Would there be any other Denver Rooster Teeth Fans who would be interested in doing a board game night?
2 years agoGene_Owl
Grim Fandango Soundtrack: Peter McConnell
For number eight I thought I’d take a bit of a left turn and dive into the world of video games as I often like to do. What better game soundtrack to round out genres then a BeBop, Big Band, Noir classic adventure game Grim Fandango. Yes back in 1998 with golden boy Tim (we didn’t know what a pain in the ass you are) Schafer and funding from LucasArts we were given the gem of a video game Grim Fandango; a Noir inspired adventure game set in the Land of Dead spanning four years starting on the Day of the Dead and drawing elements from the Aztec ideas of the after-life and an artistic style based on decorations from Dia De Los Muertos. Along with all of that, you get one hell of a Jazz album. Written by Peter McConnell who has worked with Schafer on other projects such as Brutal Legend, Broken Age and Psychonauts he is no stranger to diversity. Now it may be with just the media I grew up with but I have always felt that Jazz adds more too a scene at hand or acts as an appropriate mood setter. To start off let’s look at the album cover. I you have the Re-Master is will is the loading screen of gamer art with moments from the game and in the style of an old Noir film poster, black and white with a sepia-tone effect on top giving it that worn look.. The original is a white jacket with the protagonist Manny Calavera in a white dinner jacket on the front with the title at the top in Art-Deco lettering and a description of the soundtrack to the right of Manny. The back on the original (if you can find a hard copy) is gold and black with several of the games other characters to the left of the track listing. This particular re-master has a whopping thirty two tracks and comes in at forty three minutes and thirty four seconds. Like it says on the front it is a mix of Big-Band and Be-Bop but there is the occasional track thrown in the a different style such as Bone Wagon is a surf song, Talking Limbo is a sea-shanty and Ninth Heaven and Compañeros are based on traditional Mexican Folk Music. The best way to get this album and the visual stimulation that is the set pieces that these songs were meant for is to just play the game. If not then the next selected few tracks will peak your interest.
Each of these are short and sweet starting off with Casino Calavera you get the stage the sweet bass lines of an upright and gives the feeling that it should be played in a dark smoke filled club with everyone wearing suit. Following that up is Swanky Maximino, giving the feeling of importance and style while still somehow being low key but slightly tacky. Tracks like this have a walking feeling to it and feel like everyone should be moving at a slow but exaggerated pace. After Swanky Maximino is Smooth Hector which starts off more upbeat but still carries that low key feeling. The great thing about the original soundtrack is the first half of the tracks are arranged in an order that almost makes it feel like you are in a Jazz club listening to a short set. The first four tracks flow into each other before bringing down the mood with Mr. Frustration Man which starts to bring in the guitar a little more and give in more focus compared to most of the tracks.
Moving down the track listing and switching it up we come to Ninth Heaven and Compañeros. Two songs done in a more traditional Folk style rather than Jazz but keeping with the theme of The Day of the Dead. I just enjoy these no reason why, they do stand out and come at completely different times in the game Ninth Heaven is at the end of the game and Compañeros is background noise near the beginning. So the good news is that Re-master is only nine dollars and comes with alternate takes of the tracks adding nineteen to the listing and about another thirty minutes.
2 years agoGene_Owl
1-green bell pepper-diced
1-red bell pepper diced
1-gralic clove minced
1-pound of ground bison
1/2lb of ground spicy boar or pork sausage
1-can crushed tomatoes
¼ of a large white of yellow onion diced
½ teaspoon of pepper and cumin
2 teaspoons of sea salt
Place everything together in crock pot and mix. Turn crock pot onto high for about 4 hours and serve (you can go longer if need be). Super easy lasts me about 4 days of lunches to take to work good for people on a light-or similar like paleo diet. Just a base to get you started add take away however you like.
2 years agoGene_Owl
Bad Wizard:Free and Easy
In 2010 a former band mate turned me on to a hard rock band from New York. Take the speed and manic energy of MC5, add the Rock n Roll rifts of AC/DC, and soak the vocals in years of bar smoke and whisky. What do you get? Bad Wizard’s 2001 Free and Easy. Alright so to start, let’s look at the album cover. Something about it says late 1970’s under appreciated by the masses. Or even like a promotional poster, with the purple frame outlining the blue and white star background with band in the center, and we don’t get a good look at the bad adding some mystic to them. Honestly the album art doesn’t do anything for me; it’s just there telling me the band name and album name.
