Sunday, March 31, 2013

Album 365: Day 173 - Back To Zero - Reset the Sun

Back To Zero
Reset the Sun

Can't find picture of the album!

Favorite tracks:  The Right Thing, Letting Her Down, Freedom, Call To Arms
Sleeper tracks: Hopeless Meditation, Happily Ever After

This was a band I worked with at Oarfin Records.  I recorded everything in Oarfin Studio B and mixed in Oarfin Studio A.

I had a bunch of fun working with these guys.  I really like some of the songs on this record.  I think the production is pretty decent but if they worked with a producer, the songs could have been a whole lot cooler.  They bit off a lot and should have done an album with about 8 tracks instead of the 13 they had.  The recording process was a big step in honing my chops.  I liked the drum sound I got (the drummer wasn't the hardest player and it shows on some songs) and the bass sound was cool.  There were several volume issues in the mixing that I can hear (vocals too quiet, some guitar fx too loud).

Jeff, the singer, had a great vision for the record.  He's gone on to do some really cool music in his group Skittish.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Album 365: Day 172 - Infectious Grooves - The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...It's the Infectious Grooves

Infectious Grooves
The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...It's the Infectious Grooves

Favorite tracks: Punk It Up, Infectious Grooves, Back To the People
Sleeper tracks: I'm Gonna Be My King, Do the Sinister

I was introduced to this band by my friend Luke.  I wasn't a Suicidal Tendencies (this band was an offshoot of them) fan growing up but when I moved across the alley from Luke, he turned me on to several bands (Phish, Queensryche) that have become some of my favorites.  Infectious Grooves was one of these bands.  The music was funky as hell and the Trujillo's bass playing was unreal.  The mix of heavy guitars and awesome drums was very attractive.

This is a great party record.  I never got into Suicidal Tendencies (even after listening to Infectious Grooves).  Mike Muir is a frontman I can only take in small the Infectious Grooves catalog.  More than that is annoying as hell.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Album 365: Day 171 - Opeth - Ghost Reveries

Ghost Reveries

Favorite tracks: Ghost of Perdition, The Baying of the Hounds, Beneath the Mire, The Grand Conjuration
Sleeper tracks: Hours of Wealth

Another great release by my favorite metal band.

I was really excited to get this album when it came out.  The first 2 tracks were outstanding.  I sort of lost touch with the band for a couple years and didn't listen to this record a lot.  I discovered it again a few years ago and it has become one of my top 3 Opeth albums.

This album also marks the last record with my favorite Opeth lineup.  No disrespect to the current band roster but Opeth losing Peter Lindgren is like Queensryche losing Chris Degarmo.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Album 365: Day 170 - Oysterhead - The Grand Pecking Order

The Grand Pecking Order

Favorite tracks: Little Faces, Army's On Ecstasy, Pseudo Suicide
Sleeper tracks: Shadow of a Man, Wield the Spade

Les Claypool: bass/vocals
Trey Anastasio: guitars/vocals
Stewart Copeland: drums

Of course this was a highly anticipated release and I think I probably bought it the day it came out.  I played it once through, listened to the first 3 songs a few times more and didn't listen to the whole album again until now.

I like Primus, Phish and The Police.  I think this album sounds too much like Les Claypool's solo stuff (pick a band name) and because of that, I was turned off.  I appreciate the musicianship but it didn't blow me away. Guess since they only did one record, they weren't too thrilled with the band either.  Maybe Copeland was too much of a prick.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Album 365: Day 169 - Led Zeppelin - Presence

Led Zeppelin

Favorite tracks: Achilles Last Stand, For Your Life, Nobody's Fault But Mine
Sleeper tracks: Candy Store Rock

I'm a fan of the post Led Zeppelin IV era albums.  While it's not the best album from this era, Presence has some really awesome songs and the grooves are far better than the first 3 albums.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Album 365: Day 168 - Temple of the Dog - Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog
Temple of the Dog

Favorite tracks: Reach Down, Hunger Strike, Pushin Forward Back
Sleeper tracks: Call Me A Dog

Slow to appreciate this record.  I never got into Mother Love Bone.  I tried but it was at a time in my life where I was trying to get into more complex music.  I do remember around 1999 I spun this more times than I had the 7 years before.  I don't know why.  I think it had to do with appreciating Matt Cameron's drumming more and more.  I must have been on a Soundgarden kick and wanted as much as I could get of Matt's playing.

