Archive for the ‘detholtz’ Category

Travelers of Tyme present “Music for Lovers!”

February 14, 2011

FREE STREAM OR $2 DOWNLOAD – http://tyme.bandcamp.com/album/music-for-lovers

Travelers of Tyme engineer music precisely for holidays such as St. Valentine’s Day, a complex and contradictory day. For some, it is a day of romance, of flowers, sweet kisses, and nostalgic, warm conversation. For others, it is a day of heartache, of loneliness, and perhaps dark fantasies involving the Hallmark company and the calling of robotic minions to do biddings against the makers of cards. Regardless of where you find yourself this February 14th, we encourage you to lower the lights, pour a snifter of wine or whiskey for yourself and your special friend, if you have one, and switch on “Music for Lovers.” The Travelers cannot guarantee you will enjoy all of your experiences on this planet — but we CAN guarantee that we will make them sound better!

So go ahead, talk softly over “Music for Lovers.” Clink your glasses, kiss your kisses, whisper your sweet nothings into real or imagined ears. “Music for Lovers” is music meant to sway softly in the background, like a silhouetted palm tree in a warm, sea breeze. It is music to live to and, of course, music to love by!

(Note: listen at work and watch your productivity increase by 40%!)

Thank you, as always, for choosing Travelers of Tyme for all of your musical wallpaper needs. And Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your beloved, whether in flesh or fantasy.

Professor Yaya & Doctor Klem
The Travelers of Tyme

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Travelers of Tyme present: “DC Metro” a new single for $1

January 25, 2011
  • This single that is a tribute to the Washington D.C. metro supports the efforts of the Travelers to create a full-length and go boldly where no band has gone before. Available in most elite formats from $1→WhatYouChooseToGive! 

    Originally entered into the Washington Post Metro-Music contest. The B-side got 2nd place and attributed oddly to John Yaya! (fr0d.net/dcwin) Keeping the mystery alive in 2011!

    DOWNLOAD CONTAINS: Desktop backgrounds of cover art to adorn your computational device!

1.
2.
Picture it: a lonesome subterranean train platform. A balding man in a rumpled black suit stands, waiting, anxiously checking his watch, too often. He rocks on his heels. His train is late, so very late. And what is his final destination? Not one of us can answer that with any certainty, can we? So we might as well be patient. (Just don’t tell that to the Waiting Man. Our secret…) 

An empty train arrives – but it’s not the Waiting Man’s train. As the doors open, they unfold in slow motion as a beautiful brunette in a crisp pant suit emerges like a swan from a swirling gray mist. She seems not to walk but to hover, gliding across the platform, a gorgeous spectre existing beyond Tyme and space. With a wink and a slight smile to the Waiting Man, she mounts the escalator and is carried into an unknown fog above. What is her final destination? Who can say? Perhaps she has already arrived!

As for the Waiting Man, his train is still running late. And it always will be.

ALWAYS.

▲ ▲ ▲

The Travelers of Tyme present “Misty Businesswoman” b/w “Last Train to Limbo,” 2 songs constructed using sound samples of the Washington DC Metrorail. Whether you are waiting, in transit, or have already arrived at your destination, this music is specially designed to enhance your travel experience.

Thank you for spending six minutes and fifty-five seconds with us. We hope that you enjoy the rest of your Tyme in this Universe. It is a pleasant one.

Cordially,

Professor John Yaya and Doctor Klem
The Travelers of Tyme

TYME TRAVEL AGENCY ANNOUNCES VACATIONS THROUGH TIME!

November 4, 2010

Coming soon…

TIME VACATIONS finally made possible through the POWER OF TYME!

SIGN UP now for a space on the HOMN, the mysterious craft of the TRAVELERS OF TYME, and experience the Universe through the LENS OF HISTORY!

WITNESS the great events of your planet from the comfort of our Observation Lounge, replete with a DAY SPA and fully stocked WET BAR! Don’t wait – there is no TYME to waste!

http://www.tymetravelnow.com/

Countdown to Jukebox of the Dead IX – “GAMBLOR”

October 23, 2008

Welcome back to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog and apologies to regular readers for the late posting.