So the first track that really pulled me in was Hey Mama. It has a great build up with just a single guitar then the drums and finally the whole band kicks in. While the lyrics seem to rage from topic to topic it seems to be the singer is reassuring someone it’s all going to be ok and not to worry. Filled in with licks and short guitar solos, Hey Mama is strong way to start an album. Second up we have Keep High/Stay Low. I like they way this one starts, the imagery that comes to head when it starts is someone just tumbling through the air for no reason. Once again the lyrics go from topic to topic and follow the same formula of short guitar solos mixed in with the blues technique of call and answer. The echo effect on the locals only ads to fun this song is.
Following that up is the next track and my favorite from the whole album. Natural High. Starting off with a strong a thick riff the song details how being broke and never having a white colored job doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy life. Not following their usual formula of the other tracks there is more complexity in the lyrics and just one big guitar solo. If you’re looking for the track where the bad truly shines then this is the one. Everyone brings their A game it shows. Making it hands down the best track of the entire album. However it is followed up with the hard hitter Tiger Tooth. Fast and channeling MC5 the focus of vocals for the first half shine through and the simplicity of the lyrics work. Finally the last track to capture that AC/DC feel is Come On. A song about a woman in Rock n Roll? Never heard such a thing but Bad Wizard’s got ya covered. Not going to lie this song make me think about fucking, makes me think about playing it while fucking. Play this album loud and have a good time because coming in at nine tracks averaging about two and half minutes Bad Wizard’s Free and Easy is something worth adding to your collection.
Now I can't do my usual link to YouTube for the selected tracks because well the album isn't up there, or online anywhere except for Spotify and Amazon.
Keep High/Stay Low
3 years agoGene_Owl
The Rumjacks: Gangs of New Holland
A band from Australia that’s sounds like they are from Ireland, playing folk music at a punk rock speed, with common themes like many other folk/punk bands before them, songs are about drinking, working class pride, drinking, culture, tall tales and drinking. Well then if you’re sick of Floggin Molly hate Dropkick Murphy’s for some reason the Rumjacks are for you and their album Gangs of New Holland will not disappoint. It’s fast paced and shows its roots about a night on the town and a story of old and even dips into a bit of Rock-Steady or Ska with a track. I enjoy the album all the way through but to a few tracks stood out to me. Now the only way to get this album and the two before it are download only but it’s not hard to find, their website can direct you to where to get it. Now I am not super familiar with this type of music nor do I claim to be an expert but I know what I like and Gangs of New Holland offers all. I found this band while looking for drinking songs on YouTube. I have the feeling too, that this band is one of those local legend kind of deals where it was all word of mouth kind of like the early days of Punk Rock in general or I’m just talking out of my ass.
They hook you in with the single An Irish Pub Song; it draws you in with what sounds like traditional folk music and a narration of the commercialized idea of an Irish Pub. As you listen the narrator makes it clear that he does not care for this and will not hesitate to slug you for drawing a shamrock in the head of his beer. Its fast it, satisfies and never seems to get old. The next that I really enjoy is The Black Matilda. Which could mean a slew of things but none the less it rolls through your ears like a pleasing sea shanty and quickly became my 2nd favorite track.
The third track to really stay with me is Green Ginger Wine. It states off with what sounds like a man who’s been drinking just a little too much shouting at a woman to spend the night with him or he’ll just go fuck her sister. As the track progress we get a growl of a woman singing her side of the story and the two narrate their relationship. Whomever Maggie is as well has an incredible voice and the harmony of the vocals sells it. The final track I will mention is Spit in the Street the story about someone heading out for a night on the main part of town after another hard day and the people just trying to spoon feed ya shit all day long. What he sees and what he hears and what he wants, it just runs at a good pace and just sits well with me as a workin man on his feet.
