Seven 9s and 10s

Showing 1020 posts tagged music

Only In Dreams



weezer - Only in dreams (steelopus version) - arranged for Mallet Percussion Ensemble

I couldn’t let today pass without acknowledging the blue album. Happy 20th birthday to the album that had the most dramatic affect on my young life. If you care about anything else I’ve said about weezer in the past, there are currently 132 tagged posts for you to dig through.

I arranged this 8 years ago, just as I was finishing up my undergrad Music Education degree.  It is essentially a note-for-note transcription of this classic song.

My experience as a percussion minor introduced me to many a varied new technique, including my favorite which was bowed vibraphone.  When you bow the bars of a vibe, they emit a pure pitch that fades in and out (youtube example).  The first time I heard the technique, I immediately thought it sounded a lot like electric guitar feedback, and decided I would find a way to use it in that sense.  That spawned this project.

Unfortunately this recording is just a somewhat flawed MIDI version (there was no way to actually fake bowed vibes when I made this back in 2001), but it gets the point across. I’d still like to find a real ensemble to perform it.

GWAR covers Billy Ocean at The Onion A/V Club

It’s impossible to quantify just how much better this cover is than the original song.

I regret not taking an opportunity to see GWAR at any of their many stops in Rochester. Sadly, now I’ll never get a chance. Farewell Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus. Hopefully the return trip to your home planet won’t take too long.

Paco De Lucia, Modern Superstar Of Flamenco, Dies

The world just lost a true guitar hero. I’m barely familiar with his work outside of the amazing performances on the Friday Night in SanFrancisco album, but I’m entirely certain that the man was a true master of his art and one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived.

Thankfully he leaves behind a large catalog of recordings for us all to enjoy, remember him by, and use as a completely realistic, albeit unfair, measuring stick for other guitarists.

Top Notch

Manchester Orchestra


Manchester Orchestra - Top Notch

New song. It has pieces of all the elements that I like about this band (harmonies, dramatic dynamics, tutti chords from the guitars/bass).

This gives me more hope for the new album than the previous first single, Simple Math, did for it’s album of the same name (by which I was somewhat let down).

I dig it.

High-res steelopus:

Favorite (Active) Bands That I’ve Never Seen Live (as of 9/20/2013)
Queens of the Stone Age
The Cardigans
Presidents of the USA
The Rentals
Nerf Herder
The Darkness
Guns N’ Roses (waiting for the never-gonna-happen reunion tour)



Favorite (Active) Bands That I’ve Never Seen Live (as of 9/20/2013)

  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • The Cardigans
  • Radiohead
  • Presidents of the USA
  • The Rentals
  • Junip
  • Pinback
  • AC/DC
  • Nerf Herder
  • The Darkness
  • Tool
  • Soundgarden
  • Guns N’ Roses (waiting for the never-gonna-happen reunion tour)


For those of you picking up guitars and laptops with the idea that this will be your job, I have some very real facts to lay down here. You are trying to create demand for a product that not only is currently devalued by its own consumer but in a completely over-saturated market to boot.

The Economy of Mediocrity: Music Edition 

Please, definitely click-through to read the whole piece. It’s a short post and it’s overflowing with hard truths. Hat-tip to Kelly, whose comments are well worth a read, too.

My favorite points are things about which I’ve been talking for well over a decade:

  • Live music simply cannot be profitable for anyone without the simultaneous sale of alcohol, and that’s just straight-up not fair to the musicians. Next time you go see one of your friends’ band play live, don’t be ashamed to ask how much they’re getting paid. If they play only original music I’d be willing to bet they’ll be playing for free at least 75% of the time. If they’re in a cover band then they’re probably being paid (but certainly not enough). Additionally, I bet you’d be shocked to hear how often a bar tries to pass off a few free drink tickets as an acceptable form of payment for the band’s services (that’s so very generous to the musicians who don’t even drink alcohol; thanks for the free stale Coke, asshole). The alcohol-requirement has the added bonus of turning the audience into a seething mass of impolite fuckheads who disrespect the musicians (and the fans who are actually there to listen) by being obnoxiously loud throughout the duration of every song, stopping to clap or hoot and holler when the music stops just because they want to believe they actually care about anything other than being the center of attention and the finding the quickest way to the bottom of their bottle.
  • There are too many bands. Realistically, there has always been too many bands, but it’s only in the digital age that we’ve been forced to endure them all. One band or artist breaks through with a hit and then the airwaves and fiber cables are flooded with clones upon clones upon clones of the same shitty song. I guess this isn’t really anything new - I wasn’t alive in 1975, but in hindsight the music that came out in 1976 wasn’t all that much different. Same for ‘88 and ‘87, ‘95 and ‘94, etc. The difference now is that every kid in a bedroom with a computer thinks he can be the next big thing and he has the means to try to prove it to the world simply by flooding the internet with his crappy dub-hop-rock; 999,999 out of 1,000,000 times he is wrong.

Our attention spans are growing shorter while there is an ever-increasing bombardment of music vying for the chance to monopolize our ears. This is a large reason why I tend to not listen to new bands and instead focus on new (and old) music from the bands that I’ve loved for decades. Maybe once a year, likely much less often, I’ll find a new band that I intend to keep around for a long time (Milk Carton Kids in 2012, Junip in 2010, Silversun Pickups in 2009, Manchester Orchestra in 2007), but usually I tend to ignore the trends and dive deeper into the catalogs of the tried-and-true bands of my youth.

Naked and Famous

The Presidents Of The United States Of America

The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Naked and Famous - The Presidents of the United States of America

Don’t get a nosebleed; don’t get upset
We can’t be naked and famous just yet
There’s a big old dollar sign on the Sunset Strip
And you can send your friend a postcard, it ain’t worth the trip