Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jimi Hendrix - In From the Storm

I'm too lazy to look up right now which studio album this would have been on or if it even was on an album. I first heard this Jimi song studying Hebrew flash cards in college while watching the Isle of Wight DVD.  I used to go out and buy music DVDs before having to stay up studying for tests.  It helped.

I absolutely love the riff on this one.  I wish they stuck with the riff more instead of getting so improvisational.  "In from the Storm"...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scars on Broadway - Kill Each Other/Live Forever

System of a Down broke up but their sound still lives on through Scars on Broadway.  The singer of Scars is Daron Malakian, the guitarist and sometimes backing vocalists, sometimes lead singer of System, and John Dolmayan, the drummer from System, is also in Scars.  Daron is writing the music for Scars and wrote a lot of it for System.  So, yea, it sounds very, very similar.  The difference is that Scars follows more of a straight rock structure in their songs, unlike System which was always very unpredictable.  Scars almost sounds like pop hard rock to me.

I can't fully endorse their first self-titled album, but it's got some OK stuff on it.  Not as good as System in my opinion, but different, so it sounds new.

Scars On Broadway
This is the album cover, if you see it out and about and want to get it.  Or click the pic and get it now or to be able to sample clips of all the songs. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rock Legends #1 - Stairway to Heaven has a hidden, Satanic message.

"Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin played backwards contains Satanic lyrics, words actually being sung to Satan.  Is this true or is it not true?  It can only be done with a record player.  I could be corrupted as a judge because I first watched videos that played the song backwards with lyrics of what you are supposed to hear if it's Satanic.  Interestingly enough, I've seen different versions of the lyrics and some of them are quite, quite different, but every time I have listened to it I do hear whatever is posted with the song.  Is this a case of the mind just synching up what's being heard with what is being read?

Here's a video with the song played backwards with no lyrics.  Watch it and see if you hear a Satanic message.  By the way, you might have to listen to the whole song, since some of the people who claim there is a hidden message don't have it matching with every line of the song being played forwards.  Let me know if you hear anything?

In closing, I think this song is actually pro-Chrisitian and anti-Satan.  The song the way I interpret it is about a lady who has it all, beauty, riches, and fame, and she thinks she on her own abilities can buy her salvation.  However, she finds that salvation can't be bought.  The store to do so is closed.  There's still time for everyone who is on her path to get on to the other path.  But then again, who can tell with this song?  It could mean anything?  There's even a line about when all is one and one is all.  That certainly sounds like new-age mysticism.  Here is what I do know.  In Genesis 28 Jacob has a dream of a stairway that connects heaven and earth and in John 1:51 Jesus references this dream and essentially says, "I am the Stairway to Heaven."  When you look at Christianity and what the Bible teaches, it is the only religion which says the way to salvation can't be bought.  It's the only free religion in the world.  It's the only religion in which God has stepped down and has done it all for your salvation.  The Stairway has come down to us and Jesus is that Stairway and He is a Rock that doesn't roll. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I recently discovered the band Zephyr.

They are from Boulder of Colorado, the place a majority of the hippies eventually landed.  I've only heard tales of Boulder - it sounds like it's still the 60's there.

Zephyr only released three albums from what I can tell.  Their first two albums featured Tommy Bolin of Deep Purple fame.  He's the guy who came after Ritchie Blackmore.  So you know there's some really good guitar in this band.

They are fronted by a female named Candie Givens.  She sounds as good as Grace Slick and Janis Joplin.

I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this band earlier.  They sound as good as what I've heard from Jefferson Airplane, if not better.  Their jamming seems way better, and I mean why shouldn't it; their guitarist was good enough to replace Ritchie Blackmore.  Just good old classic late 60's sound, although they were an early 70's band.  I don't think there is a better era for rock. 