3 years agoGene_Owl
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti
What is about Led Zeppelin that keeps them for fading away? Is it the countless bands that have come along that sound like Zeppelin? Is it the baby boomers gripping to days of glory past and their rose tinted glasses? Or is the fact that Led Zeppelin is held as the number one Hard Rock act of all time and every starry-eyed thirteen old with a guitar will try to play Stairway to Heaven at least once? It could be a number of things; to me it is the simple fact that they are good. Say what you want about Zeppelin but they are popular for a reason. Many of their albums are timeless and it is hard to find one that is flat out terrible. The mystery that surrounds the band, the strange album covers and themes. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John “Bonzo” Bonham all come together to form what is my favorite band. When you learn to play guitar Led Zeppelin’s self-titled album has every blues riff you’ll ever need, Led Zeppelin III offers a mixture of over driven guitar with tracks like the Immigrant Song and Out on the Titles but with acoustic tracks like Bron-Y-Aur Stomp and That’s the Way. These tracks also re-affirm that all great rock music holds its roots in the Southern United States because at the core of it all Led Zeppelin is a Blues/Rock band with traditional folk thrown in for good measure. So here I am talking about the band that pissed of Rolling Stone magazine for years and now all the publication does is kiss up to them. The band that has, yes, stolen and been sued over certain tracks; the band that every stoner looking sixteen year old has a logo of somewhere in their room. The one band I either hear people shit on too no end, or praise till their jaw gives out.
So what album of theirs should you have? Led Zeppelin, IV, In Through the Out Door Presence, Or CODA? If anything get the 1975 release of Physical Graffiti it has all the Zeppelin you could ask for, the folky blues of Led Zeppelin III and IV the hard guitar riffs of II and Houses of the Holy. The correct answer is all of them but if you’re going to be picky get Physical Graffiti.
The album cover features a photograph of a New York City tenement block with interchanging window illustrations. It was designed by Peter Corriston who was looking for a building that was symmetrical enough to fit on a square thirteen by thirteen and not be obstructed by other objects like street signs, light post ect. The original album jacket for the LP album included four covers made up of two inners one for each disc (that’s called a double LP kids), a middle insert cover and an outer cover. The inner covers depict various objects and people (including photos of Plant and Richard Cole in drag) on each window. The middle insert cover is white and details all the album track listings and recording information. The outer cover has die-cut windows on the building, so when the middle cover is wrapped around the inner covers and slid into the outer cover, the title of the album is shown on the front cover, spelling out the name Physical Graffiti. The CD insert works the same way to an extent but you don’t get to move around the insert yourself. Led Zeppelin is hard to talk about certain tracks stand out because each one offers something different to the listener and one could spend days talking about on track in particular, especially on Physical Graffiti.
Something about Physical Graffiti is just fucking sexy too. Take example the track The Rover on disk one. The main riff with Robert Plant over the top is just the right rhythm for some hot sticky fun. Now this goes well with Led Zeppelin because if you understand them as a band, most songs are about sex. However my favorite is Trampled Under Foot with a overdubbed guitars two competing riffs a sweet organ solo and car part metaphors, it makes for a rocking good time, also if you’re on the highway a great track for speeding too. Trampled Under Foot is at least the lyrics are inspired by blues musician Robert Johnson's 1936 Terraplane Blues. While they are both songs about “cars” the lyrics really don’t share any similarities Much like the latter years of Led Zeppelin there is a lot going on in just one song and clocking in around five and half minutes it’s long enough to meet the natural high I get from it. It also is has a jam going on in the middle but unlike the Allman Brother’s or Grateful Dead doesn’t over stay its welcome. Don’t get me wrong jam bands are great but Led Zeppelin just isn’t a jam band for the albums at least.
Moving on to the next would be Kashmir; this is where that Led Zeppelin mysticism comes into play. The paint a picture of out in the desert with green mountains just out of reach as a traveler feels the heat beats down upon his face and a weary man reaches a high level of conscious. The arrangement of the violins, the driving beat, Robert Plant’s trailing voice as is he’s off in the distance sets a surreal tone. Clocking in at eight and half minutes the best way to listen to this song is to place head phone on your head, steady our breathing and stare at something blank like a white plaster wall or a brick wall and let the song take you away.
Next up we have The Wanton Song, this track came out of the band during a jam session and Jimmy Page looking for a more aggressive riff that harkened back to the days of the Immigrant Song. He does get that here with the main riff being played on an octave, the guitar solo also reminds me of something we might hear on the previous album Houses of the Holy. Page used a Leslie speaker cabinet like Jimi Hendrix had done for Little Wing to get a doppler effect with a Hammond organ, giving the guitar solo that under water muted but bright tone. Lyricly the song is about a wanton woman, which is pretty much just a loose woman.
