Run Playlist 2/14/14, 2/17/14 Michael Schenker, Bridge the Gap Edition

Anyone who works out with their headphones knows how awesome it is when you get a big lift from your favorite song. Or hearing a cool tune you would have never picked shuffle through on your picturesque jog… With 1000s of songs on my iPod I almost always shuffle.

I’ve always thought it would be cool, interesting, perhaps even motivating to write about each playlist and the music’s effect on myself and the workout. Then I thought that might be kind of boring. Then I thought, “Yeah,” I was right…on both counts. ;)

Really just another chance to talk about music!

Feb. 14 & 17

3 mile runs

Michael Schenker’s, “Bridge the Gap.”

“Neptune Rising”

“Where the Wild Winds Blow”

“Horizons”

“Lord of the Lost and Lonely”

“Rock N Roll Symphony”

“To Live For the King”

“Land of Thunder”

“Temple of the Holy”

“Shine On”

“Bridges We Have Burned”

“Because You Lied”

“Black Moon Rising”

“Dance for the Piper”

“Faith” w Don Dokken, vocals

If you have read any of my previous “Run Playlist,” entries you know I shuffle through my workouts…almost exclusively! I rarely listen to one album straight through.

Another thing I hardly ever do any more is buy CDs. Sure songs here and there, but, not many full CDs anymore. However, I recently received in the mail Michael Schenker’s, “Bridge the Gap.”

With the new piece of ear candy in tow I turned off the shuffle feature and went to town dissecting my new sonorous treasure. My last two runs in fact were entirely devoted to the German guitarist’s newest release.

I won’t give the album a full review here cause it is just too early. I will share my first impressions, however.

GREAT!

Great production, great sound, heavy well composed songs, great vocals(not always a trademark of MSG music) and of course great guitar work. In fact Michael has never sounded better. Part of it is the production of the music. I also think part if it is Schenker seems to be enjoying life as much as ever. Props!!

A couple other quick hits…

-The keyboards(Wayne Findlay) are integrated really well on this disc. Perhaps even a sonic tribute to the recently passed Jon Lord of Deep Purple?

– Doogie White easily slides to the top of the class regarding Schenker vocalists over the years. Then immediately has to kind of battle it out to hold serve with Don Dokken who also sounds great on the bonus track, “Faith.” Major Kudos to Doogie on this disc and recent tours, sounds great!

-Dokken may be one of the top vocalists to work with Schenker. On the flip side Michael easily becomes the best guitarist to work with Dokken. Sorry to George Lynch fans. He’s a good dude and pretty good player just not even close to the same league as Schenker.

– The song format of this disc may lead to a better response from the average fan as some of Schenker’s recent music has been sort of through composed super-works. Most music fans are accustomed to block songs for easy digesting. Personally I liked when he stepped out of the box a bit. Even naming the songs on his MS 2000 disc the by the spelling of the CD title, “Dreams & Expressions.”

1 DMS 2000_ Dreams & Expressions

2 R

3 E

4 A

5 M

6 S

7 A

8 N

9 D

10 E

11 X

12 P

13 R

14 E

15 S

16 S

17 I

18 O

19 N

20 S

Bottom line- check out, “Bridge the Gap,” if you are a fan you won’t regret it!

Check out previous Run Playlist Posts.

Run Playlist 1/30/2014

Anyone who works out with their headphones knows how awesome it is when you get a big lift from your favorite song. Or hearing a cool tune you would have never picked shuffle through on your picturesque jog… With 1000s of songs on my iPod I almost always shuffle.

I’ve always thought it would be cool, interesting, perhaps even motivating to write about each playlist and the music’s effect on myself and the workout. Then I thought that might be kind of boring. Then I thought, “Yeah,” I was right…on both counts. ;)

Really just another chance to talk about music!

January 30, 2014

3 Mile Run

..And then there’s days when it is just you against yourself and no music is going to take you to the next level. That was this day’s run.

“Seasons of Madness,” -Catharsis

“Gimme Your Love,” -Michael Schenker

“Convoy,” -C. W. McCall

“Already Gone,” -Eagles

“Pieces De Clavecin Book 2, Les Moissonneurs,” F. Couperin, perf. John Williams

“The Struggle Within,” -Metallica

“Serpens Cauda,” -Tony MacAlpine

“Aftershock,” -Van Halen

“Brother John,” -Blues Traveler

“See You in Hell,” Yngwie J. Malmsteen

“Heroes End,” -Judas Priest

“Octopus’s Garden,” -Beatles

“I Will Remember,” – Queensryche

There was some good music on this playlist, but, as mentioned, there are days when the struggle is truly within…to steal the Metallica title. Body just wasn’t responding, maybe it had to do with the leg weights I lifted the day before.

