Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chapter XV: Music That Influences Me, volume one

It's been a while. How's everyone been? I've been busy wrapping up the final weeks of college, Year 1. It's weird, I've never committed myself to more than a year of schooling since I graduated high school. As Year 1 comes to an end, I'm looking forward to enjoying myself, and hopefully earning some coin.

I've often made mention of my diverse taste in music. Well, I thought I'd share some with you. I'll even go ahead and give you some insight as to how each perticular song influences me. I'm going to do a series of blogs where I'll give you 6 or so songs that I'm really into. Some may surprise you.

Speaking of surprise: Let's start off with a surprising choice, shall we?

1. "Nella Fantasia" - Russell Watson
This one is taken from Russell Watson's Live in Australia DVD, and is featured as the opening track on his debut The Voice album. Yes, I'm starting this off with an opera song. Got a problem? Hope not. I'll be honest. I first heard of Watson when he remade Rod Stewart's Faith of the Heart and retitled it Where My Heart Will Take Me for use in the opening credits of Star Trek Enterprise. I've always been a fan of pop-opera, and when I discovered he had a great voice that I could fit into my vocal range, I really got into him. Enjoy.

2. "Paper Sun" - Def Leppard
One of my favorite bands of all-time will always be Def Leppard. I'll never forget being in Newfoundland, Canada with my parents and grabbing the Euphoria CD the day it dropped. I was so excited to throw it in and give it a listen. I went through all the songs twice and realized three things. 1) It sounded WAY better than their previous album Slang. 2) It reminded me of a mixture between Hysteria and Adrenalize. 3) I was going to have a lot of fun playing these on drums. Here's a live version of one of my favorite songs off the album, Paper Sun. It's actually the album's "epic". Enjoy.

3. "Symbolistic White Walls" Matthew Good (Band)
I put "Band" in brackets because Matthew Good continues to perform to this day, just without the "Band." This was the first song I ever heard from this iconic Vancouver rocker. Often mixing in political views into his music, Good has always taken a fun, yet serious approach to things. What makes this song so awesome is the simplicities in the actual music, and the fact that you get to hear Good's two vocal levels. Because this was my introduction to Matthew Good, hopefully this is your introduction, or even better, re-introduction.

4. "Another Minute (demo)" - Sahaj Ticotin
For those unfamiliar with Sahaj, look for the song Do You Call My Name by Ra. He's the lead singer for that band. I decided to go with a solo track of his from his forthcoming solo debut expected to be released this summer. I heard this and I knew I had to go with this. Even as a demo, it's an amazing song. I, for one, will be working my ass off to try and find a copy of the CD. You should, too! Support the good artists. Enjoy this one! Also, I apologize for the lack of volume control on this song.


5. "Rusty Cage" - Johnny Cash
Quite possibly one of my favorite cover tunes. And this is coming from someone who HATES most cover tunes. However, in the last decade-and-a-half of his life, Johnny Cash had been putting out a series of records on Rick Ruben's American Recordings. He took each of those songs that he covered and made them his own. Look what he did with Trent Reznor's Hurt! I've always been a Soundgarden/Chris Cornell fan, and when I first heard this, I was amazed. I'm sad to know that Cash isn't around anymore. I never truly associated him with country music, because he's gone from one genre to another. Regardless, I give you this song to enjoy.

6. "Don't Be Afraid to Run" - Greg Graffin
When you listen to this, keep in mind that this is the lead vocalist for the legendary punk rock band Bad Religion. Dr. Greg Graffin, Ph.D. (yes, he has a legit Ph.D.) is quite possibly one of the most versatile punk rock musicians out there. In addition to what I've listed above, he's an author, university professor, and one of the funniest men to see on stage fronting a band. I love putting in Bad Religion's Live at the Palladium DVD when I'm completely devoid of anything to do during the day. This song is from Graffin's second solo CD, Cold As the Clay which has a lot of acoustic/electric folk songs. Check it out. You might really like it.

Well, that's going to do it for the first installment of the Music That Influences Me series of blogs. Leave some feedback. I'd like to know what you think of some of these songs. If you think there's something I should check out, post a link. I'll give it a listen and give my thoughts in a future blog.

Take care,

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