One of my favorites and a throwback to the mid 1950’s is Boogie with Stu, a boogie-woogie style song with Ian Stewart of The Rolling Stones on the piano, Page playing fat sounding acoustic guitar and a mandolin over dubbed. Another song born out of a jam and love for music of their teen years resulted in a law suit due to some lyrics that Plant leaned on a bit too much. According to Jimmy Page however “What we tried to do was give Ritchie's mother credit, because we heard she never received any royalties from any of her son's hits, and Robert did lean on that lyric a bit. So what happens? They tried to sue us for all of the song! (Guitar World 1998)”
Black Country Woman a classic blues style song and recorded outside (tons of bands did it). Originally intended to be on Houses of the Holy, Black Country Woman is through and through a blues song. While the drumming is pure John Bonham the guitar playing and lyrics fall back to the Southern United States. The lyrics are a good example of the humor of the band as well as their close attention to themes of the songs thirty years to forty years before them. The song is about a young man and his woman fighting. A little humor is thrown in for good measure.
Led Zeppelin is number one in my top ten bands and this is my favorite album by them. It's a good example of the diversity the band was capable of. It goes good with any weather, mood and people always enjoy a track or two at parties. I know I always say go for the entire album it derives it but this one does.
4 years agoGene_Owl
4 years agoGene_Owl
Dirty Thirty Dirty 30's Solid Top Single O
Model Number RPH-03
The Recording King Dirty Thirty is a six string, twenty fret, acoustic guitar fashioned to look like it is an American guitar from the 1930's. If you look at any picture of Robert Johnson it looks like his guitar. Recording King did not exist but they went for the feel and idea of a bare bones acoustic guitar. It has a solid spruce top and a rosewood fretboard, basic dot inlays (no double dots on the twelve) bone nut and saddle aged ivoroid body binding, satin sunburst finish, vintage-style tuning keys and what they call the historic Recording King headstock. According to the web site they were going for the Montgomery Ward mail order look. (For those born in mid to late 90's they were a retailer much like SEARS those who don't know what SEARS was google it).
Recording Kings are made in China but as a result, have a very attractive starting price. The Dirty Thirty RPH-03 starts at two hundred dollars. For two hundred bucks it's a winner, the sound is robust and has that old clanky, loud bare bones basic sound. The action is damn near perfect out of the box and requires little tweaks here and there as time goes on. The gear heads are in house brand but the important thing is doe they hold? Yes they hold quite well and I have not encountered any slipping. The bridge is just a basic plastic pin system holding the strings in. I have broken on but they are universal so no special ordering required. For styles of playing its great for the blues and folk, works some what for country but its not warm enough to go much beyond early Hank Williams Sr. Over all as a travel guitar and just playing on the porch it is a great guitar. It is pretty sturdy and stays in tune very well, it is lightweight so using it as a travel guitar is perfect.
4 years agoGene_Owl
James Kochalka Superstar: Our Most Beloved
In the word of Indie/Art/Punk Rock, James Kochalka Superstar has it all. James Kochalka an artist from Vermont has tried his hand at many projects and has seen success with his Journal Comic American Elf, comic series Supper F**ckers various children's books and animation projects, his band James Kochalka Superstar brings the unique style of Punk Rock and blue humor to an almost an indefinable genre album. Our Most Beloved is yes a best of album but when you have only limited release and limited funds a best of especially when you are not as big as The Beatles is a good place to start. The awesome thing about JKS is that each album cover and inside is designed by James himself and inside each album has a comic that you can only get in the album. The cartoon style adds to the album and some of the absurd themes of the songs.
The first track that stands out to me is Monkey Vs. Robot which tells the short story about the struggle between nature and machines. Really its short and pretty straight forward, the guitar is simple, the drums and bass are not Rush complex and James vocal will take a bit, but works for the style of music. It has a pretty great homemade music video to go with it as well.
Seconded song to stand out is Talk to the Wooky. I have the feeling this song is about eating pussy and how more men should be open to the notion (for the recorded I support this). It's a short but driving song that has a great melody that stay with you.
