output. His sound and style have not changed much over the years.

The Diva tag comes from a somewhat pompous persona. The J. in his name, as if he is going to be confused with another Yngwie Malmsteen. The use of words in his titles like opus. Oh yeah and he is 50 years old and still years leather pants, no shirt and gaudy jewelry…so the argument is made.

Yngwie hasn’t changed much over the years…which can be viewed as both a lacking and admirable trait. Vivaldi the Italian composer wrote over 500 concertos. Since they were all similar in style it is often jokingly asked , ‘Did Vivaldi compose 500 concertos or one concerto 500 times?’ This question might be applied to Yngwie’s output over his career, as well….but no denying the man’s sheer capability to play the guitar like no other.

Heading to last Tuesdays concert I was stoked to see Yngwie, but, more as seeing a relic. He could be crossed off my list of musicians I want to see but haven’t. I thought it would be a little boring. Watching Yngwie shred all over the place while his band sheepishly backs him up.

May 14, San Diego Setlist

I could not have been more wrong! Yngwie was incredible. His showmanship was incredible, his skills were incredible and his band was incredible!

The ability to play a concert is hard enough for anyone…but to put on a show of that caliber and not lose your musical chops is awe-inspiring.

We’ve all seen musicians use gimmicks live. Playing with their teeth, spinning and throwing their instruments, creatively creating feedback while putting on a ‘rock show.’ Yngwie does all of these, but, it doesn’t seem gimmicky. He legitimately has put time into incorporating all these theatrics into his ‘musical’ performance.

His speed and precision have not declined at all in the years since his 1984 debut. Equally astounding is his use of effects. All guitarists use them, like the whammy bar, they often become a crutch to make any level musician sound rocking cool. Yngwie obviously has invested time working out his electronics as part of his guitar acumen.

Most impressive during the show, was his ability, while playing a blistering arpeggio riff to accompany himself with bass pedals using his feet. Not just one note to give a boost underneath but a full contrapuntal  bass line with his feet while seamlessly arpeggiating over the top.

band side YNGWIE SIDEThe band, in typical Yngwie fashion, are not easy to find out much info about. However, these guys played great. Of course to play with Yngwie…who the band referred to as ‘the Maestro,’ throughout the night, you’ve got to  have chops. You have to play fast, but, they put on a rock show, as well. They laid down a rock groove that Yngwie could soar over with his guitar acrobatics while keeping the crowd rocking, not letting it feel like a man and…. oh yeah a band(even though Yngwie does take about 3/4 of the stage for himself)…kudos to those guys!!

Bottom line…if you haven’t seen Yngwie yet but have thought about it….GO!