To the music…

If you never heard Catharsis you aren’t alone. They were a local San Diego band that just missed it…and thats too bad cause they were really good, progressive and heavy and just getting started. Anyway you might know the guitarist, Scott Fox. He is a good friend and my musical partner in the Slayen & Fox guitar duo. If you ever get a chance look up Catharsis(make sure it was the SD band) and give them a listen.

Yes, “Convoy,” is the silly novelty song from the 1970’s. You know during the CB radio days? Smokey & The Bandit? Guess I am dating myself.

Highlight of this playlist was Tony MacAlpine. Known somewhat as an Yngwie clone from the 80’s Tony has been an afterthought in my listing all these years since. Recently I had the chance to see him play on “that Metal Show.” It definitely renewed my interest enough to head over to the fruit stand and download a couple tunes of his. “Serpens Cauda,” being the song that captured my ear the most.

Lowlights, “Octopus’s Garden,” just not a running song.  Also, Yngwie’s, “See you in Hell.” Definitely not one his better efforts. The guitar licks are OK its just a little too cheesy.

Check out previous Run Playlist Posts.

Run Playlist 1/26/14

Anyone who works out with their headphones knows how awesome it is when you get a big lift from your favorite song. Or hearing a cool tune you would have never picked shuffle through on your picturesque jog… With 1000s of songs on my iPod I almost always shuffle.

I’ve always thought it would be cool, interesting, perhaps even motivating to write about each playlist and the music’s effect on myself and the workout. Then I thought that might be kind of boring. Then I thought, “Yeah,” I was right…on both counts. ;)

Really just another chance to talk about music!

January 26, 2014

5 Mile Run

“China Girl,” David Bowie

“I’ll Be Waiting,” -Adele

“Angel of Avalon,” -Michael Schenker

“Harp Partita, BWV 1006A Preludium,” -JS Bach, perf.  Julian Bream

“Somebody Stole My Guitar,” -Deep Purple

“Heathens From the North,” -Yngwie J. Malmsteen

“Night of the Long Knives,” -AC/DC

“Early Morning Rain,”  Gordon Lightfoot

“Harp Partita, BWV 1006A Gavotte En Rondeau,” -JS Bach, perf.  Julian Bream

“Say What You Will,” -Fastway

“Carnies,” -Rush

“Prelude,” – Judas Priest

“Espiritu,” Pace De Lucia,  John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola

“Humans Being,” -Van Halen

“Still in Love,” -Boston

The highlight of this run playlist without doubt was, “Humans Being,” by Van Halen. It came on right at the end of the 5 miles and I still had energy to burn and this song fanned the flames! It is one of the bands heavier songs, certainly, from the Hagar era and one of Eddie’s great solos.

The tune was written for the soundtrack from the movie, “Twister.” In the solo I’ve read, Eddie wanted to emulate a ‘twister’. He uses an extended ascending line coupled with a driving rhythm to bring it home. It is also one of the first truly soulful solos Eddie put to tape, before the ‘tornado’ the calm before the storm. Adding another element to his already legendary guitar style.

The two Bach guitar works also provide a great soundscape for running. Maybe too mellow for most during a workout,  but, perfect for me. I’ve worked on these pieces and understand the Herculean task and effort it takes to perfect them. Much like the efforts of a long distance runner…very motivating! If you’re wondering why the ‘harp’ pieces are performed by a guitarist…the guitar didn’t become a legit instrument until the 19th century. So guitarist have had to transcribe the great works of Bach and others…essentially stealing them for the guitar from harp, lute, cello harpsichord, etc.

Other highlights; John Lord’s keyboards on the DP tune, AC/DC from “For Those About to Rock”(an underrated album in my opinion,) “Carnies,” from the latest Rush release , Fastway and “Espiritu,” from the guitar trio.

Gordon Lightfoot…I have to say I grew up not knowing much about his music. It is mellow and would have punched a hole in my Heavy Metal adolescent teenage musical psyche(is that really even English?) Have to say though Lightfoot has “IT”. Whatever, “IT,” is in music…the guy has it. AMAZING musicianship, its been cool to familiarize myself with his music recently. Also proud to say listening has not damaged my aforementioned psyche.

Check out previous Run Playlist Posts.

Run Forrest Run, Music & Movin’

Anyone who works out with their headphones knows how awesome it is when you get a big lift from your favorite song. Or hearing a cool tune you would have never picked shuffle through on your picturesque jog… With 1000s of songs on my iPod I almost always shuffle.

