Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gamalon - Aerial View

Gamalon is my favorite jazz fusion group!  Some would consider this more of a progressive rock/metal album.  I was turned on to this instrumental masterpiece back in the early 90s by a very good friend of mine.  Its been in my CD case ever since then.  Like an old friend I get hooked on this CD over and over again.

I know its been out of print for a while now and I am hoping that its re-released via MP3 version or even CD again someday.

The first track off of the CD, called "Beat the Heat".  It sets the pace for this album of great music.

The title track off of the CD "Aeiral View" I have always wanted to do an animation video with.  Picture an alien strolling through the air trying to figure our world out, not paying attention and then getting seen by a jet airliner. The airliner reports him to air traffic control and a couple of Air Force jets are sent to investigate.  The alien has no idea he's being followed, until its too late, because he is still taking in the beauty of what he sees with the buildings and sky scrapers.  All of a sudden, he notices the two jets chasing him (when the drum solo starts) and the music kicks back in, he revs his jump engines and starts to pull away from the jets and launches into space and hyper speed at the end, flying away.  The last scene, is the alien whisking the sweat from his brow goin...whoa.  I will create this someday.

The ninth track on the CD is called "The Lost Ghost" and is probably one of my favorites.  It has an intense bass track with one of the coolest keyboard, electric violin and guitar runs ever done. The track is so catchy, I can see it being used in a Scooby chase scene.

Gamalon still does shows, from what I am seeing posted on YouTube.  I have uploaded these tracks in hopes of turning people onto this excellent group.  Go find this CD and buy it.  Its worth every penny. 

I've always liked their first (Gamalon) and third (High Contrast) albums too, but this one, to me, is their masterpiece.  Every song on it is perfectly written and executed.  If any of the band stumbles upon my post here, please know that I am a HUGE fan and always have been.  I really wish I could see them live sometime.  There are some videos out on YouTube of the reunion concert, which is really cool.  There are also some videos with Nori Bucci, that are amazingly good and I would love to see more footage of those shows. 

These tracks that I've posted here I have done a small amount of remastering too. I widened them and added a little spacial feel as well.  It was mastered with a high amount of treble in the mix on the original, so I brought that into balance as well.  I hope that you all enjoy these tracks as much as I do.  Please click on the links I have here as well to check out information on the band, their members over the years and some of the other videos out on YouTube of them.  Most of all, if you see their recordings for sale online or in the store, support them, purchase the CDs or downloads.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spock's Beard - Say Goodbye To Yesterday

As I sit here this morning, I think about all the videos that I've shared out on Facebook lately and wondered to myself, why haven't I just put them on my blog like I was wanting too last year when I started writing this stuff. :)  Well, this is the first one of the myriad of songs that have been going through my "sharelist" lately.

Spock's Beard.  An incredible band formed in 1992 by brothers Neal and Alan Morse.  The name came from the alternate Universe episode of the original Star Trek series where Mr. Spock had a beard and when they presented the list of names to call the band, Alan thought it would be funny to throw the name on the list and the band chose it.

I love every album this band has released.  Some are better than others, but they have progressed so well, even after the departure of Neal Morse in 2002.  Neal left to pursue his own solo career and calling in the Christian community and has quite a successful career and following in that genre.  The band had varying belief backgrounds and kept their lyrics very spiritual in meaning but never preachy.  They remain so in the absence of Neal, with Nick D'Virgilio as the bands main singer now and they continue on in the same vein as the band progresses into more heavier and intricate pieces on their last two CDs.

This is one of my favorite songs from this band.  There are too many to list here, but this is one of my favorites.  "Say Goodbye To Yesterday".    I think one of the coolest tracks on the V CD for its meaning.  Very deep and introspective, my favorite line is "Do you have your baggage or do your bags have you?"

If you can, please check out songs like "June", "Distance to the Sun", "The Doorway", "Waste Away", "Thoughts", "Gibberish",  "The Good Don't Last", "Day For Night", "The Light", "At The End of the Day" when you have a moment. If you like them, then support them by purchasing their tracks or a CD.  