Read more about the band here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dust - Suicide

I've never quite figured out why so many bands write about suicide.  Ozzy had "Suicide Solution", Metallica had "Fade to Black", Soundgarden had "Like Suicide", Silverchair had to throw in "Suicidal Dream" in what was otherwise a really great album, and the list can go on and on.

I think this is one of the dark sides of rock; suicide.  Is the rigors of being in a band that bad?

Anyways, I was surfing youtube looking for Blue Cheer songs and I stumbled across Dust. 

I had never heard of this band before, but their album cover for the second album, Hard Attack, features three vikings in the midst of battle.  Pretty cool image if you are into fantasy album covers.

The song I found by Dust is "Suicide".  I'm by no means pleased with the name's song and I haven't even paid attention to the lyrics, but the music is great!  It's very fresh.  They sound like early, early metal, and they weren't British, like Sabbath, they were American!!!

Their drummer later joined The Ramones.

Here is the band's bio, copied straight from wikipedia:

Dust was formed in the late 1960s by Richie Wise and two teenagers, Kenny Aaronson and Marc Bell. Additionally, Kenny Kerner wrote the group's lyrics, and acted as their producer and manager. Their debut album was released on Kama Sutra Records in 1971, and was followed by a sophomore release on the same label the following year. While the group only released these two albums, they later became of historical interest to collectors interested in early American heavy metal.[1]

The group's members all went on to other projects.

In the mid 1970s Bell worked with Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys and Richard Hell & The Voidoids. In 1978, he joined the Ramones, assuming the name Marky Ramone. Aaronson played with Stories and Wayne County and the Backstreet Boys in the 1970s and worked as a session musician into the 1980s. He also toured with Edgar Winter, Joan Jett and Billy Idol. Wise and Kerner went into production with Kiss, among others.

Buy Hard Attack if you like it!  Just click the link.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog

The Rock in the movie, Faster.
I recently saw the movie Faster.  It was The Rock (sorry, he'll always be The Rock to me and not Dewayne Johnson) finally starring in the action movie he deserves to be headlining.  It caught my attention because I am a Christian and most of the trailer had a tent-revival style preacher preaching about God and the errors in seeking revenge.  The Rock of course says, "Sermon's over!"  I really wanted to see what role Christianity and the preacher played in the movie, and I was very pleasantly surprised.  The preacher scene made the movie for me.  It redeemed the movie from being a straight-senseless violence movie.  It showed the power of sincere apology, confidence in God, repentance, and forgiveness.  It showed that love conquers evil, and even if it didn't play out the way it did in the movie, the preacher still would have come out on top.

So why am I writing about Faster on this blog about rock?

Iggy on-stage!
The movie featured a song I heard in a Guy Ritchie movie (I believe it was Lock Stock).  When I heard it in the Guy Ritchie movie it perfectly fit the tone of the movie and what was going on and the tune stuck out enough to me that I really wanted to know who it was, but I never found out.  So when the song kicked-in in Faster I knew I had to find out this time from the credits who it was.  Low and behold, it was the Stooges, the band which Iggy Pop fronted.

One of my first posts was on Iggy Pop.  I heard of Iggy Pop for quite sometime, but I had no need to listen to him until finding out that Henry Rollins is a huge Iggy fan.

So here is the song from Faster and the Guy Ritchie flick (whichever one it was):

Initially, upon hearing this song, I thought the band was some underground band from the 90's. Wow! The song is 40 stinking years old! It was released on The Stooges first album in August, 1969. Knowing this release date, I can picture that era more, and I can even picture Mick Jagger a little as Iggy sings. But this song sounds way before its time in my opinion.

The Stooges
Click her to buy this album!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I bought a guitar magazine in the mid-nineties that contained a mix CD.  The CD was entitled Peaceful Greasy Feelin'.  The CD is now stored in an attic a long ways from where I currently live.  Most of it was garbage, but I pulled out a few songs that I thought were good and put them on a blank cassette tape.  One of those songs that stood out to me was "Booty Street" by Sugartooth.  I looked around for a CD of theirs but never was able to find one.  Now that almost anything can be found on the Internet I decided to search for them.  I can't find the song "Booty Street" anywhere on-line but I found some other songs, and they all sound really good.  Looking on Amazon it appears that the band has only released two CDs, the first being a self-titled CD (1994) and their second being Sounds of Solid (1997).

