Music

8 thoughts
last posted Oct. 24, 2014, 11:32 a.m.
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By the time I'd produced and directed the following music video, I'd for the most part stopped supporting Bobby Lee Rodgers directly as a manager, and financing source but I was still, and still am, very much a fan.

It was the first and only time I've had the chance to shoot a music video, and I only had 90 minutes to get the coverage I needed. Because of the short time frame, I had to rely on what little practical lighting there was in the club that it was shot in. Despite it being a little dark, I was happy with the result for the most part.

It's something of a shame that this was the only track from this record ever released on iTunes. There were a ton of great tracks and I had hoped to shoot at least one or two more videos for them.

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Being a rock guy who is a sucker for a good pop hook, I've been a fan of Train for a while. Admittedly, what hooked me on the band originally was their bluesier, rock stuff that was very much a part of their early days. I burned out on them and for the most part had just stopped listening to them around 2009. My wife and I went to a show last week in Gilford NH and I have to say I was really impressed with their live show and it renewed my interest in the band. This week, I discovered an interesting side project of lead singer Pat Monahan called The Patcast which I've actually found to be a fun, sometimes insightful look at music, artists and the issues facing the music business in general. It doesn't hurt that he does some pretty solid interviews and live music performances with guests as well.

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Watched an amazing documentary on Netflix last week called Muscle Shoals. It's the story of a the incredible music that came out of two little recording studios in a small Alabama town in the 60's and 70's. I don't want to say too much about it because the things you will learn from it, if you're not already aware of the story, will surprise you. For me, it was yet another study of visionary people driven by the love of the song and the music who attracted amazing talent and created not only an incredible sound, but also much of the truly great and memorable music of the 20th century.

For anyone who loves music and the history associated with it, I'm sure you'll love this film.

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I don't have anything against Dr. Dre selling beats to Apple. Good for him. But I think that it's going to spawn a generation of musicians looking more to cash in on their brand than caring about the music. I have no problem with artists making money. I spent the better part of a decade doing a 360 deal for an artist that I believed in, and much of that time was spent trying to help him keep his head above water. But while the idea of making more money was nice, we were never really motivated by that alone. It was always about our passion for the music. Eating in dives and sleeping in the van or a fleabag motel was just fine with us. Sure, it gets old, and I won't say that we didn't long for a time when we'd be sleeping at the Ritz rather than Motel 6, but that's all part of the journey. That's what makes the music and the artist real. If you're not suffering for it, either personally or professionally, where does the heart and soul come from?

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Maybe it's time for another revolution like the one that happened around CBGB or the clubs in Seattle in the late 80's/early 90's. It seems as though such musical revolutions in the rock world come along once in a decade or so. Either I'm looking in the wrong places or I'm just oblivious to something that's happening now, but I need something new, something fresh, and something that doesn't sounds like the bulk of the over-produced shit that's seeping into to the mainstream lately.

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I think what appeals to me about the story of Hilly and CBGB is how he encouraged and embraced original music so completely. It was all about the music, not making money as a club. As his offical web site states, one of his many paradoxes was that he was a visionary business man who was bad at business. The idea though of being there at that moment of discovery of a new band or a new sound is something that has always intrigued me. To be a part of that, and to see so many amazing bands get their start has to have been life altering.

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The one big thing I found wrong with the CBGB movie after reading about Hilly was that there's so much great backstory about his character that was glossed over. It was a hard choice I'm sure - focus more on the club or the man. Except in this case the club was what it was because of the man. Tough balance to strike...

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I watched a biopic the other night about the legendary NY music club CBGB. The reviews on the film were mixed but I have to say that I loved it. After reading more and more about the man behind CBGB, Hilly Kristal, I'm finding that Alan Rickman's portrayal was even more brilliant than I originally thought.

I didn't know a whole lot about Hilly Kristal or CBGB before seeing the film, so having the introduction that I did to the man, the club and its history through the film was interesting. Not knowing much about it I think made it more interesting because Rickman created this amazing on screen presence that made you want to know more about the man. Learning more about Hilly, I realized that were so many little touches that Rickman brought to the role that really spoke to who Hilly was and that has only deepened my fascination with the man and the scene that he was able to create around his unassuming little club in the Bowery that had such an amazing influence on modern music.