Category ArchiveMuzak

Muzak 14 Mar 2008 11:08 pm

Riff-a-week #2

Well, i haven’t exactly been making riffs on a schedule anyone would call weekly, so I made up for it by playing that way.

This is the same track done with two different sets of effects in Garage Band. I am just of course goofing off. There are a few ideas I like, and one I particularly hate about 52 seconds in. Can you guess?

Butter 1

Butter 2

Note: This needs to be listened to either on headphones or loudspeakers. the production values are too crappy for laptop speakers

Muzak 24 Nov 2007 02:21 am

Andres Segovia Videos on Youtube

I am not sure why I never thought before to look for videos of the great classical guitarist Andres Segoiva on Youtube before, but, lo and behold, there are tens of them. I particularly enjoyed this: Andres Segovia – Sor Op. 9.

His performance of Asturias is also amazing.

Muzak 16 Nov 2007 03:35 am

Guitar Music

Kevin is looking for good music and I had been meaning to create a list of guitar-related music anyway. I repeat it here for my own reference.

Here’s a list, not just of Latin stuff, but of great guitar stuff. Be warned, I’ve been meaning to make this list for along time, so it got pretty long (future me says).

Paco de Lucia — Killer nuevo flamenco
anything on Cositas Buenas

Paco Peña — The best traditional flamenco player in the world
The Art of Paco Peña album is a good survey

John McLaughlin — Very progressive guitar from the 70’s.
He played with Miles Davis on Bitches Brew.
He also had a band called the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The Dance of Maya on The Inner Mounting by Mahavishnu Orchestra is insane. Really.
Friday Night in San Francisco with him, Paco de Lucia, and Al DiMeola is an amazing album. I can’t froth enough. Particularly, Short Tales of the Black Forest

John Williams — Amazing Classical Guitarist
I am particularly enjoying his album The Great Paraguayan songs by Barrios
Vals No. 4 rocks

Andres Segovia’s Bach Recordings are superb, and very intricate stuff, might get a kid interested due to the technical complexity

AC/DC — Back in Black, Hells Bells, Highway to Hell

Sonic Youth — Alternate tunings inspired by PCP
Titanium Expose on Goo

The Allman Brothers Band — Duane Allman and Dickie Betts — dude
Blue Sky
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
Hot Lanta
Les Brers in A Minor

Yes – Steve Howe rocks
Mood for a Day
The Clap

B.B. King — have him listen to how he phrases and uses slides between notes.

John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters — Easy to play, but the soul of all rock
Boom Boom Boom

Howling Wolf
Little Red Rooster, Killing Floor

Stevie Ray Vaughn
Cold Shot

Built to Spill — emo rock, but good stuff
The Plan

Charlie Hunter Quartet — Great guitarist, plays an 8 string: 3 bass 5 treble strings
Come as you are is a good intro

Cream — Eric Clapton

Django reinhardt — might be too far out for him, Great Gypsy Jazz from early last century

Enrique Coria — Superbly played latin music, many different south american and central american folk styles. He lives in San Rafael too.
Nevando Esta on The Guitar Artistry of Enrique Coria

Jane’s Addiction
Idiots Rule on Nothing’s Shocking

Jimi Hendrix
Add Crosstown Traffic to the list

Larry Coryell — Intense Jazz solo guitarist
Giant Steps on Dragon’s Gate

Steely Dan
Kid Charlemagne

Led Zeppelin
Add, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Celebration Day — OK, all of III, In my Time of Dying form Physical Graffiti

Smashing Pumpkins
SilverFuck on Siamese Dreams

Battery, Master of Puppets on Master of Puppets

Add Sunshine of Your Love,

Neil Young
Down by the River

Piglet — Math Rock, A little repetitive, but fun and intricate cycles,
Little Bubble, Where You Going? on Lava Land

The Police
Synchronicity 2

The Raconteurs — Jack White from the White Stripes
Steady as She Goes, Level from Broken Boy Soldiers

The SilverSun Pickups new Song, Lazy Eye has some decent guitar

Queens of the Stone Age
Little Sister, Go with the Flow

Robert Cray
Smoking Gun

Robert Johnson
Cross Road Blues

Roy Rogers
Spanish blues

I would pick Guajira, and Jungle Strut in addition to Black Magic Woman, and Soul Sacrifice because it is one of the best songs ever

Gift on File Under Easy Listening

U2 —
11′ O Clock tick tock, Bullet the Blue Sky, Sunday Bloody Sunday

Hexenzsene on New Plastic Ideas

Swung from the Gutters on TNT

Stray Cats
Stray Cat Strut

PJ Harvey
Sheela-Na-Gig on Dry — Note, this has pretty mature lyrics, but it’s tough music, and there is some great guitar in there as well.

Circle Jerks
When the Shit Hits the Fan, or Coup D’etat on Golden Shower of Hits — Punk Rock!

Dead Kennedys — East Bay Ray makes the guitar do his bidding, and besides everybody should enjoy the sarcasm of the Dead Kennedys
Holiday in Cambodia, California Uber Alles — Punk Rock!

Bad Brains — Bad Ass Rasta Punks from D.C.
Fearless Vampire Killers, Banned in D.C. on Rock for Light — produced by Ric Ocasek

Waiting Room on 13 Songs

OK, not punk, but also

Heart – Barracuda

Alright, I’m quitting now. I feel like John Cusack’s character in Hi Fidelity.

