Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nice Day for A White Wedding


On my Facebook page I asked people to post a wedding song -- their own or someone else's -- and here are the results, starting with my own.

The bridal party entered the wedding to this song:




down these steps:


But our actual wedding song was this one:


Longtime A&H blogger Curt Alliaume:

"Frank Sinatra's "It Had to Be You," from his album Trilogy. Picked up at the same moment this video starts - this was the inspiration."


Lisa Parish isn't married to David McKittrick (producer of the blog's upcoming album), but she says they enjoy this song.


Sergeff Suomi


Media Bliss and A&H blogger Tim Miller


Jeff Freaney


Lance Barnett



A friend of Andrée Levie-Warrilow wrote this beautiful song (Facebook link, access may be limited)

I'll let Chrissy Cortina tell the story of this one:"So, we had a wedding on the (very) cheap so we hired this trio of cello, violin & guitar playing guys -- one who had green hair which was awesome. I was late getting to the chapel and caught the strains of The Doors, Light My Fire as I walked up the stairs."


A&H Blogger Andrea Palumbo



Karen Aagesen Cerini


Bowie Lover Sam Demain:


And wrapping things up: a love song for Michele Ferlisi.




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Early Rumblings, Part 2: Two More Rough Tracks



Some more early versions of the songs that will make up the Abandoned and Heartbroke  album. You can listen to two other songs here.

I have a dream of making some LPs out of this. An actual record album would be fun to have and a blast to design.

Pay no attention to most of the lyrics on "These Times". They were meant only as a placeholder for finished lyrics, which still have not been decided upon, but in the meantime some of them make me cringe. I do hear a sweeping epic of a song in the making, at least instrumentally.

These Times

Into the Night

Thursday, July 3, 2014

You Can't Sit Down



By (massively) popular demand, a list of songs about standing, as supplied by many, many Facebook friends. Take it away, kids...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wanna Date?




Early Rumblings: Two Rough Tracks



The description of this blog includes the phrase "chronicling the creation of an album of original songs, by a guy who figures he might as well", and after a long hiatus we finally have the opportunity to do some serious chroniclin'. Drum tracks have been added to all five songs, courtesy of the great Drake Sorey, drummer for the splendid rockabilly group The Highballers and a gifted photographer to boot. This is a terrific breakthrough for the album, because now we can move forward on the songs.

For now, here are the rough tracks for what I consider to be the standout songs so far. More to come.

South Street

One More Day to Rain

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Greatest Pop Beat Ever



As far as I know, it doesn't have a name, but you know it -- three bass (kick) drum beats followed by a snare. Probably best known from the Ronettes' "Be My Baby", on which it was performed by the great Hal Blaine, and immortalized in pop songs over the decades since.

Monday, June 23, 2014

(Wrap Your Arms Around and) Cover Me



On his recent tour, Bruce Springsteen has been gifting audiences with some mind-blowing surprise cover songs, and though he has laughed delightedly at people's reactions to his choices, his versions are performed impeccably and with great respect. In celebration of this nifty twist to his shows, herewith is a selection of some of Bruce's best cover songs over the years. (Hat tip to old pal Jim Crisci for help and suggestions.)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tex-Mex Serenade


Looming large in my musical and personal history is a long-gone bar and restaurant called the Tex-Mex Grille, once situated near the Potomac in Rosslyn, VA, just across the river from DC (and not far from, as I boast tirelessly to visitors, the site where they filmed President Bartlet's assassination attempt on THE WEST WING). Tex-Mex was torn down years ago, along with the building in which it was housed, but if you squint at the Chipotle that has since taken its place, you can  just about make out where the outdoor patio upon which I and my musician buddies performed once stood. Fridays and Saturdays were hosted by the one and only "TV" John Langworthy, who booked us musicians two performers a night, sometimes for four hours each. (!) At one point we hit on the notion that it made more sense to spare the nerves of artists and the boredom threshold of the audience if we mixed our sets -- I'd do two songs with David McKittrick,  (producer of this here upcoming Abandoned and Heartbroke album), then Dave and Eric Eckl would do a few of Eric's originals, then I'd go back up onstage. Then we'd jam on a few songs. It worked out well for us, but of course Dave never got a break at all.


One night in 1999, Eric recorded one of these gigs and presented Dave and me with CD copies. My copy didn't work -- in the 90s, it was not unusual for certain PCs and CD players to reject certain types of blank CDs -- so originally I never got to hear that gig. But recently McKittrick unearthed his copy and burned one for me, so tonight I got to hear these performances for the first time in nearly 15 years. They're not bad, although I opted to write off one track on account of having already shared better versions (it's Bruce's "Promised Land" in case anyone cares).

Fadeway

Wicked Game (Seriously! What was I thinking?)

Romeo and Juliet

Into the Night




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nastygrams


Possibly the meanest act a songwriter can commit is to write a song directed at someone they are pissed off at royally -- the more talented the writer, the more savage the delivery. While it's completely unfair to the subject, especially if they are not equipped or talented enough to respond in kind, some of the greatest, most biting songs have been committed to record, and herewith are some of them, as well as some equally brilliant ripostes.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I'd Like to Fly But I Can't Even Swim: Songs About Comic Books

This should have been an obvious choice long ago, seeing as I often have one foot in music and the other in the comics.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kenny

Kenneth Cadmus was braver than anyone I ever knew.

I don't remember how I first encountered Kenny, but I do know the year and place -- 1973, Lincoln School, New Providence, NJ. We were eight. Most probably, we met on the playground, or the classroom, but the really important memory is this:  I was a new kid, having just been arrived from the small city of Charleston, West Virginia to this middle-to-upper-middle class suburb of Manhattan, and I was frightened out of my mind. I was thin, puny, no kind of athlete and hardly a scholar. I liked to read and draw superhero comics, which pretty much helped seal my fate right off the bat. My earliest and most important memory of Kenny is that he knew all these things about me and he did not give a shit.  I mean, look at this kid, right here:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Arts Enlighten Us

. . . and pop music is no exception. Case in point: The peppy Pompeii by Bastille or even . . . Spinal Tap's sonic tutorial, Stonehenge. These musical gems tell us something about ourselves. Now turn your attention to the "cradle of civilization" and the Bronze Age. Get a history lesson with the B-52s' Mesopotamia.