Tag: classic rock

Is Anyone Listening to “New” Music?

Have you heard? The new Night Ranger CD, Somewhere in California, was released a few weeks ago. It’s probably their best studio album since Midnight Madness when Sister Christian peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts.

Oooh, has anyone given a listen to the new Whitesnake CD, Forevermore? The single, “Love Will Set You Free” is simply infectious. As for the new Journey CD, Eclipse? Eh, I can take it or leave it. I mean, I’m really not as big a fan since Steve Perry left a few years ago.

I am still looking forward to the new Van Halen record this fall though. There’s sure been a lot of buzz about it on their Facebook fan page since David Lee Roth came back. I can’t wait to see if Eddie still has those guitar skills. If only this were 1987, it sure would be a great time to be a music fan. For me anyway.

But alas, here we are in the middle of 2011, and although everything I’ve said about those bands above is true (they all have already or will have new studio albums and tours this year) I bet 75% of the fans they had back in their hey day do not even know it.

To them, as to everyone else who are fans of the synthesized robotic voiced artists, the bands they once loved and adored a quarter century ago broke up years ago and the members are now active AARP recipients.

And if you really want to get that old album you wore out on the turntable signed, well you might just find them at a convention signing autographs and taking pictures. The ones former childhood stars and “B” movie actors also attend. The same artists, whom you couldn’t get near when their music ruled the air, will now even have lunch with you (if you’re buying of course).

Truth is, by the way today’s music business works, that’s probably the way it should be. These bands, who once dominated the charts, are still releasing quality product but no one is listening. Sadly, some of the songs on these albums, which would have been sure-fire chart toppers twenty-five years ago, won’t even get airplay.

I already know what you’re thinking: Get over it. Times have changed and so has music. And you may be right. I just might be turning into something I always said my parents were when it came to music, an old fuddy duddy. I really miss seeing my music on store shelves and being talked about.

But I think Mom and Dad would agree with me on something else: a lot of the songs that are popular on radio right now sound exactly the same. Today’s pop/rock music is driven primarily by the same old beat and tired cliché’ lyrics.

Meanwhile, bands like the ones I’ve mentioned are finding no outlet for their new music and are relegated to signing exclusive deals with Walmart or foreign record companies to peddle them while they embark on tours (most times in groups of two or three together) playing their hits just to stay relevant.

One of these record companies, Frontiers Records, seems to have landed the motherload of these now “classic” rock bands. If you look at their artist catalogue, it reads like something you’d see on the program from Live Aid in 1985.

Although I am saddened to no longer see their records on the shelves, it only reinforces the fact that these artists are still in it for the music. There’s really no need for them to try and put out new material that will sell nowhere near what their old records did back in the day.

I’m just glad they continue to do it for fans like me who appreciate everything they’ve accomplished.

Article first published as Is Anyone Listening To “New” Music? on Technorati.

Musician Available

I haven’t been performing live on the music scene for about five years now and am beginning to get the itch to get back into it. I’m pretty versatile when it comes to my music. I’ll play guitar, bass, keyboards. I’ve done modern country, oldies, classic and modern rock and even my own original music. The problem I’m having is trying to find the right situation.

I don’t think I’m asking for much. I just want to get into a band to perform, have fun and get paid for it. I also don’t believe my requirements are anything out of the ordinary. In fact, outside of everyone in the band obviously getting along, for me there are only two things that must exist in any band I would consider joining. So with this in mind, here’s what I’m looking for in a cover band:

Number one:  A band that will do classic to modern rock from 1970’s through today.

Number two and even more highly important: A band that under no circumstances will play Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

I am so sick of big wheels turning that at this point I refuse to even play it. Quite frankly it gets me upset that I even have to tag this blog with the title. And by that I mean I will not perform it. If we’re at a bar and a beautiful drunk woman comes up at the end of the night and requests it, well we call her a cab. I’ve even abruptly ended my tenure in bands before it even began when the song is suggested. Here’s a classic example:

I once auditioned to be in a classic rock band with a bunch of cool guys I knew from school. I lugged all of my equipment into the rehearsal space and slowly but methodically unloaded it from my car and pieced it together.

I configured my amps, my guitars, unwound cables, ran effects pedals out the wazoo. I tuned up my Les Paul, turned the Marshall stack on ten and stood at the ready. Ready for the first song of what was surely to become the next Aerosmith or Def Leppard. And that’s when it happened.

The singer looks at me and says, “Uh, I dunno, wanna start with Sweet Home Alabama?”

Without saying another word I un-did everything I mentioned two paragraphs ago and hastily made a twenty-three skidoo. They never heard from me again.

True Story. Well, maybe.

Anyway, it seems as though finding the right fit for me is proving to be almost impossible. I’ve been searching but so far haven’t been able to find anything.

Quite honestly, the more I scour the “musicians wanted” listings the more and more depressed I become. Please tell me if you see anything of value that looks appealing in the following legitimate listings:

1) I am 20, been playing lead guitar since i was 13. I want to start a band with musicians that have chops, good improv skills and creativity. Age range-17-35. The originals I have at this point revolve around progressive funk and hard rock, think chilli peppers meets STP meets Slash. Please only serious inquiries only. No pay. Band is a serious project but for the music foremost. Email me if you’re interested

Interesting combination. But seriously, no pay?…Dude, you CRAY-ZEE

2) CLUTCH tribute band I’m a drummer looking to start a CLUTCH tribute band. If your interested, and have the chops, then hit me up. Looking for people who love CLUTCH and have their own equipment and NO DRAMA, Otherwise don’t waste my time.

I did not even know who CLUTCH was and had to look them up.  They definitely don’t seem to be the kind of band that would warrant a tribute.

3) Guitar led trio needs drums and bass for Satriani influenced cover band playing mostly instrumental music from others as well like Jeff Beck, Frank Marino and Stevie Ray Vaughn as well as a lot of Satriani material including surfing cd the crystal planet and most of stuff from the live at Anaheim dvd. serious players need only apply.

If you can name one venue that will pay money to have you perform this type of music at then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

4) Hey whats up everyone! We’re looking for an experienced rock drummer from ages 17- 25. Check out our facebook page and listen to our music if you might be interested. We just started recently but is number 5 on the phillipsburg Alternative Charts. We just released our first demo and are writing for our first EP. We’re good dudes just enjoying the life of music. So if you’re interested just let us know!

I didn’t even know that the small town of Phillipsburg, NJ had an Alternative Chart. Man, I wish I played drums.

This one was more of a musician’s available listing but it gave me a chuckle anyway:

New Orleans and Classic Jazz, Swing, Dances, Parties, Festivals, Weddings, Funerals, Dixieland Strolling (yes with the whole band)ANY Type of Event We own our own parade floats (we have 2) and we specalize in Parade Performances. Ask about our combined Parade and Concert or Strolling Specials!

Parade floats and funerals? Hmmm, these guys just might be onto something.

This can’t be all that’s out there for me. What do you think? Let’s start a discussion. Otherwise, I’m going to have to sing songs about the Southland again. And I won’t be a happy camper.