Here is "Say Goodbye To Yesterday" in it's entirety:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is There Anybody Really Listening?

I started my company Is There Anybody Listening, Inc. back in 1996, incorporating as a consultant who did contract programming on a machine called an IBM AS/400. A shift of events happened in that next two years that led me to the client I was at for the last 12 years; Abercrombie & Kent, Inc.

When I initially set up my company, I had ever intention of working towards multimedia or music. The name comes from a song by the heavy metal band Queensryche, from their album, "Empire" and the song that just fit my life story to the fullest, "Anybody Listening?". I thought, "what a great company name. It will fit consulting, music, video, art, photography and whatever I can do to have someone listen to the dreams and goals and for me to help provide a service to them to help them with that.

Are they truly listening? Maybe not on the receiving end so much, but I am.

Lately, I've been gently shoved into rethinking my future, who I am, what I want to do when I grow up. Programming pays the bills, but had I lost the edge it required to keep up with a fast paced world? Was my heart in it to win it anymore? Was I truly listening to my own higher-self and finding peace deep inside with wanting to do this for a living anymore? The answer is yes. Do I need to retool my skills and bring them up to speed? Yes. Do I need to pick myself back off the ground, dust myself off, let go of the past and move on? Yes. Do I still want to follow my dreams of someday, having my music in film and TV? Yes. All of the questions are answered with YES, when I ask myself these questions.

So am I "in it to win it." as Guy Feiri would say on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? You bet I am.

See, I lost myself somewhere along the way in the last 12 years. I needed a shake up of sorts, I think, to get back being me. To get back to the never-ending creative side of myself that cranked out 4 CDs worth of music in 2 years time. To get back into the photographer, artist and designer side of me that found joy in creating something that I can still look at to this day and go "Wow! I did that?" But most of all, to get back to the solid business person I once was, who could kick ass and take names when it came to coding, problem solving and being there for a company that I believed in.

I think everyone needs a little "awakening" from time to time. It a good cleanser for the soul. "Some times you have to hit them in the head to get their attention!" -Carol King from Scrooged. It's a death of the old self and a rebirth from a cocoon that had been holding me too tightly into comfort and conformity where I was at.

So, its time to let all that go and move on.

Universe! I'm ready, bring on the next step of my career please. Its time for me to dig in and have some fun again in my work life. I love the creative side of programming. Its creativity on a whole other level that I forgot how much I loved and that this was what I got into it for in the first place.

Here's hoping everyone is doing fine and hanging in there and having a wonderful Summer! Hey, if you aren't doing anything and your reading this before the 1st of August and you're in the Chicagoland area, please, come out and see the band that I have been playing bass and keys for. Syrens are playing Sunday August 1st, 2010 from 8 pm to 10 pm at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club Festival in Chicago at Irving Park Road and Rockwell in the park! Its supposed to be beautiful outside that day, so come on out and see us.

Peace and love to all of you. Thank you for your prayers, suggestions, concerns and thoughts through this bump in the road that we have been going through. Its greatly appreciated. I'm truly grateful for the friends that I have.


"You and I, long to live like wind upon the water. If we close our eyes, we'll maybe realize, there's more to life than what we have known. And I can't believe I've spent so long living lies I knew were wrong inside, I've just begun to see the light...."

- Lyrics by Queensryche - Empire - "Anybody Listening?"

If the embed on this video ever disappears, here is the EMI version. The don't allow embedding.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Time for a new release.

I remastered a CD I created a few years ago, today.  I have been wanting to get this ready for licensing for a few years now.  I figured it was time to start actively seeking my dream, to get my music in film and TV and to someday make a living doing just that.  This is the first installment over the next few days.  I'll share my other CDs as I release them.

The CD is called "Making Sense From Chaos" and you can listen to it at the link provided below.

