Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jim Morrison's Rise And Failures As An American Singer

Jim MorrisonJim Morrison (Image via Seth Frank

During the 1960s, the Southern California community was taken by storm by a rock-and-roll band referring to themselves as The Doors, who combined a mixture of blues rock, hard rock and acid rock.

Despite their prosperity, the band received much criticism by the media because of Jim Morrison's often strange behavior both on and off the stage. However, despite Morrison's behavior, the band managed to witness worldwide success, releasing nine vinyl records during their eight-year existence.

Even after Morrison's tragic death in 1971, the band managed to live on, but the success of the band was short lived because Morrison was such an important member to the band's success.

Early History

The first individuals of The Doors were Morrison and Ray Manzarek, who would meet while at UCLA. Before the band got its start, Morrison found the inspiration to form a band when Manzarek was shooting a video for a project (which planted the idea in Morrison's head to start a rock band).

As the band became larger, Manzarek knew of a drummer who would be the best person for their band in John Densmore, and later, The Doors would hire Robby Krieger as their guitarist. Upon the start of the band, the title "The Doors" had yet to appear; it was not till the members saw inspiration from Aldous Huxley's book The Door of Perception that the title "The Doors" came into existence.

The band would create a name for itself while singing at the famous London Fog and soon after at the Whiskey a Go Go concert in Southern California. After experiencing success as a rock band performing around Southern California, the band would score a record deal and begin recording their first self-titled album.

Early Morrison Issues

During a show in New Haven, Connecticut, Morrison was arrested on stage after an officer had seen Morrison kissing a fan backstage. The event led the police officer to take Morrison into custody while on stage, making Morrison the first singer to ever be arrested while on stage.

In spite of their early success, Morrison would also become reliant on drugs and alcohol, leading to more issues with the band. His reliance on the two vices created tension among the band because it was difficult to record with a drunk or high Morrison. Despite Morrison's drug and alcohol issues, the band released their third Doors vinyl record and would continue their triumph as a group.

Death and End of an Era

Despite all the prosperity as a rock and roll band, Morrison was found dead in his Paris apartment with the cause of death considered as heart failure; however, this fact has yet to be proven. After Morrison's death, speculation started to form that there were other causes that may have led to his death, such as a drug overdose.

Despite what the cause of death was, the group would no longer retain the success they experienced while Morrison was alive. Without Morrison, the group lost the iconic voice he provided, and without him, the group only survived for two more years.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

VIDEO: Jim Morrison/The Doors - Soul Kitchen

Hi all,

Here's a tribute to Jim Morrison and The Doors, with a variety of clips and Soul Kitchen playing in the background. Enjoy!

This is brought to you by shamrocklady on YouTube:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Great New Talent: Redeem Yourself by Luke James

Hi everyone,

I don't do this very often, but I'd like you all to listen to a young man who I think is a great new talent. His name is Luke James, and he is the son of one of my close trusted colleagues, John James. Luke hails from Adelaide, South Australia, and as you will see, is a very talented musician and songwriter. The lyrics are powerful and match the strong visuals on the video.

It would be great to get some feedback, so ALL comments are very welcome indeed! Let's encourage local young talent!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

VIDEO: Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made for Walkin'

by weissebrauen on YouTube

"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is a pop song musically composed by Lee Hazlewood and first written and recorded by Nancy Sinatra. It was released in February 1966 and hit #1 in the United States and United Kingdom Pop charts. Subsequently, many cover versions of the song have been released in a range of styles: metal, pop, rock, punk rock, country, dance, and industrial.

You keep saying you got something for me
Something you call love but confess
You've been a'messin' where you shouldn't 've been a'messin'
And now someone else is getting all your best
Well, these boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin'
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a'changin'
What's right is right but you ain't been right yet
These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

You keep playing where you shouldn't be playing
And you keep thinking that you'll never get burnt (HAH)
Well, I've just found me a brand new box of matches (YEAH)
And what he knows you ain't had time to learn
These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you


Are you ready, boots?
Start walkin'

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Top 3 Greatest Progressive Rock Songs

Frank ZappaCover of Frank ZappaBy Jared MacTavish

In the early part of the 19th Century, near the end of the Romantic era of classical music, composers were stretching the limits of our musical minds, using more, and more varied sounds in their works. The mantra was to 'break all boundaries' and they certainly succeeded.

As the Fifties waned and the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties took us all on a magnificent aural ride, the advent of bands such as Miles Davis, The Beatles, Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa, and other groups too numerous to mention showed the listeners that here, in very normal garages across the country, were musicians as brave as their predecessors.

Through the amalgamation of rock, jazz and blues, folk, classical, and experimental structures, they created some of the greatest progressive rock songs of all time. My favorites - what I consider my top 3 (for the moment), follow.

1. "2112" Rush

Not only is the lyrical premise (penned by drummer Neil Peart) of 2112 massive in its scope, so is the accompanying music. Of course this piece is actually a series of movements, but for our purposes, I'm considering side one of Rush's "2112" album as a single piece of music; that's how it was intended, and I happen to agree with the authors/composers.

This work is bombastic, sometimes terrifying, gentle, passionate, and has some of the best rock guitar solos ever recorded, thanks to Alex Lifeson's tasteful playing. Backed up by one of rocks most outstanding rhythm sections (Geddy Lee, Neil Peart), the musical journey to recover humanity's long lost musical ways contains a plethora of interesting parallels with our fight for the arts in society today

2. "Heart of the Sunrise" Yes

From the album "Fragile" (which arguably contains more than one great progressive rock song on it), this track is incorrigibly driven by Chris Squires bass groove, offset perfectly by Bill Bruford (on drums) throughout. The 3:40 intro is enough to set any music lovers stereo on fire. Yet when Jon Anderson's vocal line finally enters, Steve Howe's perfectly orchestrated electric guitar contrasts it beautifully against the previous sections.

No stranger to odd time signatures, Yes continued to explore the dynamic crossovers of classical, rock, and folk with this exquisitely written and produced track. With Rick Wakeman on keys and no fear on ballot, Yes are truly one of the most outstanding progressive rock bands to emerge from the post-60's musical blaze.

3. "Cosmik Debris" Frank Zappa

No list of progressive music is complete without an entry by the premiere experimentation specialist, Frank Zappa. With solid grounding in jazz, classical, rock (of course) and any other format one might care to mention, Zappa blew away all boundaries with his creative harmonic structures and arrangements; no one ever came close to the achievements in his extensive catalog.

Cosmik is a vocal track (the lead by Frank himself) with some excellent contrasting lines, both in range and phrasing. Additionally much of the track bounces between straight and swing feel and of course contains a signature Zappa guitar solo.

With so much amazing music out there, each listener should make his or her own choice about the greatest progressive rock songs. For me, these three songs set much of the standard for edgy progressive tracking.

If you dig this music you may also like Brent Magstadt. He's released a wonderfully dynamic disc that encompasses a number of edgy progressive grooves.

To download a free copy of his track Samba De Los Rockos, Click Here!

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