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?

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!

Here’s to a Musical 2014!

Been a great year on many fronts. Day to day it was great, life and work, enjoyable and getting better, although, overall it was a weird year and I can’t really say I am sorry to see 2013 in the rearview mirror.

Blogging was waaaay in the backseat this year, for many reasons. To ALL my fans and followers(mom) I greatly apologize.

Still there were a few interesting trends at 12 Notes & the Truth!

-The little Michael Schenker post I wrote a couple of years ago continues to get hits all the time. Personally I am glad to know there is so much interest in one of my all time favorite guitarists!

-Folks are interested in 12×12 Sudoku, lots of continued hits there, as well

-Malaysia found its way to 12 Notes ALOT. In fact more than any other non-English speaking country. And I know my mom was not in Malaysia this year. Welcome and hope you keep visiting!

-Allegedly Google’s privacy policy has blocked  the ever valuable resource of knowing the ‘search terms’ that led visitors to websites. I am SURE they didn’t mine your information any more either…right?!

-One thing that has not changed is my lifetime love of music. Creating, performing, listening, studying and discussing the effect these 12 Notes have on our lives!

Soon this blog may split between another website http://www.guitarguys.com keep an eye out for it as the year develops and I am sure I will let ya know, as well!

Well that’s it short and sweet…

I am looking forward to many great projects and wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year 2014!

I always teach my kids/students, major, sounds happy and, minor, sounds sad…with that in mind…

Keep life on the Major Sonority side of the street!

Peace,

Mike

Kennedy Assassination Announced at Boston Symphony

Yes, today we are bombarded with remembrances of the events which transpired 50 years ago in Dallas on this date. Sorry to jump on the bandwagon, but, here is a somewhat musical take regarding the incident.

The following video is, Erich Leindorf, conductor of the Boston Symphony announcing what had happened to the President. Kind of odd that he ‘hopes’ that it is unconfirmed but they go ahead with Beethoven’s Funeral March anyway…bold move!

The reaction seems to be edited a bit, I can’t imagine everyone just sitting in their seats, but, those were different times.

Read the details on the following link:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/11/21/246551876/hear-what-happened-at-bostons-symphony-hall-after-jfks-assassination

Better Than Coffee, “Monday Night Football” Theme

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

Chargers Win!
Chargers Win!

I think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. ;)

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

I know the NFL already kicked off this past weekend, but, in San Diego tonight is the night! Not only opening night, but, Monday Night Football. How many of you do not get fired up when you hear this theme? Even non-football fans? For our friends across the pond they used it for a competition show called Superstars. I don’t know much about the show, but, if any of you do let us know in the comments, good or bad.

Some facts you might not know about the MNF theme music…

-The music was composed by British composer Johnny Pearson

-The music has been re-arranged, by other musicians, several times to keep it fresh

-The piece is entitled, “Heavy Action.”

You will definitely hear the 70’s in this version!!

Go Chargers!

Enjoy!

Better Than Coffee, Joe Satriani, “Surfing With the Alien”

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

imagesI think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. ;)

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

“Surfing With the Alien,” was Joe Satriani’s introduction to the mainstream in the late 1980’s. The title track from album same name started a revolution of guitar based rock/metal instrumentals.

This one always gets the blood flowing.

Happy Friday, Enjoy!

Better Than Coffee, Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Tightrope”

Click here for previous Better Than Coffee posts.

images-1I think most of you who read this blog would agree music is the best ‘drug’ of all time…including our beloved morning coffee.

This series has been and will continue to be a public service for those of you trying to cut your caffeine intake, by enjoying some fast/energetic music…. ;)

…Or for those of you looking to enhance that morning cup.

This song is not particularly fast, but, energetic… absolutely! Great solo from the legendary, and taken too soon from us, Stevie Ray Vaughan. RIP Aug 27, 1990

Enjoy!

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan

UnknownOne of my favorite SRV stories is about his calluses. The story is that he practiced so much they would literally fall off. Well if you know how pink the skin is when you lose a blister you know how tender that skin is! No way you can play guitar on that…unless you are Stevie Ray Vaughan and you just super glue the loose calluses back on your fingertips. That is dedication to practicing for sure!

I always like to relay this to my beginning students as they work through the tender finger stage.

RIP “My ol friend!” SRV, August 27, 1990

Victor Borge, Classical Musician/Comedian

Victor Borge was an old-timer before I was a young timer, but, as ‘goofy’ as his style was he always cracked me up!

An amazing pianist he took classical music to a new level combining slapstick with virtuosity. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating his talents by the silliness he portrays.

Happy Friday, Enjoy!