The album was really good.  I loved "Pushin'..." and wish I would have been able to cover that song.  "Hunger Strike" is also a great song.  I wasn't a fan of the longer, slow tunes but after hearing the album today, I appreciate the songs and the guitar work.

Chris' vocals are fun to listen to.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Album 365: Day 167 - Ladder El - Ferris Wheel

Ladder El
Ferris Wheel

Favorite tracks: Genuine, 50/50, Mind Me
Sleeper tracks: Thinner, Fold

This was the first album I recorded at Winterland Studios.  The band was from (I think) Eau Claire and we did a couple weekends of tracking.  I really liked the vibe of the music.  The guitar player was pretty good and I remember he had a Howard Roberts guitar.  The singer reminded me of a white Tracy Chapman...if Tracy was a dude.

They recorded all the tracks in studio B.  Brian, Winterland's chief engineer, mixed in studio A.  I was amazed with how good he made the record sound.  The drums were pieces of crap and the room was small and boxy.  The album turned out really great.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Album 365: Day 166 - U.K. - Danger Money

Danger Money

Favorite tracks: Danger Money, The Only Thing She Needs, Carrying No Cross
Sleeper tracks: Nothing To Lose

The first time I heard a complete U.K. album was when I heard this for Album 365.  I knew of the band but can't understand why I wouldn't have owned something by them (or heard them) before.

John Wetton and Terry Bozzio play on this record.  The earlier record has Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford.  These are all musicians I adore but I really missed the boat with this 'supergroup'.

Bozzio's drumming is really cool on this album.  John Wetton's vocals are really silky smooth again (see King Crimson 'Red' entry).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Album 365: Day 165 - Rollins Band - Weight

Rollins Band

Favorite tracks: Disconnect, Fool, Liar
Sleeper tracks: Divine, Tired

Thanks again MTV.

I actually was turned on to the rest of the album by reading an interview with the drummer (who really came across as being kind of a dink and not a very savory individual).

I was the only guy in my little circle that had this record.  I liked it.  There were some great grooves on the album.  I didn't play it a lot back when it came out but I enjoyed listening to it.

The record has some filler in the middle but actually ends pretty strong.  I forgot that there were some good songs towards the end of the album.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Album 365: Day 164 - Dream Theater - Train of Thought

Dream Theater
Train of Thought

Favorite tracks: As I Am, This Dying Soul, Honor Thy Father, Stream of Consciousness
Sleeper tracks: Endless Sacrifice

I, unlike a lot of Dream Theater fans, LOVED this album.  It was designed to be the heaviest thing they ever did and I thought it was cool they went in that direction.  A lot of the fans didn't like the heaviness of the album.

The production is pretty good.  The drums sound cool and Petrucci's lead work is really, really awesome.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Album 365: Day 163 - Phil Collins - Face Value

Phil Collins
Face Value

Favorite tracks: In the Air Tonight, Hand In Hand, I Missed Again
Sleeper tracks: I'm Not Moving, Tomorrow Never Knows

I first heard this complete record at my aunt Sue's house.  "In the Air.." was one of my favorite songs at the time.

Later in the 90's, I bought the CD.  I didn't like the record that much but "Hand In Hand" really reeled me in.  I was able to appreciate the rest of the record after my time in rock n roll school.  The production of the album is pretty cool and Phil is a really, really smart musician.  Unfortunately, once you get a grasp on the theme of the this album, you can really get caught up in the nastiness of relationship loss.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Album 365: Day 162 - John 5 - God Told Me To

John 5
God Told Me To

Favorite tracks: Welcome To Violence, Ashland Bump, The Castle
Sleeper tracks: Beat It

I wasn't blown away by this record.

John 5 was the guitar player in Marilyn Manson's band and played with Rob Zombie.  Before that, he played with David Lee Roth.

The album was half electric shredding and half acoustic shredding.  I didn't like the tone of his lead guitar.  It was a little to 'swarm of bees' sounding and lacked definition.  I'm guessing there weren't a lot of amps used in the recording process.  The drums were also fake which really annoys the hell out of me.

His acoustic songs were some of my favorites.  I wasn't expecting to hear him play acoustic as well as he did.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Album 365: Day 161 - Alter Bridge - One Day Remains

Alter Bridge
One Day Remains

Favorite tracks: Find the Real, One Day Remains, Open Your Eyes
Sleeper tracks: Broken Wings, Shed My Skin

Yeah, ok.  I know it's basically Creed without Stapp.  I never mentioned to you that I thought Creed wrote some pretty good songs?  Oh, maybe later I'll discuss it.

