Archive for March, 2016

In the Shadows #5: The Good the Bad and the Ugly

This theme, written by Ennio Morricone, lends itself well to a garage-band style setting. The film was one of the so-called “Spaghetti Westerns”.

March 31, 2016 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

In the Shadows #4: Diamond Head

The Ventures released “DIamond Head” in 1965. It was a minor hit for them, charting on the Billboard “hot 100”.

March 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

In the Shadows #3: Rockin’ the Rivers

Surfing is not really an option in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. There are, however, plenty of rivers and waterfronts around. So this is a surf-music tribute to the ‘Burgh.

March 27, 2016 at 5:51 pm 1 comment

In the Shadows #2: Kontiki

This song was recored by the British instrumental guitar band The Shadows and went to #1 on the UK singles charts in 1961.

“Kontiki” refers to a 1947 journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands, led by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl. The purpose was to show that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

March 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

In the Shadows #1: Slaughter on 10th Avenue

“Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” was a top-40 hit for the Ventures in 1964.

However, the music was originally a ballet with music by Richard Rodgers and choreography by George Balanchine. It occurs near the end of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 Broadway musical comedy “On Your Toes” and is the story of a hoofer who falls in love with a dance hall girl who is then shot and killed by her jealous boyfriend.

In “Words and Music”, the 1948 Technicolor film biography of Rodgers and Hart, the ballet was danced by Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen.

March 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

A Different Time

This started out as a slightly country, slightly Southern-rock-ish ballad. I actually struggled with the arrangement and recording for quite a while, but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

However, once I added pictures to turn it into a video, it quickly transformed from what is hopefully nice music into a tribute to my wonderful and loving parents: Harry (who passed away in 2002) and Joan (who left us in 2007). Such a long time already…

 

March 18, 2016 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

21st Century Schizoid Man

I’m really not a “prog” guy, but…

Were I to identify the handful of albums that in my life totally hit me like a sledge hammer, “In the Court of the Crimson King” would be in the top 10 for sure (along with Led Zep’s 1st, Sgt. Peppers, Freak Out, Are You Experienced, etc.) This tune opened King Crimson’s debut opus. It remains a killer track on a killer album than changed the way we looked at music back in 1969.

March 13, 2016 at 6:10 pm Leave a comment

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