With a hugely successful filming under our belts this past Tuesday (perhaps I should say “below” our belts?), Detholz! is now armed to present you with perhaps our most daring Halloween presentation to date at this year’s “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween party @ Empty Bottle in Chicago, Friday 10/31!  Suffice it to say any aspirations we may have had of running for public office will be summarily dashed to the rocks. Special thanks to Steve Niketopoulos for riding the wheels of steel, running TV cameras and for some “juicy” editing on the fly!

This week’s Halloween cover comes to us by way of the complicated cranium of Detholz! bassist and percussionist extraordinaire, Benjamin Miranda:

GAMBLOR

The entire band was immediately on board with this arrangement.  In my estimation, it’s one of the most disturbing Detholz! covers in the repertoire.  There is some back story here: Ben performed this song as a child at a church talent show.  In a sense, this could be seen as a paen to lost innocence or a lament for a simpler time…

I reviewed the lyrics for this song this morning — this dark, portentious tale ends with a warning to us all, especially at this dangerous juncture in American history:

YOU GOT TO KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM.

Muah-hahahaha!  See you next Wednesday!  If you want to hear more of Ben’s excellent music, visit him at www.tinytron.com

For those who are just tuning in, we’re running a promotion through the month of October.  See the rules for the Detholz! Blog Roll-Up below…

And remember, folks: buy tickets early and often: 10/31 @ www.emptybottle.com

We had to turn people away last year — don’t let that be you!

***

DETHOLZ! BLOG ROLL-UP  CHALLENGE!

To receive an advance copy of You: the Power of You, simply follow these steps:

1. Get a blog.  If you have one, skip this step.

Note: please, no MySpace, Facebook, or other social-networking site blogs for this promotion. These blogs aren’t indexed, and are therefore useless to Detholz! for promotion. From now on, only dedicated blogs on indexed blog sites like wordpress.com, blogspot.com and their ilk will be accepted. Sorry for any inconvenience!

2. Write a Detholz!-related blog.  Whether it’s about a show, a song, or how much you want to see Karl Doerfer (DH! guitarist) prance around in a Laura Bush costume, any and all is fair game as long as it’s Detholz!-related.

3. Put the following text somewhere in your post:

Jukebox of the Dead IX
“Detholz! FLEX!”
w/special guests Aleks and the Drummer & Hood Internet
Friday, October 31, 2008
Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
Buy tickets at http://www.emptybottle.com

3. Post a link to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog in your blog roll.

4. Send the link to misterb at detholz dot com.

If you carefully follow these steps to the letter, here’s what you get:

1. An advance copy of “You: the Power of You” in its entirety

2. One other downloadable Detholz! record of your choosing

3. A link to your blog posted on the Detholz! blogroll

4. The satisfaction that only BLOG can provide

Jukebox of the Dead IX Countdown – “Rick Rollin'”

October 15, 2008

Welcome (back?) to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog!

ANNOUNCEMENT: A special shoot has been arranged by the Maestro of the infamous Maplewood House at CAN-TV in Chicago THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, OCT. 21.

THIS IS AN OPEN INVITATION and your chance to join Detholz! onstage this Halloween night via satellite! Technology is amazing! Details below:

Tuesday October 21st, 7pm to 8pm preshow, 8pm to 11pm filming
CAN TV is at 322 S Green Street, Chicago, IL

Come in a sleazy exercise costume and party with the band! Spandex, gold chains, sunglasses, sweatbands and uncomfortably “tite” apparel is encouraged.  Remember to stretch thoroughly beforehand.

If you plan on coming, won’t you RSVP to misterb at detholz dot com ? We need to make sure we will not exceed the size of the studio– first RSVP, first serve!  Prepare to flex and be flexed!

***

This week, our countdown to the Detholz! Ninth Annual “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween show, themed “Detholz! FLEX,” continues with a Halloween cover to really pump you. And pump you again:

RICK ROLLIN’

This track had a different title originally until I was enlightened by our bass player, Ben Miranda, about the mysterious internet phenomenon of “rick-rolling.” So, consider yourself “rick-rolled.”

To those of you just tuning in, every year for the past nine years, Detholz! curates a showcase/Halloween party entitled “Jukebox of the Dead,” where they disassemble and reconstruct songs you would likely hear while waiting to receive a root canal.