Muzak 21 Oct 2007 08:14 pm

Beethovenfest Bonn & Free Classical from Wikipedia

The Beethovenfest in Bonn just ended, and they have a podcast with select performances available for download.

The RSS and iTunes feeds are at the bottom of this page.

I also found a list of free downloads (copylefted) at wikipedia

Muzak 09 Oct 2007 12:52 am

Riff-A-Week #1

I have really slacked off in my guitar playing over the last few years, and I thought if I recorded something and posted it every week, maybe I’d get good enough to only post something not-too-horrible once a month.

So, better late than never, last night I put together a little riff called, “It’s Sunny Charlie Brown”.

It’s an acoustic track with a very simple progression, and then a heavily distorted solo meandering over it. ‘Rubato’ is the word of the day.

Muzak 02 Mar 2007 01:32 am

Desert Island Discs

I saw a friend tonight and he mentioned the notion of the Desert Island Disc Collection. It’s simple, scan through iTunes and make a playlist of the 10 albums you would take if you were stranded on a desert island (and you could only have 10 albums, of course.)

What a hard thing to do. Music addresses so many of the moods I have. Do I pick my 10 favorite moods? Moreover, he made the observation that you have a tension between genres and between best in genre. Quite a challenge, but I have started.

At this point, there are some albums I know need to be on the list. Though they are certain to change as I think through it more, but the following just gotta be on the list.

Love those albums. Good times…

OK, so I dunno yet and I don’t want to commit given the gravity of the topic. But I am thinking, what 10 albums to take?

Art &Math &Muzak 02 Sep 2006 02:58 pm

Giant Steps Animation by Michal Levy

Giant Steps by Michal Levy is a very slick, very cool animation to John Coltrane’s Giant steps.

(Via Projectionist.)

Muzak 23 Aug 2006 11:22 pm

ZERO 7 – Music to Accompany the Summer of the Endless Vacation

ZERO 7, for those of you who like chill, is great music to hang out to. It can stay in the background, or sneak into your consciousness every now and then, as you prefer. Great for being contemplative. I bet it does something for alpha wave attune-ment if I had to try to geek out on it and invent words or something.

Muzak 25 Jun 2006 12:32 am

Neko Case Performance

Tonight, I got to see Neko Case perform at the Rio theatre in Santa Cruz. She is touring for her new album, “The Fox Confessor Brings the Flood”.

The opening band, Sonny Smith, was great. He tells really dramatic stories with interesting characters in his songs. The music is mostly good appropriate accompaniment to his lyrics. The songs were all quite eccentric, from killing a man for the love of a woman on the street, to the upset of his lover leaving for another man.

So, then after resetting the stage, Neko Case, came on. She delivered, and then she delivered some more. The encore was probably another 30 minutes of songs. The sound was mixed flawlessly, and from where I sat, and then stood, everything came across balanced and clear. If you get a chance to see her, GO.

Her song style is plaintive and sad, but she delivers it with a beautiful, strong voice silhouetted with reverb. It haunts you for days afterwards.

The songs deal with painful subjects – loneliness, loss, feelings of insecurity, a sense that the world is burning. She delivers it with that voice though, and her talented band supports everything as it should be. The arrangements were often country or 50’s ballads, but most carried a punk dissonance in the twang. Some were grungy and dissonant entirely. The steel guitar/banjo player played soulfully and articulately. The guitarist gave beautiful fills that echoed and complemented Neko’s voice.

The accompanying singer had a sweet voice as well, and a great smartass repartee with the crowd. Whenever she sang though that all fell away and her face was serious as she watched Neko and sang with her. She also sang on some of Sonny Smith’s tunes. The whole band was laid back in their demeanor, but watched and played with each other in great time. It was actually enjoyable to see them work so well together.

It’s somewhat surprising that most of the songs stuck to their standard length. Not a lot of improvisation from what I could tell, but that was just fine. The through-composed songs, and their heartfelt, heart-yanking delivery were each perfect little gifts. In between songs, the members of the band improvised amusing little stories on topics such as Frito casseroles, how boring they, as people, were, and how much they loved Santa Cruz compared to say, San Diego. Neko Case, had a great self-deprecating demeanor, but was completely focused and sincere when singing. It was more like we were sitting in their living room, watching them play through their songs. You can hear a sample of their witty banter on their website, here

Overall, this show was better than I could’ve imagined. It takes real talent to make you smile at the beauty of the moment, even when, no, actually because you are hearing painful, sad thoughts.

UPDATE: You can see some live footage from this tour at the steel guitar player, Jon Rauhouse’s web site, here.

Muzak 13 Apr 2006 09:43 pm

Los Mocosos Rock!

Los Mocosos are a really good local band, well, San Francisco-local. They mix a lot of different styles into their sound and manage to produce something very cool, and unique. I would describe it as a mixture of Ozomatli, Santana, Ska and Reggae. It’s great to hear a horn section in contemporary music.

You can sample the songs here. I recommend Senor Presidente, which is quite political, Bandolera Era, Vete/El Largo Adios and Volvieron, which show their jazzier side, and Baccalao, which reminds me of Tito Puente. It’s all good.

I heard them today on KPFA on the Stephen Kent show. It was a great show that celebrated the sunshine with a bunch of brass bands. Perfectly fitting after so many days of rain.

One song he played particularly grabbed me, it was called “Gelem, Gelem”, played by the Kochani Orchestra. Turns out it is the anthem of the Gypsy nation, Romani. It starts at about 18 minutes into the show.

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