Most of my searches for the band also bring up Tool, and I think this is because the Sugartooth singer, Marc Hunter, at times sounds similar to Tool's Maynard.  A review for the their self-titled album compared their music to a mix between Led Zeppelin and 90's grunge.  I can easily hear this mix.  They sound like they should be from the 70's on "Booty Street" but their sound doesn't fit that era at all.

They never received a big following but opened for big name bands in the 90's.  The fame they did receive mostly came from being featured on an episode of  Beavis and Butthead.

I'd suggest searching for the actual song "Sold my Fortune" on youtube because it sounds better when you actually get to hear the song instead of Beavis talking.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dark Side of Rock #1

There is a dark side to rock culture and the rock industry. 

Today the former bassist of Alice in Chains died.  Likely, it was related to drug use. 

Another piece to this dark side is band worship.  Rockers are just humans and are not perfect or worthy of the exaltation they sometimes receive from their fans.  

The following is a copied article from "Amplified" concerning Mike Starr's death:

Ex-Alice in Chains Bassist Mike Starr Dead at 44

Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 3:34pm PST by Caryn Ganz in Amplifier

Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr, who played on the band's first two influential albums and was one of the last people to see singer Layne Staley alive, has been found dead in a Salt Lake City, Utah home, TMZ reports. Starr, who was 44, was arrested earlier this month in Salt Lake City and found to be in possession of six Xanax pills and six Opana painkillers. According to a police report, Starr asked an officer if he'd heard of Alice in Chains, and said he was in Utah with a friend to put together a new band. "It's a terrible shock and tragedy," the rocker's father told the website today.

Starr played on the Seattle band's 1990 album Facelift and cowrote "It Ain't Like That" and "Confusion." He also performed on 1992's Sap EP and Dirt LP, which featured the band's breakout tracks "Down in a Hole," "Rooster," and "Would?" which also appeared on the soundtrack to the film Singles (the band also briefly performed onstage in the movie, too). Starr exited the band in 1993 and later admitted he'd been booted because his drug problem was out of control.

The musician, who appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab and Sober House in 2010, displayed erratic behavior while battling a vicious heroin addiction on TV. He wore headphones most of the time, and said, "My singer dies, and the only way I can hear him is through this... It takes me back to when Layne was alive." In a pivotal episode of Rehab, Starr spoke with Staley's mother and apologized for not doing more to help her drug-addled son. "I wish I would have called 911, he told me if I did, he'd never talk to me again," Starr said. "I was too high. I got mad at him, I said, 'I'll just leave' and his last words were 'not like this.' And I just left. I can't believe that. I'm so ashamed." Staley was found dead of a lethal mix of heroin and cocaine in his Seattle apartment in 2002.

When Starr first appeared on Rehab, his onetime bandmate Jerry Cantrell criticized the show for sensationalizing drug recovery: "[Mike is] a friend of ours, and we wish him the best. But that show's not really cool." Starr seemed to have kicked his dangerous addiction, and appeared on an episode of the following season's Rehab to demonstrate his progress. He was six months sober at the time of the taping.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Henrdix Painting - Tim Bonner

Jimi Hendrix - By Tim Bonner
My friend from high school, Tim Bonner, painted this Jimi Hendrix artwork.  It's four feet wide.  He lives in TN and did it for a doctor in Alabama.  If you'd like an original painting of similar nature, or of anything, let me know and I can get you into contact with Tim. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chuck Berry is the King of Rock

I'm not sure about you... but I think Chuck Berry is the king of rock 'n' roll, not Elvis Presley.  From my non-theory, non-musician perspective, rock is the blues turned up a nodge, at least in it's origins.