Also, we had two DH! Vikings take up the chalice of the Detholz! Blog Roll-Up this week (see rules below), longtime fans Wizzbizz & Meezus:

WIZZBIZZ MYSPACE DETHOLZ BLOG

MEEZUS DETHOLZ BLOG

Note: if you are using your MySpace blogs, please make them viewable to the general public! We prefer if you have a blog separate from MySpace for the Roll-Up Challenge. In these cases we will make exceptions, but please, folks, no more MySpace blogs.

Thanks to all of you immortals who have participated thus far — your advance copies of Jukebox of the Dead II : You : The Power of You are being mixed as we speak! A special place awaits you in VORTECS Corp. Valhalla. For those of you who are still languishing in the dark, see rules below.

Tune in next week for the next Halloween cover tune in the countdown to Jukebox of the Dead IX!

Remember: buy tickets early and often: 10/31 @ www.emptybottle.com

***

DETHOLZ! BLOG ROLL-UP  CHALLENGE!

To receive an advance copy of You: the Power of You, simply follow these steps:

1. Get a blog.  If you have one, skip this step.

Note: please, no MySpace, Facebook, or other social-networking site blogs for this promotion. These blogs aren’t indexed, and are therefore useless to Detholz! for promotion. From now on, only dedicated blogs on indexed blog sites like wordpress.com, blogspot.com and their ilk will be accepted. Sorry for any inconvenience!

2. Write a Detholz!-related blog.  Whether it’s about a show, a song, or how much you want to see Karl Doerfer (DH! guitarist) prance around in a Laura Bush costume, any and all is fair game as long as it’s Detholz!-related.

3. Put the following text somewhere in your post:

Jukebox of the Dead IX
“Detholz! FLEX!”
w/special guests Aleks and the Drummer & Hood Internet
Friday, October 31, 2008
Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
Buy tickets at http://www.emptybottle.com

3. Post a link to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog in your blog roll.

4. Send the link to misterb at detholz dot com.

If you carefully follow these steps to the letter, here’s what you get:

1. An advance copy of “You: the Power of You” in its entirety

2. One other downloadable Detholz! record of your choosing

3. A link to your blog posted on the Detholz! blogroll

4. The satisfaction that only BLOG can provide

Countdown to Jukebox of the Dead IX : “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)”

October 7, 2008

Welcome back to the new, improved Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Mark II!  I’m no longer going to list episodes in Roman numerals– the math was starting to get too challenging for my pea-brain.

Thanks to all of you who have taken up the gauntlet of the DETHOLZ! BLOG ROLL-UP! (see below for rules) You will be the first to receive piping hot advance copies of Detholz! second album of deconstructed pop songs direct from the dentist’s office : Jukebox of the Dead II : You : The Power of You.

Three cheers to those of you who dove immediately into the fray, swords swinging!  Here are the links to our winners’ blogs thus far:

http://kebabdylan.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/ziggy-2000/

http://johnsorc.wordpress.com/

http://baconfresh.wordpress.com/

The Roll-Up is far from over, however.  Seize this opportunity to gird up your blog battle-ax and take your place among the greats in Detholz! Cyber-Valhalla — see the Blogroll to the right for these newly added champions!

As we progress into the second week of the Countdown to Jukebox of the Dead IX (if you’re new, see previous post for explanation), I give you the heart and soul of this year’s show :

SCARFACE (PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT)

Penned by the Italian master of 80’s montage music, Giorgio Moroder, and originally performed by one-hit wonder, Paul Engemann, for the Brian DePalma classic, Scarface, it is my personal favorite in the “80’s montage” genre. In fact, the entire score to Scarface is, in my estimation, the quintessential 80’s synth score.

(I should say Engemann was a TWO-hit wonder : he scored a Top Ten hit with the single “Room to Move” from the Dan Aykroyd movie My Stepmother Is an Alien.)

This year’s Halloween show will hinge upon an unholy obsession with physical fitness, and I thought this song captured some of the melancholy associated with bad body image. It was arranged in a pretty straightforward way, though in rehearsal we have decided to reorchestrate it somewhat…. I won’t spoil the surprise, however!

