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!

 

Dude CD is DONE!!!!!

Started recording Aug 30, 2017 – Completed with CD’s in hand Dec. 21, 2017.

47 Days past the November 4, release date I expected…and lets just say ‘slightly’ over budget….

Lots of late nights…writing, arranging and practicing parts to prepare for studio sessions!

Was a blast!!!! I’m ready to start the next one!! Actually I’ve already been writing new music.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Indigogo Funding campaign/Pre-Sale of the project…it is GREATLY appreciated and was crucial to help complete the CD.

For those of you who ordered I will start sending them out shortly.

There is still plenty more for those of you who didn’t get in early.

Commemorative mugs still available too!

Also look for it soon online at iTunes, Amazon and all…for those of you clutter-less folks who don’t want hard copies.

Look for the CD Release party at Oceanside Ale Works in February or March…details to be supplied as they are set.

 

Pachelbel Canon in Drop D

I have certainly played  Canon in D at several weddings, but, never like this!

Although I would be glad to offer this version for an adventurous young couple…

Kudos to this bride and groom for tying the knot through their love of guitar…and hopefully each other of course!

 

 

http://www.guitarworld.com/video-bride-and-groom-play-loud-electric-guitar-duet-during-wedding-procession

Lighten Up Francis, Give Geddy a Break!!

Here is one of the lamest arguments in rock in roll.

 

Geddy Lee is often criticized as a singer because he doesn’t write his own lyrics. Critics ask, ‘How can he put his heart and soul into words that he didn’t write? Umm…Classical musicians/opera, jazz standards, great cover tunes in all genres…and of course actors too. How can anyone expect an actor to put emotion into his script if he/she didn’t write it?

Another sign of music critics who take themselves a bit too seriously.

Proud Dad, Michael Schenker Edition

5 year old daughter has been singing a tune this evening.

I knew what it was but not sure where she had heard it from. It is the Friday wake up song on my iPad alarm.

She keeps repeating the intro to this Michael Schenker song…and pretty accurately too! Proud!

 

Best Song 2014

Are you still scrambling to get your 2014 Oscar picks in and win that pot of gold or at least bragging rights among your friends?

I am here to offer some help…at least in the music department.

Following is my breakdown of the nominees for Best Song…

Happy-Pharrell Williams, Despicable Me 2

Pharrell Williams is as hot as it gets since the Grammys. Could strike Oscar Gold while the fire is hot. “Happy,” is a cool funky groove song.

Let it Go-Demi Lovato, Frozen

Lovato may sell to the younger female crowd which would hurt her chances for an Oscar. Although “Frozen,” was created for the same demographic and this song drives the mega popular film home with said audience.  A good song and worthy of Oscar buzz.

Ordinary Love-U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

A match made in heaven. An aging supergroup with world-wide mass audience appeal. A movie with a cause and one that U2 has held dear since the 80’s. Won the Golden Globe.

The Moon Song-Karen O., Her

The movie is a bit campy and so is the song. In my opinion the least deserving of the four nominees.

You could make a good case for “Happy,” and “Let it Go,” but I don’t see them beating the mighty U2 and Mandela.

My pick;         Ordinary Love-U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Click for past Oscar Picks and 2014 Original Score

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.

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.