Posts

The Broker - John Grisham

Finished reading The Broker in 3 days. It was a good, fast read. Hadn't read Grisham in a while so I can't really compare with his previous work. I was a big fan and read his first five novels in the 90's.
This novel was ok, although what I really liked about it was it's love for its location which just happened to be Bologna, Italy. Wonderful descriptions and history had me googling for images and info. I kinda liked the main character, Joel Backman and don't know if Grisham has used him in other novels. Although I won't go into too much detail so as not to spoil it for anyone.
Now I've moved on to a Dan Brown novel, Deception Point.

Live @ TIn Marin Aug. 19, 2017 10pm

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Hold On Loosely / Caught Up In You - 38 Special

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Lately I've been revisiting a lot of the songs that first turned me on to music and guitar playing in the 80's. I was lucky to grow up listening to a lot of the music that my older cousins listened to like The Beatles, The Eagles, Abba, plus my father had a vast record collection which included a lot of Motown, Funk, Pop as well as lots of salsa, merengue and Spanish singers like Julio Iglesias, Camilo Sesto, Nino Bravo and their South American counterparts like Sandro, Leonardo Favio. They all had their own distinct singing styles and each in their own way influenced the way I approach songwriting.

Now, when MTV started in the early 80's it opened up another musical front and brought lots of music from all over specially live music. Weird UK artists, or Australian and lots of Southern Rock.
Caught Up In You is one of those songs that listening to it now I realize how much the guitar soloing on that tune influenced me. Jeff Carlisi's phrasing on that song, his melodic …

An Audioslave deep album cut - Getaway Car

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The other day when I was finishing my post on Chris Cornell and making a list of some of my favorite songs that feature him I remembered how much I loved this track on the Audioslave album. It's next to last so technically it's a very deep album cut. Now for those who don't know, a deep album cut is a term most often used to reference track on an album that wasn't a single, never played on the radio, or maybe obscure as on a compilation or soundtrack, now widely known, perhaps even not a part of an artist's live set.



 So enjoy Getaway Car. To me it's a beautiful showcase of how sublime yet powerful a voice Chris possessed. The arrangement is sparse, quiet, moody.  I'd compare it to Like A Stone which I think is a beautiful song but I like Getaway Car more. In that vein, the track that precedes Getaway Car on the album is also a hidden gem with an awesome, juggernaut of a riff, Rage Against the Machine style.







RISE OF AN EMPIRE - Jungle Law Syndrome

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Picture this: B movie about a dystopian America where a leader rises who enables his followers to create the country they've always wanted and thought they had in the past.
They get together, quietly at first, finding their footing. The drums don't all play in time, their steps are not yet synchronised but then they get firmer, they become self-assured, their voices grow louder, the beats are tighter, they salute with bravado, they say what they mean and mean what they say.


They think they are witnessing the Rise of an Empire.
RISE OF AN EMPIRE is the opening salvo on AMERICAN REICH Vol 1:RISE, the album I'm working on under the JUNGLE LAW SYNDROME name. American Reich the single came out on January 20, 2017 just in time for the inauguration of Trump.
His victory last November has been the catalyst for this project. I had already been working on the idea of a future dystopian fascist America but as a novel. I hadn't found a way to really make it work, so when Trump beca…

Chris Cornell - An Appreciation

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When an artist passes you reminisce about their work and how it touched you. Many influential artists have recently passed away, in the last few years we've lost Lou Reed, David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen. Giants.
Chris Cornell was one of my biggest influences as a songwriter. I learned to play guitar in drop D with the Soundgarden song Outshined. 
Superunknown was an album that dared me to be adventurous. Through Chris I discovered Jeff Buckley. In an interview in a magazine called Seven Seconds (If I remember correctly) or maybe another one from when he was promoting Euphoria Morning, he spoke about how he wanted to be that kind of artist, what Jeff Buckley was. That it wasn't about selling albums.
His song "Wave Goodbye" was a tribute to Buckley.

Incredibly though, Euphoria Morning shocked me at first because it wasn't the balls out hard rock album I was expecting from the lead singer/songwriter of that riff juggernaut, Soundgarden.
I was visiting friends in…

Mastodon

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I've been listening to a lot of metal lately. Ever since I went to see Ill Niño on April 23rd here in Zaragoza, it kind of got me back into the groove. Not that I need a lot of pushing and shoving to listen to metal. But when it comes to listening to new stuff, new bands, than I can be a bit slow. Recently, at a bar, a colleague of mine recommended Mastodon's Emperor of Sand, their latest. I'd heard of it but had not listened to it. It took me a couple of listens but I really got into it. And it's been nonstop from there. I'd heard the first single a few months back and also "discovered" a cool tune by a band that had been out on the road with Mastodon, this while setting up the twitter account for one of my projects, Jungle Law Syndrome. The tune is Lonely Lyle and the band is called Big Business.






 So back to Emperor of Sand. That album is full of epic sounds. Huge riffs, triumphant choruses. My fave tune at first was Clandestiny, but then I got really…