QUESTION: What is your favorite movie montage song? Doesn’t have to be 80’s. Send me a comment below and I’ll consider adding your favorite to the list of new Detholz! covers this year! Help, folks, I need song ideas!

Tune in next week for next installment of the Covers Countdown! See below for details on the Halloween Blog Roll-Up:

DETHOLZ! BLOG ROLL-UP  CHALLENGE!

To receive an advance copy of You: the Power of You, simply follow these steps:

1. Get a blog.  If you have one, skip this step.  Ha.

2. Write a Detholz!-related blog.  Whether it’s about a show, a song, or how much you want to see Karl Doerfer (DH! guitarist) prance around in a Laura Bush costume, any and all is fair game as long as it’s Detholz!-related.

3. Put the following text somewhere in your post:

Jukebox of the Dead IX
“Detholz! FLEX!”
w/special guests Aleks and the Drummer & Hood Internet
Friday, October 31, 2008
Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
Buy tickets at http://www.emptybottle.com

3. Post a link to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog in your blog roll.

4. Send the link to misterb at detholz dot com.

If you carefully follow these steps to the letter, here’s what you get:

1. An advance copy of “You: the Power of You” in its entirety

2. One other downloadable Detholz! record of your choosing

3. A link to your blog posted on the Detholz! blogroll

4. The satisfaction that only BLOG can provide

Attack of the Synthestra 2 – “Willie Steals a Horse”

April 9, 2008

Note: A close Detholz! confidante (and former Detholz! bookie), Lena, needs your help in an excellent cause. After having her spirit broken by the VORTECS Corporation, the business arm of Detholz!, (just kidding) Lena decided to go into nursing and has worked at a hospital for the past year. Utilizing her training, she will be traveling to Nepal this Fall to volunteer and assist needy orphan children there (no kidding). She needs to raise $5,000 for her trip. Visit this link and donate, would you?

http://teammapleteam.com/lenavolunteerproject/

Any little bit you can spare will help immensely– no gift is too small!  Help Lena help orphans in need!  Thanks.  -Detholz! and the Maplewood Continuum

Welcome to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXXIV!

This week, we continue with our bloody orchestral onslaught of General MIDI madness with:

ATTACK OF THE SYNTHESTRA Part 2 : “Willie Steals A Horse”

For an introduction on this month’s Attack, check the last post.

1. SCENE

This week, the vampire character we introduced last week is reminiscing about his misspent youth on Maxwell Street in Chicago, remembering an afternoon when he earned his nickname. On a dare, he creeps up on a fruit vendor and steals his horse, after which he removes the testicles and sells them to a restaurant in Chinatown (his nickname is “Potatoes,” har har). The scene depicted here is Willie sneaking up on the vendor, then untying and making off with his horse.

2. COMPOSITION

A lot of the ideas from this orchestration come from critical listening to Bernard Herrmann’s score for “The Trouble With Harry.” There’s a lot of call-and-response across the orchestra, which is a great trick. You can repeat the same phrase over and over and it takes on an entirely different character if played by different instrument families in different registers.

The core of the composition is a series of intervals– a major third and a tritone. I take a lot of liberty with the intervallic series, inverting it in a few instances, mixing it up in others. The most blatantly obvious examples can be heard in the quiet middle section of the piece– first in the woodwinds, then in the lower instruments as the piece revs up towards the end.

I purposely chose a brighter, “happier” scenario this week for a challenge. As most of you know, my default setting when writing music is either “Fire and Brimstone” or “Gloom ‘N Doom,” so I decided to take a trip to the Happy Store and see what happened.

The practice and obsessive listening is paying off– I’m finding it’s easier to make good choices vis a vis instrument combinations. One of the most difficult aspects of orchestration is balance– take your run-of-the-mill C7 chord, for example.

C-E-G-Bb

Which notes go where across the orchestra? What notes are doubled? By which instruments?

In my reading about this, I’ve discovered the 1357 rule. This means, in general, you want to give the most weight to the first note in the chord (otherwise known as the “root.”) In this case, C.

C = 1

So, given your average orchestra, you’d put C’s in the bass instruments (like the string basses, cellos, tuba, bassoons and bass clarinets) and in the primary melodic instruments (1st violins, trumpets, horns, flutes and oboes).

