Archive for the ‘guitar solo’ Category

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!

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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

Jukebox of the Dead VIII Recap – “Prelude” & “You: the Power of You”

November 7, 2007

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog Episode XV!

Thanks to all who made it to the Detholz! 8th Annual “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween shows last week. It was, by far, the best year yet. In Chicago, especial propers to Zen Master Lord of the Yum-Yum and the amazing Mucca Pazza marching band, which may be the New Greatest Show on Earth!

To finally cap off Detholz! Halloween proceedings– and for those who could not attend– we proudly present 2 tracks this week to give you the gist:

Jukebox of the Dead VIII Prelude

You: the Power of You

To get the full effect, these tracks should be listened to in sequence.

The Prelude was used under video of the disembodied head of Mister M (James “Jamesie” Mitchell), saying things like “YOU are the Chariot! Arise, YOU! Celebrate, YOU! YOU are the lighting! YOU are the one who can turn IF into BECAUSE!” etc. Given the chaos of the evening, it was tough to hear in the club.

A few musical asides about the Prelude:

1. It is in the dominant key of “You: the Power of You” (“U:PU” for short) — an old “Circle of 5th’s” trick to prepare you for the payoff at the beginning of “U:PU.”

2. It incorporates strains from both “U:PU” and Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” the pretension of which I found endlessly amusing– esp. coupled with the video of Jamesie.

“U:PU” is a mashup of three components:

1. Olivia Newton-John’s / ELO’s “Xanadu” (I took a few liberties with the harmony to “Holzify”it.)

2. Jane Fonda’s step aerobics soundtrack

3. Rush’s “Xanadu”

A challenging set of components to combine, but interspersed with some campy double-talk and guitar lixx ala “Miami Vice,” I think it works. A definitive junket into Meta-Music Land… but hey, it’s Halloween!

Tune in next week where we’ll return to “The Way It Was,” or– to quote the great U.S. President, Warren Harding– “Back to Normalcy!” [sic]

Jim Cooper demo – “Children of the Night”

September 20, 2007

Note: Detholz! will perform at 8 pm this Sunday, Sept. 23rd, at an all-ages FREE show at the Art Institute of Chicago. More info here: http://lemondrop.freeradiosaic.org

Welcome to Episode IX of the Detholz! Mp3 Blog! I apologize this comes a day late– believe me, this is an “excused tardy.” You would not believe the week I’ve had.

A change of pace today, ladies and germs, in our most recent installment: “Children of the Night,” a kinder, gentler, somewhat autumnal number.

This is not intended for any band, nor did I write it for anyone else in mind (other than the person the song’s about). It’s not meant to be played live, no flashing lights, no bells and whistles– just a plain old song.

I. SONG CONCEPT

So this is a love song. Will wonders never cease?

I’m turning over a new leaf! Sort of. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a vampire to his beloved.

I’ve been going through a real vampire kick recently. My recent obsession started with a breeze-thru of the painfully campy “Salem’s Lot,” continued with a flying leap into the depths of the Hammer Horror film catalogue (Dracula AD 1972 is a must-see!), and is presently manifesting itself as an addiction to a (gulp) vampire game. I know, I know. To quote Babyboomerangutang from “The Tick”: “It’s okay to play with dolls!” Right?

I heard a screenwriter on the radio recently suggest that the horror genre generally appeals to a younger demographic. I have found the opposite to be true. The older I get, the more I am drawn to films and books stacked in the “horror” racks at Blockbuster/Barnes and Noble. Perhaps this reflects my weak grasp of maturity and/or problems with functional adulthood– of those things there’s little doubt– but I’d also like to think it’s reflective of some semblance of imagination. A good scare is a healthy thing now and then, right?

Feh, enough disclaimers. On with the show:

A vampire is a damned creature– a child of the biblical Cain, cursed to walk the earth for eternity, feeding on the blood of others to survive. I tied in this idea with the concept of the Fall — not the current season, but the “Fall of Man” in Genesis 3. According to Christian theology, we inhabit “bodies of Death,” marred by the Fall of Creation in Genesis 3, cursed by God along with Adam and Eve. Though we still have fellowship with one another, we were separated from God in the Garden of Eden and remain so. Ultimately, our bodies– along with all Creation– will be redeemed by Christ. Redemption is a central tenet of Christian theology, and subsequently of American culture.

I liked the image of the vampire walking in the darkness with his beloved, living an “unlife” together marked with the all of the trappings of their shared Curse– but the Curse has no real power over them. They will eventually be redeemed. They are, therefore, simultaneously children of the moon, children of sleep and– because of their coming redemption– children of God.

Well, it made sense to me at the time.

II. MUSICAL CONCEPTS

Obviously this is a very different kind of song than others I’ve posted– an honest-to-goodness foray out of my comfort zone.

I purposely limited the vocals to one or two takes, leaving all of the warbles and warts intact. I think this lends an element of intimacy/sincerity to the vocal delivery, and helps create the “rickety” atmosphere I was aiming for here.

The first element of the song was the guitar part, which was sloppily played through a crappy reverb. The chorus melody is introduced is introduced immediately, and provided the foundation for the entire song’s arrangement. In the verses, the guitar part is static, sitting on a G. The organ moves the harmony along, moving around the tonal center, sometimes outside of it. The harmonic changes were put in place before the vocal melody, which is an old Detholz! trick. I hadn’t written a song this way in a long time, and it felt good to be back in the old, threadbare cap’m’s chair.

I wrestled with whether or not to bother with percussion, since this is such a subdued track. After laying down a bass line, though, it sort of screamed for one. I borrowed a few tricks from one of Bobby Conn’s drummers, Josh from Chicago band, Mahjongg, and definitely had him in mind when constructing the part. Quick, precise and jittery.

The piece de resistance for me is the backward guitar solo– not an especially original trick, but in this context it injects a pinch of creepiness, which is a must for this song.

When left to my own devices, as a “solo songwriter” that is, I usually churn out material like this. “Haunted Soft Rock?” “Eerie Relax Rock?” “Uneasy Listening?” I don’t know what to call it. I’m not even sure if I can name specific influences.

Maybe you can discern a few? Let me know.

Thanks, as always, for tuning in! See you next week. And I promise to be prompt.

III. LYRICS

CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT

When the town’s asleep
We’ve a vow to keep
Since the world began

Since the world began
Adam walks with Eve
And Cain walks with all of his
Inside their shadow’d bones
Alone and not alone

Is it dark enough
Under the moon above?
We are her children, love.

There is a light of love
Inside the Eye above
We are His children, love.

He has promised you
An eternal youth
Since the world began

Since the world began
I have walked with thee
And you walked with me
Through our darker dreams
Alone and not alone

Awake at night
You shake with terror

Let us fall asleep together

We are her children, love.
We are His children, love.