Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Music Update: Haunting, Sammy Hagar and Rival Sons

After yesterday's micro-mini update, I thought I should expand a bit.

Deliverance is done, well, close enough. I reserve the right to go back and tweak all of this stuff for a final mix before I start running off disks. Frankly, while I'm kind of agog with how much I just like the five completed tracks, the only ones that feel "finished" are MonkeySex and The Rain Came Down. The rest sound good, but I think another pass on mixing, effects, and just a bit of re-recording can make them pop a bit more, I hope. Just trying to make something I am (surprisingly) quite happy with sound even better. However, I consider that all "final mixing," and I want to have the tracks set before we go there.

So, I've started on a new track, Haunting, which was a bit of a discovery for me. It was something I had literally forgotten about. I had done a run on it with my 8-track, just me on an acoustic, and it just popped up on my iPod one day. I really think it's some of my best lyrics, and an incredibly simple number. I think the whole acoustic version is Em, that's it, just one chord.

I want to expand that, of course. What I've worked out is kind of a pseudo-"bucket blues" thing, the melody line still works, with some added changes so it's not so, literally, one-note. There's no chorus, per-se, and I still have to work out exactly what I was doing in the bridge section. Even with that, I'm feeling energized and excited about it. The riff is simple but sounds perfect, and , like I said, I think it's some of my best lyrics.

After that, I have 2 more numbers that are "done," in that I know exactly how they work, musically. I need to tweak and edit the lyrics, but they're in good shape. That'll bring me to 8 tracks, and my goal is 10-12. I have some riffs and stuff that I'll start mining at that point. After this stuff that's "set," my plan is to stop worrying about complexity, or if something is "too simple." I'll play, and let it be what it is. Clearly, the amount of time I've spent on this set is way too long, and it's allowed me to over-think everything, over and over again. That needs to stop. Time to go with the gut. Especially since I'm aiming for rockers to finish out the set.

Haunting has helped me see how effective that can be. The recording I found is just me pounding on the guitar and growling, essentially, and it might be the most exciting thing I have on tap.

In other musical thoughts, went with CByrd, Sean H and Kim L to see Sammy Hagar for my birthday on Friday the 23rd. The tour is in celebration of his 40 years in the music biz.

Great show. Starting off with a selection of Montrose numbers, then into solo hits, and Van Halen tracks. I was a little disappointed there was no Chickenfoot represented, despite Michael Anthony being on hand (I mean Sammy and Mike represent half of that era Van Halen AND Chickenfoot). Oh well, guess I have to hope for another 'Foot tour (I skipped the last, just because Kenny Aronoff, who is still a MONSTER drummer, is no Chad Smith, who was the highlight of the Chickenfoot show I saw a few years ago).

What's obvious is that Sammy has a good time, and it's infectious. I really try to stay out of the whole Dave/Sammy Van Halen thing. I love all eras of that band, but the fact of the matter is that Sammy, as a vocalist, is miles beyond Roth (as a frontman, you can debate), and Sammy has managed to keep his voice in tremendous shape. I was blown away by his energy and the sheer power of what his voice can do. Yeah, a huge chunk of his stage antics are fairly rote stuff, but, like I said, Sammy is obviously having a good time, and it's shared with the crowd. That, the undeniable talent on display, and a really strong catalog of material trump just about anything.

I had a blast, and screamed my ass off.

- Space Station #5 (Montrose)
- Rock Candy (Montrose)
- Bad Motor Scooter (Montrose)
- Red
- I Can't Drive 55
- There's Only One Way to Rock
- I'll Fall in Love Again
- Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy
- Three Lock Box
- Right Now (Van Halen)
- Why Can't This Be Love (Van Halen)
-  Best of Both Worlds (Van Halen)
-  Top of the World (Van Halen)
- When It's Love (Van Halen)
- Finish What Ya Started (Van Halen)
- Heavy Metal
- Mas Tequilla
- Knockdown Dragout

- Winding Down
- Eagles Fly

The other story about that evening was the opening act Rival Sons. The mix wasn't the greatest for them, but I was liking enough of the show to check out their latest, Head Down.

All I can say is, wow.

Great band, I'm enjoying the hell out of them on Spotify even as I type this. They have a solid blues-based sound, in many ways what I'd like Hayoth to sound like, ultimately. There's a ton of Zeppelin influence visible in their live show, but they don't sound like a copy. Sean hit the nail on the head when he said they sound influenced by a lot of things, but unique. I'm looking forward to digging into more of their back catalog.

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