E = 3

This is the third of the chord– what gives the chord its character, major or minor, so it’s second in the pecking order. I would probably assign it to the 2nd violins, 2nd/3rd horns, and 1st clarinet)

And so forth and so on. You plug in the rest of the notes according to the 1357 principle until you’ve got a balanced-sounding chord across the orchestra. If it sounds complicated, that’s because… well… it is! I’ve got a lot more practice ahead of me before I master writing balanced orchestral scores.

So there you have it. Tune in next week for the next wave of Attack of the Synthestra, Part 3: The Rape of General MIDI!

Detholz! “Cast Out Devils” demo – “Club Oslo”

March 26, 2008

Denizens:
Last DH! Chicago show of the season TOMORROW:

Detholz! @ Abbey Pub
Chicago, IL
Thurs., 3/27
w/ Panther (Kill Rock Stars), U.S. Girls & Slow Gun Shogun
BUY TIX HERE: www.abbeypub.com

NEW SONGS WILL BE DEBUTED!

PLUS

THIS Saturday, March 30th
BELOIT COLLEGE C-HAUS
Beloit, WI
“If you haven’t seen Detholz! at Beloit College, you haven’t seen Detholz!” – wise grasshopper
VIVA LA BLUE HOUSE!  See you soon, Beloitians!

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXXII, the last installment in our MARCH OF DEMOS, a month-long look at DH! demos that weathered the gauntlet and made it onto our full-length releases, “Who Are The Detholz!?”(2001), “Jukebox of the Dead” (2005), and Cast Out Devils(2006). All are available for purchase/download at our website: www.detholz.com. As I just discovered yesterday, you can also find Cast Out Devils on iTunes.

As a wise man once said: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man. So let me handle my business, damn!”

This week, a band favorite from Cast Out Devils, the demo recording of CLUB OSLO

I think I wouldn’t be putting words into the other Detholes’ mouths when I say that, even after 4 years in the regular rotation, we still enjoy playing “Club Oslo.” It’s probably the closest thing we had to a radio-friendly song on Cast Out Devils, with a near-perfect balance of the Three D’s of Detholz!:

DORKY,
DISSONANT,
and DANCE-READY

Reviewers have gone multiple directions on this song over the years. It’s been accused of having a “cheap chorus,” which I suppose is a valid criticism. “Freak out, jump in, jump out,” etc. ain’t exactly Lord Byron. On the other hand, it’s been called “a song for party people who think.” I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I would definitely like to be thought of as a “thoughtful party person:” someone who both throws thoughtful parties and is thoughtful AT parties.

1. SONG CONCEPT

After enduring the most harrowing club experience of my life in Oslo, Norway while on tour with Bobby Conn (I ended up trapped inside the Oslo railyards at 4 AM… don’t ask), I wanted to write a fluffy dance number about that fateful night. I eventually made it back to our hotel on the other side of town, but not before scrabbling through a creek in the dead of winter, spraining my ankle, almost getting arrested, and royally pissing off a concierge.

If there is any “cheapness” to the song, it was deliberate. My experience that night was the culmination of a desperate pursuit of a candy-coated rokkenroll reality at the time. It was a Dark Time for the Empire, indeed. This song, like “Ghost of Christmas Palsy” (see earlier post) was written as a “note to self” — “freak out, jump in, jump out, get out” is intended as a warning.

Incidentally, we’ll be debuting “Xmas Palsy” at the Abbey Pub show tomorrow night! Y’all come, now, hear?

2. SONG COMPOSITION

The demo version is decidedly lighter in the loafers than the version on Cast Out Devils, but it has its merits nonetheless. My favorite aspect of the demo recording is the unintentional interplay of overtones between the guitars and the keyboards during the bridge– it creates a new percussive layer. Listen for it– it’s the 2-against-3 polyrhythm in the keyboards. I did NOT plan on it– it just magically appeared! Try as we might, we could not replicate it on the full album version.

The version on Cast Out Devils turned out better overall — it breathes a little more, and generally packs more of a wallop. Still, I have a fondness for the artificiality of the demo recording– the crappy, direct guitar sound and outdated Alesis drum machine lend it some added charm, in my humble opinion.