I was pretty impressed with this album when it came out.  Soncially, it sounded really awesome.  The production was top notch and somebody spent a good amount of money on the record.  The songs on the front end of the album were catchy as hell.  There was a dead spot in the middle of the album but I thought it ended with a pretty cool song (and the 1 song on the record that sounded like a prog riff) "The End is Here".

It's not a record I would pick to listen to again but I will sneak a taste of the first 3 songs once in awhile.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Album 365: Day 160 - Ace Frehley - Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley
Ace Frehley

Favorite tracks: Rip It Out, Snow Blind, What's On Your Mind
Sleeper tracks: Fractured Mirror

I can't remember the first time hearing this album.  I think it was during my time at Oarfin Records.  Todd, the chief engineer, brought in a fistful of Kiss and Ace records.  We didn't listen to the whole thing but agreed with the masses that this was the best Kiss solo record.

There are some great rock songs on the album.  'What's On Your Mind' is my favorite Ace song.  It's hooky as hell.  Anton Fig's drumming on the album is pretty bad ass.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Album 365: Day 159: Cheap Trick - In Color

Cheap Trick
In Color

Favorite tracks: Hello There, Big Eyes, So Good To See You
Sleeper tracks: I Want You To Want Me, Southern Girls

A great Cheap Trick album.  I was so hung up on the Dream Police record growing up that I didn't realize there was more great stuff by the band.

I honestly (and I'm embarrassed to say it) didn't hear this whole record until working at Oarfin Records.  We were working with a local producer who was doing a cover of "I Want You..." with a girl.  Back in 2002, we had to scour Limewire for an mp3 of the song to reference.  I was totally clueless to the studio track of that song.  I only knew of the Budokan version.  Even after I picked the CD up a couple years later, I didn't listen to it all the way through.  It's not my favorite Cheap Trick album by any means but there are some great rock songs on it.

I think the album art is fantastic.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Album 365: Day 158 - Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind

Iron Maiden
Piece of Mind

Favorite tracks: Where Eagles Dare, Revelations, The Trooper, Die With Your Boots On
Sleeper tracks: Still Life

This was the first Maiden record I owned.  It contains my favorite Maiden song (The Trooper).

I wasn't a huge Maiden fan growing up.  I didn't mind the 'singles' they made videos for.  I didn't own an album until my junior year of high school.  Some of my friends had their records several years before that.

I love Nicko McBrain's drumming on this record.  It was a fresh, tight sound.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Album 365: Day 157 - The Doors - Morrison Hotel

The Doors
Morrison Hotel

Favorite tracks: Roadhouse Blues, Peace Frog, Ship of Fools
Sleeper tracks: Indian Summer

I remember my parents bringing this back home from The Exclusive Company.

I'm more of a a Hard Rock Cafe side fan myself.  There some great songs packed on side A of this record.

I was a bigger Doors fan when I was a kid.  I drifted away from them in my 20s and haven't really come back to digging them as much.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Album 365: Day 156 - Boston - Boston


Favorite tracks: Peace of Mind, Foreplay/Long Time, Smokin'
Sleeper tracks: Hitch A Ride

First time I heard this album in its entirety was at my aunt Cheryl's apartment.  That could have been when I was between 5-7.

The album is great.  It's packed with hits and has sold more albums than I ever did.  Listening to this made me think of Brad Delp and the shitty way he died.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Album 365: Day 155 - Geddy Lee - My Favourite Headache

Geddy Lee
My Favourite Headache

Favorite tracks: My Favourite Headache, Runaway Train, Grace To Grace
Sleeper tracks: Moving To Bohemia

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this record.  The title track is really good.  The whole CD is good and it shows that Geddy has some writing chops that aren't always displayed in Rush.  I'm not sure if that's because of the producer/friend he worked with or if it's just that Alex is more of the riff writer in Rush and Geddy is more of the lyric melody writer.

I'm glad this album came out.  Matt Cameron drummed on it and while the drums don't sound the best, you can hear bits of Cameron chops in most of the songs.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Album 365: Day 154 - John Scofield - Pick Hits Live

John Schofield
Pick Hits Live

Favorite tracks: Pick Hits, Protocol, Trim
Sleeper tracks: Heaven Hill, Thanks Again

Gosh, I can remember how much I would let this play during late night marathons of solo Madden career.  Over and over and over and over...

