Music to Relax, Queensryche, “I Will Remember”

It has been a while since I’ve done a “Music to Relax,” post. But the time has come and Happy 2014 to those of you who’ve been holding your collective breaths waiting for the next piece of music to slow your heart rate and send you into musical Nirvana.

After a 3 mile run and while walking back to the house, Queensryche’s, “I Will Remember,” shuffled through my iPod. What a great song to regulate the body and bring my heartbeat back to a resting rate.

Queensryche was once a noted heavy metal band of the 80’s, unfortunately, now known more for fighting like little babies over use of the band’s name, etc. Much like Styx and their ex-band mates have gone through.

Although they were  a metal band this is such a peaceful tune. The song employed a unique sound, a little dark with a melodic, harmonized guitar solo. Vocalist Geoff Tate’s usual over the top operatic runs gave way to some extremely controlled phrasing, without relinquishing his powerful voice. Some of his best work in my opinion.

Take a trip back to the 80’s, relax and Enjoy!

View previous ‘Music to Relax’ 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.

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?

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.

Michael Schenker, Bridge the Gap Setlist & Concert Review

Schenker 2014This past Saturday night, legendary rock/metal guitarist once again brought his Flying V’s to San Diego. This time out in the sticks a bit to the Ramona Main Stage.

Seeing Schenker, one of my earliest and greatest musical influences, is always special and never a let down. The man can play! Plus, in the ‘stranger than fiction’ category, my old pal, San Diegan, Wayne Findlay, now tours and records with the band as keyboardist/guitarist.

BTW happy belated Birthdays to Michael and Wayne, both January 10 babies!

It’s always easy to review a Schenker show….masterful guitar work, great sound, energetic band. This show lived up to all! Only drawback…the stage was too low! Since they set up tables you can’t really get to the front and see Michael’s hands! Ramona MainStage is a cool venue and I recommend you get up there as they have some great acts coming though in an intimate venue….but, they either need to raise the stage a bit or clear out the tables and let a rock n roll show happen! I know some of the aging rockers now days like to get a table and relax and watch a show, but c’mon rock n roll is rock n roll!!!! You’re past selves would have kicked those walkers out from under your present selves and you know it!

Another oddity at Schenker shows… I am always surprised how much the crowd seems to know the UFO songs over his solo work. Maybe because  I am a bit younger than the average fan…lol! Love the UFO stuff but I was raised on his first four solo albums and always want to hear more of those songs! This show did replace a few of the UFO tunes from recent tours with the aforementioned. Even played Assault Attack from the likewise titled 80s album. One of my top five albums All Time!

Since I was not able to find the current tour setlist any where beforehand thought I would do my best to represent the San Diego show here.

Michael Schenker, Bridge the Gap Setlist, Jan. 11, 2014 San Diego

Neptune Rising*

Rock My Nights Away

Cry for the Nations

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Assault Attack

Lovedrive

Another Piece of Meat

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Attack of the Mad Axeman

Where the Wild Winds Blow*

Horizons*

Shoot Shoot

Let it Roll

Lights Out

Rock Bottom

Encore

Into the Arena

Armed and Ready

Doctor Doctor

*Since I hadn’t had a chance to hear the brand new album, “Bridge the Gap,” I estimated these titles as best I could.

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

NFL Week 2 Recap, Lightning Strikes

images-2

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!

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!