A kid at our Subterranean all-ages show the other week said of Detholz!, “Feh, too ‘eighties. Nothing good came out of the ‘eighties.” A friend’s response: “Uhh, weren’t you born in the ‘eighties?” Gales of laughter from his friends! I felt simultaneously gratified and…well, old.

Tune in next week for the first April installment of the Detholz! Mp3 blog, otherwise known as SOUNDTRACK MADNESS MONTH!

3. LYRICS

CLUB OSLO
Who is feeling dumb, who is fun
Anyone, anyone?
Who feels funky beats in easy feet
Properly, properly?

Freak out!
Jump in, Jump out!
I’ve never disco’ed this way!

See if she’s my speed, take a seat
Silently, silently
When our eyes first meet, scope the scene
Naturally, naturally

Tell you God is like an egg
I —
Put my hand upon your leg
You —
And your body says “yes,” but your head says “no”

Freak out!
Jump in, Jump out!
Get out right before you freak out!
Freak out!
I’ve never disco’ed this way!

Detholz! WRTDH!? demo – “The Body Electric”

March 20, 2008

Denizens:
Last DH! Chicago show of the season NEXT WEEK:

Detholz! @ Abbey Pub
Chicago, IL
Thurs., 3/27
w/ Panther (Kill Rock Stars), U.S. Girls & Slow Gun Shogun
BUY TIX HERE: www.abbeypub.com

PLUS

Saturday, March 30th
BELOIT COLLEGE C-HAUS
Beloit, WI
The student body has spoken: Detholz! triumphant return!
Fall ’07 was the first semester we’d missed since 2001- thanks to all who campaigned!

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXXI! We’re continuing with the grueling MARCH OF DEMOS, where we present old, dusty demo recordings of songs that MADE the cut onto Detholz! records.

This week, one of my favorite old demos: THE BODY ELECTRIC

This is one of the oldest DH! songs that made the cut onto “Who Are The Detholz!?” (2001), having been penned somewhere around the end of 1999. As I recall, it was a real bitch to record with the full band given the demanding vocal parts– a lot of hours were spent gargling lemon juice and tightening our BVD’s to hit the high notes in our vocal isolation booth (read unfinished coat closet).

As with last week’s selection, I’ve always preferred the demo to the full band recording of “Body Electric” (nothing against the rest of the boyz). This song was a beast to perform well. I think we pulled it off successfully only a very few times in those early shows– most of the time, it would receive a lukewarm response live simply because it took so much effort to play it. Karl Doerfer (DH! guitarist) has often said in retrospect that he finds the song to be monotonous, which is also a justifiable criticism.

It makes me a little sad to listen to the demo, though, as that sweet-sounding falsetto range has gradually disappeared 10 years, 1,000’s of cigarettes and countless snifters of whiskey later. There’s no way in hell I could sing this song now– I suppose we could call this “Geddy Lee Syndrome” where… well… one just can’t hit those high notes like one used to.

SONG CONCEPT & COMPOSITION

At the time, I had a morning ritual that involved watching at least one episode of classic “Twilight Zone” every morning. I’ve always loved that show; the writing, acting and music are always so satisfyingly over-the-top. In some cases– at least musically– the scores are truly astounding thanks to the brilliant Bernard Herrmann, whose film music I have been rediscovering lately. (He scored many of the early TZ episodes, though not the one mentioned below).

One morning, they reran the TZ episode, “I Sing the Body Electric,” based on the well-known Ray Bradbury story about a made-to-order electric grandmother (Bradbury also wrote the screenplay for the TZ episode). At the time, my own grandmother’s health had begun to waver as she began the initial stages of a 7-year decline before she finally passed away. So, this is really a song for her, though when I was writing it, I was also ruminating on ideas about eternity and eternal destiny– an uncharacteristically sincere song for that period in DH!. This song is still able to evoke an emotional response in me like few other DH! songs can.

Many of the chord changes were lifted directly from incidental music to the Twilight Zone, as I would sit every morning with my guitar and plunk along with various episodes. I’ve always loved the music on that show, though this is the only instance where I’ve consciously tried to emulate it.