My third track that I will suggest, there are 25 on this so I could go on all night is Hockey Monkey. Hockey Monkey was first seen by many 90's kids on the cartoon block known as KaBlam! Latter on it became the theme song for the Fox short lived series The Loop. This song was written in collaboration with the Canadian Hockey themed band, The Zambonies and I don't know if any bad blood is there but I have noticed it from "fans.' It's a fun song about a monkey who plays hokey. Other tracks I would say round out the album nicely are, Bad Astronaut, Breaking Stuff, I am Rock, Ocean of Girls, Keg Party, Frog On top of a Skyscraper, High School Honeys, and Don't Trust Whitey. It's just a fun band having a fun time playing whatever they come up with.
Talk to the Wooky
Don't Trust Whitey
MONKEY VS. ROBOT
4 years agoGene_Owl
Between the Ditches by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Back in the days of Myspace and early days of Web 2.0, I found a band that was very different form everything I had ever listened too. I fell in love right away at the fast place, slide guitar, washboard and down home themes. This band if nothing is charming. They have a Great Depression feel that suits them well. If folk music need a bit of a revival and shake up then here is your answer. Between the Ditches is the bands eighth album released August 7, 2012 and clocks in at about forty-eight minutes with fourteen tracks. The album cover is simple but does draw attention. We see the counsel of an old school pickup truck that looks like the radio is missing. Inside a picture of the band with a close up and clear resolution of Reverend Peyton; we can clearly see his tattoo. On the back the good Rev is flexing and we get the track listing plus a more solid reveal of the vehicle. My guess is that it’s a 1972 Chevy Cheyenne; the whole album jacket has a grainy feel to it. Like they are meant to be some old photographs giving the band that complete retro feel. This album has a message. A message of frustration, that message seems to take a more Conservative American outlook. Heck the title is a northern Alabama saying, generally emphasize the desire to live a good and clean life. However they convey a message that I’m sure many people would agree with despite their leanings.
The first track on the album that stood out to me and how I found out about the album is Something for Nothing. Starts off with a nice little slide guitar lick and then a driving bass drum joins in. The great thing about this band and you pick up on it, is almost every song they have lines up. The entire song is melody. Every part you can just hear the words even though no one is singing. The theme of the song seems to be a commentary on the idea of nothing in this world is really free and sure it's cheap now but we paid with something else. At the heart of the song though is the idea that everyone wants something but they do not want to pay or make it themselves as the video suggest. This is not the first time RPBDB has taken an issue with American consumerism or big box stores. Such as on the album Whole Famn Damily a track is titled Walmart Killed the Country Store. It is a really great way to start the album off and is an example of the song writing the band uses. A strong hard hitting drum beat, fancy picking and a flowing bass line is a good way to draw you in even if it is the seconded song.
The next track that I grabbed me is the fourth track Big Blue Chevy '72. This song showcases the use of the washboard very well as it can be heard all the way through and acts as part of the backing beat. We also get a great harmonica line but just enough to leave you wanting more but not so much that it becomes annoying. Plus that good blues turn around can be heard. The entire song is just about how great this old truck is. It conveys how much fun the narrator is having driving his truck, either up the back roads or just to the store. Covering from the lack of electronics in the vehicle to the big block engine and the large bench seat in the cab, Big Blue Chevy ’72 is a fun and track and great for driving around with the widow down and your arm elbow resting on the door. Finally one of my favorite songs on the album is Brokedown Everywhere. This track is a tale of everywhere the narrower has been broke down due to some sort of mishap with his mode of transportation. It is a cleaver call out to Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere, except with a more or less forced stop rather than a planed one. Brokedown Everywhere is a great example of call and response with the backup vocals shouting at us the same line over and over.
To say the least this is really one of my favorite albums, I found it a great listen from track one too fourteen. It really is quite refreshing to hear this folksy, rural, bluesy charm in music nowadays. Someone with a clear message who puts out good work album after album, music is an art form and stems not only form skill but the soul and you can feel that. I feel that this is their strongest and I love the fact that we get a full album that works together instead of a bunch of singles just mashed together to make something they can push out to fill some contract. The entire album is good, it is worth a listen or two but if you just need a few things to load up the road trip list then I would use these three. The simple yet refined elegance of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is what makes then great. They know what they are doing, they know how to do it and they can deliver a wonderful product. They prove that you can use the basics and make something great.
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