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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Woodsman Wields His Axe

Now Whatcha Playin?


I had the pleasure of visiting the MySpace site of an exciting rockin' group from the Detroit area - The Woodsman. You know, so many bands out there are putting out music that's in tune with what Dr. Kervorkian practiced - assisted suicide. C'mon, we've had enough Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden wannabes and also death metal sound alikes.

The Woodsman proves the Motorcity still rocks (and I am not biased as I live in Chicago) and shows us that Seattle music is for sleeping (or dying) but Detroit music is for LIVING BABY!

The Woodsman is influenced by, what else, Motor City Rock. I saw them on You Tube doing the Amboy Dukes "Good Natured Emma". Who woulda thunk that the band has the original Amboy Dukes' keyboardist, Rick Lober. I think they called him "Nervous Ned" back in '67. More on Rick later.

The band, which has been together for about 3 years, consists of Mr. Jeffrey Faust (formerly of the Nuclear Dukes) and a student of great guitarists proving that sometimes the student outdoes the master. Rick lober handles the ivories. Also in the band is the thumpin' Tony Chistlaw formerly of Powder Keg (talk about an explosive name!) on drums and Scott Boyden of Rampage (Wow, Detroit has some great names for rock bands!) on bass and vocals. Jeff Faust, besides the axe, also handles the mike and most of the songwriting.

I played their song from MySpace "Mr. Miles and Miles". This is a refreshing instrumental that you want to loop-play while you're driving out in the country on a nice warm day with the top down on your Mustang or Malibu. This song is reminiscent of early Jeff Beck, but only briefly because as the song picks up and takes off it develops an uncanny sound in the vogue of the Allman Brothers in their heyday. What I like is no depressing chords, just fly like the wind melodies and upbeat rhythyms. Other songs at their My Space include The Blame, Mount Olympus, Cold blood, March of Times, and Thunder in the Sun. Check them out here >>>> http://www.myspace.com/jeffrozeaxe .

You know, I said I wanted to say more about Rick Lober and here it is. Rick, who has been itching to go on stage and play and put out records is a keyboardist you should take notice. I saw him play at the Detroit Music Awards with the original Amboy Dukes and when he played his solo, man, he outplayed old Teddy Nugent. Rick's playing has more vitality and finesse than even his British counterpart, Rick Wakeman of Yes.

Well the Woodsman is in the woodshed, I mean the studio, recording their new album. when it's out I will blog about it, and from what I've heard so far, it's dang good. Thanks Mr. Woodsman for your great guitar chops, and keep sharpening that axe - it sounds great.

Here's that "Good Natured Emma" vidoe by the Woodsman.



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Monday, August 17, 2009

Man With Guitar Must Not Touch Drums



Man with guitar (me) should not touch drums.

Whatcha Playin? I said to myself when I walked into Sam Ash music store.

If you don't know me by now, I am an extreme guitarist. I was probably playing before you were born but I shunned the fame. Being a guitarist I am very creative. I have a good sense of timing and rhythym. That does not qualify me to start banging on the drums at Sam Ash

The problem is I LOVE DRUMS. Jungle beats, disco beats, cuban beats, bolera, marches, waltzes. I'm a drum nut. And although I am ahighly experienced guitarist, that does not qualify me to bang on the drum all day (as Todd Rundgren sang).

Well I was shocked to discover that lessons can be given at Sam Ash in a drum clinic. I declined because I got all my frustrations out already and realize I need a six string in my hand.

I'm lucky. I live close to the store. But many of you don't so you can accept my recommendation of clicking here when you need gear. For drums. For guitar. For keyboards. For lessons. For any MUSIC.

Right now I'm playing Uriah Heep CD's on my computer and will visit the Sam Ash Quikship Corp. online and save some gas and save some cash. It's a pretty cool site and I can guarantee you'll find something you like something you need.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scarey, Hip Dance Music (or Can You Do A Robot Dance?)


Can You Do A Robot Dance? Today I have the pleasure (or maybe dis-pleasure) of speaking on the phone with one of the dudes of the group TeknoGeek GoonSquad. This is a group of folks who needed some assistance in the recording and creative department for their first MP3 album which I gladly had my hand in. The album, The Abduction of a Rock Guitarist, has a dash (or maybe a huge dose) of Rob Lattin in it but the Geeks tell me they're not done.
RL: So, Mr. Poindexter, Whatcha Playin?
P. Nothing right now, I'm on the phone.
RL: Oh Yeah, I remember you well. Let me ask you, what's the creepy fascination you guys have with robots?
P. It can only be a fascination if you have one. We've got a robot. It's more frightening than fascinating.
RL: So whatcha have planned for the future, as if I didn't already know?
P. If you already know why are you asking?
RL: Look, this is for the benefit of my readers and followers. I know all you guys are eggheads and you needed someone with no brains and some musical talent so you contacted me. Just tell us what you're working on.
P. We're working on the next album. For the most part, this one will be strictly in the horror genre.
RL: Cool. Why are you going strictly in that direction, are you forfeiting making music that is both soundtrack and danceable?
P. No we want it to be danceable but we are all huge horror fans. We know you and your family are huge fans too so we appreciate any ideas you can give us. Songs like "Rajneesh" "21st Century Savage" and "The Banana Boy Affair" are great theme songs and very danceable, but they're not scary. We live a life of fear (because of that silly robot) so we know horror.
RL: Great. What song are you working on now in particular?
P. Can't divulge the titles because we don't want anyone out there to rip it off. But I'll tell you, Dork our programmer, was experimenting with disco music and with horror music that could have come out of the old 50's B movies. We'll see how it goes. We do want to add more narration to our work.
RL: Narration is a great tool to enhance a song. Have you ever heard of the Moody Blues' "Nights In White Satin"? That's an effective use of narration to make that song a timeless classic.
P. No, we never heard of it.
RL: Can I post a picture of you on the blog?
P. No, the robot won't let us.
RELATED LINKS:    Robot Sings   Next Generation in Horror Music
UPDATE: TeknoGeek Goonsquad members (Chicago) split up and the one main guy created Fantom Phactory in Detroit. They, too, are no longer a band but the music carries on as well as the blog. Son of Pumpkinstein was the last song started by TeknoGeeks and completed by Fantom Phactory. (Thanks to Kyle and Mike --- RL).

image of Son of Pumpkinstein
Son of Pumpkinstein by Fantom Phactory
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chrystal Paige is rehearsing for new CD


Today we will focus on young recording artist Chrystal Paige. I had the opportunity to personally interview her today.

Well Chrystal, Whatcha playin'? "My new song 'Gallagher'".

Is this named after the water-melon smashing comedian?
"No, it's in honor of Rory Gallagher, the deceased Irish blues guitarist."

Oh, Did you know that I met Rory in Chicago at Cruisin' Music about 15 years ago?
"No."

All we talked about was Ireland. Have you ever been to Ireland, Chrystal?
"Not yet."

I hear it's pretty green. Anyway tell me about the song you're playing.
"It's an instrumental, basically."

When can we hear it?
"Once it's recorded, I'll send you an MP3 copy."

Good, when you do can I post the song on my blog for others to hear it as well?
"Sure."

Hey, who or what are some of your influences, besides Rory.
"Heart, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Suzi Quatro. Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell. Classic Rock stuff."

Thanks, Chrystal. How can people learn more about your music?
"They can go to MySpace"

Here's the link http://www.myspace.com/chrystalpaige.

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