More recently, as I’m gearing up to write more orchestral scores, I’ve made a more serious study of the music/orchestration techniques of Bernard Herrmann. If you’re unfamiliar with his music, I would recommend listening to the scores from “The Day The Earth Stood Still,”(the 1st 50’s sci-fi movie score to use a theremin!), “The Naked and the Dead,” (excellent brass writing), and, of course, the soundtrack to “Psycho,” which is arguably the best film score of all time.

But I digress: You’ll hear a lot of the vocal layering characteristic of Detholz! in those days on this demo– we were, as many young, hungry popsters are, obsessed with the Beach Boys/Pet Sounds and enamored of complex, layered vocal writing. The best example of this can be heard on “All For You,” (last song on WRTDH!?) whose vocals were written in a collaborative session by Rick Franklin (1st DH! keyboardist & primary songwriter on “All For You”), Karl and I. Pixies influence is also discernible in the parallel barre-chord ascensions towards the end of the song.

You’ll have to bear with the recording quality here. At 22, I was just learning how to record a workable home demo, so it’s got the usual newbie warts: bottom-heavy, murky mix with lots of noise and hiss. Hopefully, it adds to the charm.  Up to you.

I’ll end today’s post in the guise of Rod Serling who, tight-lipped and stiff, delivered these clipped lines at the end of the episode in question, which sum up well what this song attempts to convey:

“A fable? Most assuredly. But who’s to say at some distant moment there might not be an assembly line producing a gentle product in the form of a grandmother whose stock in trade is love? Fable, sure… but who’s to say?”

Tune in next week for the last leg of our MARCH OF DEMOS…

Detholz! demo – “Sultans of Swing”

March 12, 2008

Welcome to the Detholz! Blog, Episode XXX!

(I guess that’s every week, though, right?)

And welcome back to the Detholz! “MARCH OF DEMOS,” where we’re posting demos that made the cut onto our full-length albums all month!

To celebrate the DH! Mp3 Blog’s XXXth (XXXist?) birthday, this week a demo from our covers album, “Jukebox of the Dead,” replete with XXX backstory! Mark Knopfler’s jukebox git-tar classic played at biker bars the world over, perhaps even right now:

SULTANS OF SWING

This is a case where the demo might have turned out a little better than the full band recording you’ll find on “Jukebox of the Dead,” even though this recording is warty, at best. It was made in the Dark Ages before I knew or understood anything about how to record a proper demo, so you’ll hear lots of hiss, over-compression and a very murky, elephantine mix.

Still, there’s some “there” there, I think… more so than on the final album version. Funny how it works that way sometimes…

OK, so rather than chew through all of the in’s and out’s of how this was arranged, composed and all of that musical drudgery, I’d prefer to tell you why I chose this particular song in the first place. It’s an inspiring story from an inspiring city:

Baltimore.

My brother lived in squalor in Baltimore for a brief period when he was attending the Peabody Conservatory of Music in the late 80’s/early 90’s. His apartment window was right above a restaurant dumpster and was home to the smells of burnt animal fat and rotten eggs, to name a few of the more savory ones. He came home routinely to rats as big as cats hanging out in his bathtub, and was known to bash their brains in with a broomhandle when they got out of line.

Ahh, Baltimore! (Actually, Baltimore is one of my favorite cities in which to tour and play shows. Those people really know how to dial it up a notch!)

One sticky summer night, on his way home from a job flipping reams of paper at Kinko’s, he passed by a dank alleyway from which Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” was blaring at an ear-splitting level– over and over again. Being of a curious ilk, my brother doubled back and peered into the alleyway. A faint light spilled out from an open window on the lefthand side. As he crept quietly up to the bottom of the windowsill, the music grew louder, and he heard regular banging sounds, in time with the music:

Bang-bang-bang! A-Bang Bang, Bang! Bang, Bang!

He peered up into the window and he saw…

How shall I put this?

AUGH!

You know what? Never mind. Whatever you’re imagining, it’s far, far worse. Eliot Spitzer, eat your heart out. Feel free to make a comment and take a guess. There’s a free shirt in it for the most creative response! (And though this is a naughty story, try to keep it clean, people.)

Anyway, this arrangement was inspired by my brother’s sordid tale, and the original version of “Sultans of Swing” has been ruined for me forever. So much for the biker bar.

Tune in next week for a more savory selection (I promise!) from the Detholz! demo file… *shudder*