I bought this based on Dennis Chambers drumming on it.  He was my favorite drummer for several years and I couldn't find enough records with him playing.  This was another special order purchase from The Exclusive Company.  I might have paid over $30 for this disc.  It was well worth it.  The drum solo in 'Trim' is classic Chambers.

I kept up my admiration for John over the years. I saw him twice and enjoyed a lot of his records.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Album 365: Day 153 - Phish - A Picture of Nectar

A Picture of Nectar

Favorite tracks: Llama, Cavern, Poor Heart, Tweezer, Chalk Dust Torture
Sleeper tracks: The Landlady, Faht

Quite an awesome record and a huge influence on my teens.

I'm not saying it should be in anybody's top 100 list but this is one of those records that means a lot to me when I think of the stories and people associated with this album.  My friend Luke introduced me to the band.  Later, our friend Ryan introduced me to some older Phish albums.  The stuff was pretty cool. This album had the right combination of jazz and rock.  It wasn't too Greatful Dead sounding.

I played the hell out of this album over the past 20 years and I'll probably be listening to it for many more years.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not, or ever was, a Phishead.  I never saw them live and would never go see them live.  I think they're quite boring live.  The best way to take them in is in a format that has a time limit of 80 minutes.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Album 365: Day 152 - Metallica - ...And Justice For All

...And Justice For All

Favorite tracks: Blackened, One, The Frayed Ends of Sanity
Sleeper tracks: To Live Is To Die

This was the first Metallica album I owned.  I wasn't a fan of the stuff before this (A fault of mine.  I'm still wondering how my life would have turned out if I did have those early albums growing up).  This record was heavy as shit in 7th grade.  It didn't make me a fan of their whole catalog but I do remember being curious about other thrash bands after hearing this.  I started listening to Anthrax and Slayer after hearing Metallica.  So...thanks Lars.  I guess.

There are great guitar solos on this album.  Of course the bass is turned down.  I actually heard some bass riffs that I've never heard before.  Drums were great on this record as well.

It's just a really awesome metal (concept) record.  It was thrash mixed with prog lyrics and themes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Album 365 - Day 151 - Frank Zappa - Over-Nite Sensation

Frank Zappa
Over-Nite Sensation

Favorite tracks: I'm the Slime, Fifty-Fifty, Zombie Wolf, Montana
Sleeper tracks: Dirty Love

This was not one of the first Zappa albums I bought.  It should have been but I wasn't aware how good it was back when I started my Zappa phase.  It's a very concise album.  There's a lot of good riffs and grooves along with some great lyrics.  It's a short album and really throws a lot of Zappa's best era at you.

I'm working up the courage to sing 'Dinah-Moe Humm' at karaoke some night.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Album 365: Day 150 - The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Favorite tracks: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Lovely Rita, A Day In the Life
Sleeper tracks: Fixing A Hole, Within You Without You

Not my favorite Beatles album but one that has some great songs on it.  It's worth having in your collection.  Title track and 'A Day...' are great songs but 'Lovely Rita' is a song I would choose to put on a mix CD.  You can keep the Indian sounding, George Harrison songs.  

Again, I listened to the mono version.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Album 365: Day 149 - Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani
Joe Satriani

Favorite tracks: Cool #9, If, Luminous Flesh Giants, S.M.F., (You're) My World
Sleeper tracks: Down, Down, Down, Look My Way

This was the 2nd Satriani album I purchased.  I only had Time Machine before this one and while my friend Bryan was a pretty big Satch fan, I didn't get into the studio records that much.  This album was quite a change of pace for Joe.  It was more bluesy and less wank-solo rock.  The production was pretty bare bones too.

I'm still not the biggest Satriani fan.  I've seen him 3 times and he puts on a hell of a live show.  I bought CDs after this one but for some reason, I never got into them as much as this one.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Album 365: Day 148 - Jeff Beck - There and Back

Jeff Beck
There and Back

Favorite tracks: Star Cycle, You Never Know, Space Boogie
Sleeper tracks: The Golden Road

I do not know when I got this record.  I do remember sitting in my apartment in Menasha listening to the record but I'm not sure if that was when I purchased it.  I think I bought Guitar Shop before this record and was totally disappointed about how Terry Bozzio sounded on the album.  I didn't come back to Jeff Beck for a few years.  This album was suggested in one of those magazine articles that tell you what records you should get from a certain musician, instrument, era, etc.

