ADSP Chapter 25: God can be found inside many things: The sun, moon, and stars; a child’s simple wisdom; a lover’s kiss. And at one nightclub on one sultry summer evening in Southern California, god was in the fingers of Derek Trucks.
Tag: Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka
ADSP Chapter 24: The blues will never die. Here’s one reason: Audiences have a visceral response to the music, even if it’s done merely adequately. And when it’s done well, the audience reaction can be amazing. Either way, when somebody is playin’ da blooze it means that guys will be drinking and girls will be dancing. In other words, a good time will be had by all.
ADSP Chapter 23: When hired guns go solo, the results can be “meh” or “yowza,” but studio great Carl Verheyen (“ver-HIGH-un”) consistently wows the crowds. Los Angeles is full of guitar aces for hire and one of the best has a name you can’t pronounce. You have heard quite a lot of the work of Carl Verheyen even though you may not be aware of it.
ADSP Chapter 21: Some guitarists play at lightning speed but it’s the tone, the style, and the aura of magic that define the true heroes of the electric guitar. Joe Satriani. You’ve heard his work or you’ve heard his name, and he’s either the greatest thing since sex or he’s simply a technical master who goes through his shtick very well but has no true worth. (I look forward to your letters.)
ADSP Chapter 22: Blues guitar virtuoso Buddy Guy succeeds on every level from soul to sizzle to showmanship. Sitting in his trailer before taking the stage for a festival performance, Buddy Guy is philosophical about his place in the pantheon of blues guitarists.
ADSP Chapter 2 — God of Guitar: A Visceral Reaction to Jeff Beck — There are 6,189 seats in the Gibson Amphitheater and guitar players are in 5,133 of them. Girlfriends of guitar players are in the rest. The occasion is a rare appearance by Jeff Beck, a somewhat reclusive Englishman whose stunning fret-board work has influenced pop, rock, heavy metal, blues, R&B, and jazz-rock fusion.
ADSP Chapter 20: Life can be a bit of a crapshoot. For example, one never knows when a night on the town will bring you face-to-face with magnificent music. SONIA DADA — They played for 115 minutes and the crowd was panting for more. That just goes to show you what can happen when a great group sings terrific tunes. This delightful situation went beyond mere sonic pleasure and became almost cosmic because Sonia Dada has tapped into the primal force of life.
ARTICLE: There I was, working at an ad agency whose main office was located not too far from Amoeba Records and the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, not to mention a whole bunch of clubs, bars, nightspots, and everything else in that gaudy cesspool known as Tinsel Town. The ad shop was a medium-sized place with only a couple dozen employees but they had some very busy retail accounts like car dealerships and a national chain of pizza restaurants.
ARTICLE: “That’s a hit song!” The speaker was Wendie Colter, complimenting fellow artist Fran Lucci on one of her warm numbers. This was just before Colter delivered one of several potential hit songs of her own. And it was near the middle of a set featuring nicely textured work by Denise (lead singer from the indie band Jacar), as well as several crowd-rousing numbers from the supremely strong-voiced Mara.
ARTICLE: Okay, who’s making this incredible racket? Oh wait, it’s Rakit, a three-piece group that never saw a volume-boosting device it didn’t like. The music they create is dark, mysterious, pounding, tortuous, arduous, twisted, hazardous, risky, treacherous, freaky, and full of danger. In other words, it’s great fun.
ARTICLE: Taking a ride on a cosmic wave of positive energy is a joy that special performers offer. Here are some notable examples of artists who provide transcendence within the forms of popular music. Some musicians seem to provide their own light. Larisa Stow is someone whose on-stage persona contains a million watt beacon. While her vocals are quite lovely, the force of her talent can make you think hers is the prettiest voice in the world.
ARTICLE: Check the club schedules, call the shutterbug, throw on some jeans, grab the earplugs, gas up the car, hit the road, battle for a parking slot, and argue your way into the venue. Yup, ya gotta run that gauntlet to enable the music to wash over you and, hopefully, transport you to another part of the universe. Sometimes, it was all worth it.
Some of you will read the headline on this chapter and think the topic is the tooth-rotting tubes of goop called Otter Pops. But no. I write to you of something that was magical, splendid, and actually good for you. The Otterpops were a band that made a lot of marvelous music before their shelf […]
Hitting the clubs and hearing the sounds may be fun for you once in a while but I did it unselfishly three or four nights a week for years in order to bring you info on a few of the artists who were making noises that were cool, interesting, swinging, or fun. And even maybe […]
BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Chapter 11 – Tom Chaffee by SIHH — SIHH stands for Self-Important Hollywood Hipster, a disreputable character who, as you are about to see, is as opinionated as I am. This is less a review than a peek into the problems of attending live music in an age […]
MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Chapter 10 – Hardsoft: Velvet Chain Beats You Up with a Kiss — Velvet Chain seduces you while battering you into submission. The hypnotic delivery of lead singer Erika Amato is the obvious starting point in analyzing how they accomplish this feat. But while she can deliver […]
MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Chapter NINE – In the Mood Music — If you are fortunate enough to be exposed to the music of Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams, one thing is certain: you will be moving your hips as they perform a wicked amalgamation of funk, salsa, soul, pop, […]
MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Chapter EIGHT – Powder Keg — A truly exciting band is one with the ability to make your hair stand up all over your body and make you forget you missed dinner when you rushed to their show right after work. It is a group you will […]
MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Chapter SEVEN – Unearthly Frequencies: Debby Holiday — Debby Holiday can use her voice with both precision and abandon in such a way that it reverberates inside your noggin. And even better, she touches your soul. Time sped up. The stars stood still. Inside Luna Park’s downstairs […]
BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka Chapter 6 – Hiding in Plain Sight: Rob Kendt, the Man Behind Millhouse
MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Chapter SIX – Hiding in Plain Sight: Rob Kendt, the Man Behind Millhouse — Songwriters can succeed in more than one style of music but artists tend to do better by sticking to one easily-identifiable sound. So what happens when a multi-genre songwriter is the leader of […]
MuseWire BOOK SERIAL – Chapter FOUR – First, They Laughed: A Big Bad Blast of Buckethead — Hitting the stage incognito isn’t new but no one else has been outfitted like this: an oriental theater mask, a nylon hoodie, and a family-size chicken bucket from KFC. Reactions are derisive and derogatory until the guy starts […]
Ambient Deviant Speedmetal Polka: Rock Writing, 1990s to 2010s, Los Angeles – Chapter One: Earplugs and Loose Shoes
ADSP Chapter 1: Rock music is fun and frightening, uplifting and unsettling, glorious and god-awful. For longer than may have been wise, I went to clubs at least three times a week, often catching three bands per night. Then I wrote about it. In this introduction, you will find a few highlights among the lowlifes.