Seeing Red.

June 4, 2008 at 5:04 am (Guitar, Rock Music)

I have the new Weezer album.

It rocks.

Also, Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitar songs are a motherfucking travesty.

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” belongs nowhere even CLOSE to the top ten.

“Crazy Train” belongs nowhere near 50. (it sits angrily at 51, between Radiohead and The Pixies.

Rolling Stone, please, cut your indie and hippie-music leanings out of the picture, take Omar Rodriguez Lopez off the cover, and allow me to publish my personal, heavily biased list of “100 Most Awesome Guitar Songs” with a bunch of half-naked, heavily tattooed women on the cover, as well as in the place of your regular reviews section.

It’ll be the greatest issue of Rolling Stone ever published, and all you had to do was make it a mixture of softcore pornography and awesome.

(by the way, the following bands, who you deem fit on your list, are hereby banned from mine : The Pixies, Pink Floyd, Television, The Grateful Dead, Blue Cheer, Steely Dan, Sublime, John Mayer, Sonic Youth, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Mars Volta, The Smiths, My Bloody Valentine, Moby Grape, QOTSA, and My Morning Jacket. The rest are fine.)

-Brian

P.S. “Crazy Train” is number two on my list. Number one is “November Rain” by G’N’R. Appetite For Destruction is my favorite album by them, but “November Rain” is the most awesome song they have ever written. YES, IT IS MORE AWESOME THAN STAIRWAY.

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Musiiiic.

May 31, 2008 at 12:32 am (Guitar, Job)

It may or may not be apparent, through the title of my blog, the nature of some of my posts, the various references contained within, et cetera, that I am a huge music buff. I can play guitar, a little bass, and sing (have a couple good stories ’bout that… one of which involves singing “Sympathy for The Devil” at a karaoke night on Good Friday.).

But I’ve never actively written and completed a song. Hell, I rarely have the patience to learn a song the whole way through; never appealed to me. Up until this past Wednesday.

Let me paint the scene for you : I’m waiting tables at my new job, a place I love over in New York state. It’s in the middle of a smashing downtown area, replete with hippie-ish eateries, banks, a miniature concert hall, and tons of bars for the yokel.. I mean locals. Hell, they’ve got publicly hosted Tai Chi classes and New Age up the ying-yang. It’s brilliant.

Anyway, the place I work at is a lovely little joint, maybe 30 feet square for the main dining area, decorated with a sense of restraint and appreciation for the area. The tables are small, the space is wide, and there are TVs on each side, usually tuned to news, but for the night, tuned to an Elvis Costello DVD. (Which was a pleasant surprise. Elvis Costello’s a recent favorite of mine.)

Turns out that Wednesday’s open mic night for our little place. The house band’s great, and a local kid that I knew from high school comes in. Running joke is that he plays the same song that he wrote every time he comes in; and although it does sound Alice in Chains-y, he needs to expand his repertoire past that and two other cover songs. He also needs to learn to sing; I was taught that singing is breathing with your body, not with your nose.

Anyway, the owner asks if I do any singing or play any instruments. I say, “a little”. She calls over the band leader as I nervously try to figure out what songs I know beginning to end, we start chatting, he wants to get me in later on that night for variety’s sake. I try cunningly to persuade him to play “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey; which fails miserably, as Nasonex the mighty makes his way to the stage to play a Foo Fighters cover.

I thought about his original song, and how I would’ve made it better; I personally would’ve had a chorus that’s easier to remember, and a couple of single-note lines to mix up the chordapalooza that he had going on. I like stuff that sticks in your head. Honestly, there was a point where my whole goal in life was to be in a band that’d make it onto somebody’s iPod; that imploded when I realized how fuckin’ difficult getting a band together is.

Regardless, It’s been a month since I took a break from guitar. I stopped when I finished up my lessons with the coolest guitar teacher I had, and hadn’t had the urge to play since. Not that I didn’t want to challenge myself, I just didn’t feel Incidentally, I think it’s the best move I made; I came back with a good amount of zeal, and a decent set-list to put together.

Also, for some odd reason, it feels lighter. Things come a little bit easier. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen when you’re constantly practicing, NOT when you’ve slacked off for a month and tucked everything away?

-Brian

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On Marty Friedman Solos

March 21, 2008 at 3:04 am (Guitar)

Dear Mr. Friedman,

To be perfectly frank, I consider you one of the greatest guitar players of the past 20 years.

Your solo work was incredible, and Rust In Peace is, without doubt, THE best Megadeth album ever released.

I just want to know one thing.

Why, for the sake of my fingers, couldn’t you come up with something on that album that was nice and easy for me to learn?

Why does it all have to be arpeggio-this and speed-run that, and Arabic scales that boggle my mind?

I love your work, man, but my fingers feckin’ hate you right now.

Cheers,

Backseat Elvis

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