I figured out the Beck mystery and ended up liking his late 80s stuff quite a bit.  This album has a great mix of sounds and he always brought great musicians in to help record.  Jan Hammer plays keys on this and you can totally hear that Miami Vice sound about 4 years before the show aired.  That's either a good thing or really bad thing.  Jan was quite a rocker back in the day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Album 365: Day 147 - Michael Manring - Thonk

Michael Manring

Favorite tracks: Big Fungus, Disturbed, Bad Hair Day
Sleeper tracks: On A Day of Many Angels

This was another record I read about from reading Modern Drummer.  Primus' drummer, Tim Alexander played on this album.  I had never heard of Michael Manring but his bass playing was pretty spectacular.  I remember showing the record to my bandmates and giggling about the bass chops.  There are some good songs but there are also 1 or 2 bunk jazz/fusion ballads (See Dave Weckl entry).

The album isn't anything groundbreaking but I did have a pretty important part of forming my music taste and attitude.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Album 365: Day 146 - Motley Crue - Dr. Feelgood

Motley Crue
Dr. Feelgood

Favorite tracks: Dr. Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart, Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Sleeper tracks: Slice of Your Pie, Sticky Sweet

I wasn't the biggest Crue fan growing up.  They were too popular for me and while I liked some of the songs, I didn't feel the need to get any of the records.

I started to buy the albums in the early 2000s.  Once I realized how good some of the records sounded and how good some of the songwriting was, I made it a point to get the whole catalog.

This album sounds huge thanks to Bob Rock (produced Metallica's 'Black Album' after Lars heard the sound of Dr. Feelgood).  There's a lot of cool guitar work going on.  I didn't like all the horns and layered backup vocals (the list of guest singers rangers from Bryan Adams to members of Cheap Trick to Steven Tyler) but I get what they were trying to do.  Tommy's drumming is pretty awesome.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Album 365: Day 145 - Dave Weckl - Heads Up

Dave Weckl
Heads Up

Favorite tracks: 7th Ave. South, Tomatillo, Against the Wall
Sleeper tracks: Taboo, Trigger Happy

This was in my teenage, jazz/fusion stage.  Everybody had one of those, right?

I can't remember where I first heard this record.  I think the song '7th Ave. South' was on a compilation CD that the local music store would play.  It was a Zildjian cymbal CD that had some of the tracks from Zildjian endorsers.  After I heard that song, I went and picked up the record.  I loved Dave's drumming but he was way too good to try to copy.

The thing about new jazz albums is that they always have 'ballads'.  New jazz ballads suck and they all sound the same.  There's usually a soprano sax or some celeste synth melody.  Fortunately there is enough awesome drumming on the record to make up for the lameness.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Album 365: Day 144 - Van Halen - Balance

Van Halen

Favorite tracks: The Seventh Seal, Amsterdam, Aftershock
Sleeper tracks: Can't Stop Lovin' You, Take Me Back (Deja Vu)

My friends and I really played the crap out of this record.  It came out in January and I'm pretty sure we went and got it the day of release.

One thing I can say about the brothers Van Halen: They don't really lose chops and energy as they age.  Alex seems to get better as he gets older.  The drums on this record are pretty fresh and are fun to listen to.  He does some things that I never heard in previous recordings.  Ed's playing was also not as predictable as previous albums.

There are songs I will go back to on this record.  There are also songs I won't try to listen to again.  The whole 'Ed playing a piano by fucking around with the strings' is kinda stupid.  You're not avant-garde man.  You're Eddie Van Halen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Album 365: Day 143 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Blood Sugar Sex Magik

Favorite tracks: The Power of Equality, Suck My Kiss, The Greeting Song, My Lovely Man
Sleeper tracks: Breaking the Girl, Funky Monks, Under the Bridge

This was the first new CD I purchased.  I bought it the day I got my first Discman (along with a used Rush 'Hold Your Fire' and Zeppelin 'Houses of the Holy').

I wasn't really a RHCP fan before this album.  At the time, we didn't have cable so I wasn't hip to the videos for 'Higher Ground' and 'Knock Me Down' from the previous record.  I think I listened to this album almost every day for a couple months.

It's a really well produced record.  It's leaps and bounds better than Mother's Milk and is one of my favorite records from the 90s.  It still sounds fresh...over 20 years later.