I’ve always thought it would be cool, interesting, perhaps even motivating to write about each playlist and the music’s effect on myself and the workout. Then I thought that might be kind of boring. Then I thought, “Yeah,” I was right…on both counts. 😉

Really just another chance to talk about music!

January 17, 2014

4 mile jog, plus

You know its gonna be a good run when the first 2.5 miles are all your favorites!

“Sinner’s Swing,” -Van Halen

“You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” -Judas Priest

“Circles,” -Joe Satriani

“After Forever,” -Black Sabbath

“Big Bad Will (Is Sweet William Now),” -Van Halen

“Moby Dick,” -Led Zeppelin

“Nobody Does it Better,” Carly Simon

“Symphony no 96 in D Major, 1st Mvmnt,” -Franz Joseph Haydn

“Poison My Eyes,” -Anthrax

“Symphony No. 3 in D Minor, 3rd Mvmnt,” -Gustav Mahler

None of the songs specifically effected me on the run today. It was just cool to have so many of my favorites  play. “Moby Dick,” was probably the coolest song of the run. Nothing like a mile and a half drum solo from John Bonham to keep you going! Carly Simon might seem like the odd song out, but, I was already in a groove and I like that song.

“Poison My Eyes,” is probably my favorite Anthrax song. I like the heaviness and progressiveness of it. Also because I don’t know a lot of their music…any of my metal bloggers out there have any Anthrax recommendations?

Full disclosure: It was about 85o degrees this morning in San Diego, all apologies to the rest of the northern hemisphere. So the rock n roll laden playlist was definitely appreciated to beat the heat.

Making a Halloween Music Playlist? Deviate From the Norm!

Happy Halloween Week everyone! Always one of my favorite holidays.

Are you one of those people who loves to make a playlist for your Halloween parties or to scare trick or treaters as they come hit you up for their Snickers fix?

Well if so this post is for you, and for those of you looking to treat your ears to some new music, as well.

Year after year we hear the same ol’ Halloween standards….Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “The Monster Mash,”  “One Eyed One Horned Purple People Eater” as festive, quirky pop tunes. Then there is the sophisticated setlisters who employ classical music.  Pieces like; Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D min,” Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mtn. King” and Orff’s “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana.

Lets ‘Deviate from the Norm’ this year….to borrow a line from Rush’s Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. Here are a few ideas that are not quite as trendy but every bit as scary and quirky.  Add some of these tunes to your Halloween Ipod playlist and you will be the coolest ‘evil’ DJ this side of Transylvania.

Scary

Everyone and their mother uses the theme from the Twilight Zone or Michael Myers Halloween movies.

Here is a modern take on the horror theme song genre. Try the end credits from Dexter…you know the serial killer who kills serial killers. Very haunting melody. The version here unlike the show has an extended drumtrack mix through the second part.

Quirky

How this song hasn’t become a Halloween classic I’ll never know. The Who’s tale of a creepy crawly spider named Boris is a great replacement for the overplayed “Monster Mash.”

Megadeth’s, “I Ain’t Superstitious” is a can’t miss, as well.

Rock Tunes

Any of the following would make a perfect addition to your playlist;

Black Sabbath…The demonic Metalers were masters of the tri-tone and chromatic power chord songs.

I would recommend “Black Sabbath” or “Electric Funeral” if you want heavy metal with a dark tinge but their super studio effected intro to the “Mob Rules,” entitled “E5150” will scare the kids right off your porch.

Most people when they think of Van Halen think great guitar but not so much spooky sounds.  Eddie, however, had a few tricks up his sleeve. Check out “Tora Tora/Loss Control,” “Intruder” and the prepared piano piece “Strung Out.” All would add a little edge to your Goul-list. My Van Halen pick, however, goes to the synth based “Sunday Afternoon in the Park.”

Classical

I hesitate to put these pieces on this list because they are ‘real’ music written by ‘real’ composers but not for the purpose of being dark, scary and Halloweenish where as the rock tunes above were. These are composers who have experimented with sound systems, emotions and humanity for much deeper reasons than being background for a bunch of frat boys in costumes drinking as much beer as they can on Halloween. That said I am here for you! I am here to offer you some new sounds and that is what I am going to do.

Charles Ives, “Hallowe’en”

Schoenberg, “Pierrot Lunaire”

Bartok, “String Quartet #4, 5th Movement”

Check back next year for a new list.

Related articles;

Perfect Pumpkins, A Halloween Song

The Bride of Frankenstein, Artwork

Classical Music for Halloween

What Good is Halloween Without Candy Apples