I thought about Chuck Berry, because I actually thought about George Thorogood.  Riding around with my wife this weekend, the song, "No Particular Place to Go" came to mind.  I am most familiar with the the Thorogood version, but it dawned on me that Berry did it first.

Here's Berry playing the song... Is this not more rock than anything Elvis did? And of course there are much better Chuck Berry songs.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Live Intro Jams

John Frucsiante
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a very diverse band and blend many genres of music - rock, pop, jazz, blues, rap, hip/hop, ska, and funk.  Listening to their evolution over the years is pretty cool.

I've never seen them play live, but I know someone who has and he said they were amazing!

I have their Live at Slane Castle DVD, picked that one up for a buck in China. That gig starts off with an amazing jam before ripping into "Can't Stop", one of my least favorite Peppers songs.  I did a search for them on youtube and it appears that they usually start shows with an intro jam.  Here are a few those jams.  Enjoy.


Video from Green Fest in Indjija,Serbia, 26/06/2007.

From Live at Slane Castle.Click here to buy.

Which intro jam do you like best?

Collection of Intro Jams!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reasons to buy Music #1

Some people don't buy CDs anymore.

Here's one reason to buy CDs:

The artwork.

Some CDs have lots of cool pieces of art in the sleeve.  The art can help you get inside the music as you listen to it.  With some bands, I can't understand the words of a song at all.  But if I bought the CD, I can easily read the lyrics since many bands supply them inside the sleeve.  Once I've read the lyrics to a song I couldn't normally understand, I can then easily remember the words and understand them every time I listen to them after that.

Here's some of the artwork within a CD I just recently purchased: Leviathan by the band, Mastodon.

The album cover.  The album is a concept album based on the novel Moby Dick.

This piece of art gives an idea to the craziness that lurks beneath the sea!

These images all accompany the songs on Leviathan and help ignite my imagination to picture what the riffs of this album are depicting as Ahab does battle with the white whale!  If I didn't purchase the CD, I might have also missed that these songs all piece together to form one complete story arch.  This is by no means a rock opera, but it still tells a story and the artwork is part of that story.  I even saw an interview with one of the band members and he mentioned that they have an art team and that even though the music was complete, it was still going to take months for the art team to finish their job. 

Movies in Rock #1

I've never seen any of the Japanese Godzilla movies.  I've only seen the Matthew Broderick, American made version with the Puff Daddy (P Diddy) destruction of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir".  But with that said, I am a big fan of "Godzilla", simply because of the Blue Oyster Cult song, "Godzilla".  If the big lizard can inspire such an awesome song, then Godzilla must be great.

Here's the band playing "Godzilla" live with Godzilla footage spliced throughout!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jay Chou - Nunchucks

I lived in China for three years. During this time, I heard a few Chinese songs played again and again and again over speakers in restaurants, stores, and in taxis. It seemed like the Chinese only had a few songs that were standard on the radio or for playing. Most of them were all Chinese pop songs.

One Chinese pop singer named Jay Chou stood out to me, and it was because of his song, "Nunchuks". It reminded me of rap-rock with a Chinese flair because it has a breakdown in the middle with a traditional Chinese instrument, and I liked it very much, because I finally heard something tough being played, so it stood out for me. 

Jay is also a movie star in China! Just recently he starred in an American film, The Green Hornet.  So I was already familiar with him, before his big American debut.  At the end of The Green Hornet as the credits roll, Jay's "Nunchucks" plays!  I recognized, and I said, "Yes!!!", but no one else probably thought much about it, which is why I'm bringing attention to it now!  And yes, I used a lot of exclamation marks for this post.

P.S.  He's actually Taiwanese, not Chinese, but in Mainland China, Taiwan is China! Here's the music video for "Nunchucks".  Don't worry if you can't understand anything he's saying, the Chinese don't understand this song much either: he's rapping with too much slang, and way too fast.