ReverbNation Tunepak

You may purchase the CD directly from ReverbNation or through CD Baby in a few weeks.  Digital downloads are available through ReverbNation, Broadjam and soon through iTunes and all the other wonderful stores on the Internet. :)  Thank you so much for your support.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Rock'n'Roll Machine Forges On!

Canada has produced some powerful rock groups over the years. From the progressive rock of Rush, to the power pop group Trooper all the way to the top 40 pop rock styling of Chilliwack, The Great White North has produced one talented group after another. Triumph is no exception. From their early career to the departure of Rik Emmett and beyond, this band has always produced some of the most influential music in 70s, 80s and 90s rock. Now with Rik back in the band, we're all hoping that the next generation of Triumph music will do us fans proud.

We all know that there is still great music to be written by this trio.

This newest release of their greatest hits is amazingly well done, remixed and remastered.

I haven't heard such a great remixing and remastering job since a group of Australian sound engineers remastered the greatest hits of Steely Dan.

From the opening of the greatest hits starts with Allied Forces all the way through to the Rock'n'Roll Machine, it sounds like these songs were re-recorded with today's technology and mastering software. The cover song of Love Hurts, by Nazareth, I was not too keen on. I've only ever heard that song done right by one other person and that was Tony Harnell of T.N.T. in his side project, Morning Wood. (Another great CD)

So, if you are a Triumph fan, pick up this re-masterpiece today! You won't be disappointed one bit.

A side note: I'm starting to post links on where to get these through Amazon as an associate. There are many places to purchase a lot of this music that I list. Amazon has some of the better prices, but for imports you might want to check into online places where I shop for some better prices.

NEH Records out of Colorado is one choice and has a great selection of CDs and DVD concerts. There was a great store in my area that was in the Chicago suburbs, called Impulse Music. He has also moved to Colorado recently and does a huge amount of business through his online store front. There are many other places to shop that you can get to through Melodic Rock, one of the best websites for new information on groups from the past to present, along with some excellent CD reviews. So stop and visit these sites and keep them in business. If you want to click on the Amazon links above, it helps me pay a few bills as well. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Auras - New Generation

If you can find this album, buy it! I bought it off of Rhapsody this morning. I'd seen a piece of this video not long ago and thought, "wow, this is the album that Journey should have made!"

Auras are from Brazil. Truly a great AOR sound, positive uplifting lyrics and the dude sings like Steve Perry meets Rik Emmet (Triumph). Great voice, great guitar work and just great music!!

Taken from Frontier Records website: "Hailing from Brazil, AURAS was formed in the beginning of 2007 by Gui Oliver (lead vocals) and Ferpa Lacerda (guitars). Tired of playing in cover bands and feeling that they were musically mature, both musicians decided to show the audience their own music.

The first song they wrote together “Hungry Hearts” was exposed to fans and selected press gathering excellent responses also from famous producers and musicians around the world. After the warm reception of “Hungry Hearts”, Gui Oliver and Ferpa Lacerda moved forward and recorded another few songs in order to find a label that could give them the chance to show the big audience their music.

During the recording process the great jazz drummer Edu Sallum, who had already played with Rafael Moreira (Pink, Christina Aguilera, Rockstar INXS, Paul Stanley), joined the band.

In 2008 the band had the chance to be face to face with their idols Jeff Scott Soto and Jimi Jamison when they opened their gig in Curitiba, AURAS hometown. When the band was on stage Jimi Jamison mentioned that AURAS songs took him back to the eighties and reminded him of the great bands of that period.

It was just a matter of time really and a few weeks later the band signed with Frontiers Records and they were the first band from South America to sign with the Italian label. What once was a dream had become reality. Gui, Ferpa and Edu therefore joined forces with the local studio musicians Matheus Brandon and Hemerson Vieira and started to record their first album called “New Generation”. The album was finally mixed and mastered to sonic perfection by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Sunstorm, Place Vendome, Khymera etc.).

Influenced by bands like Journey, Survivor, Toto and Chicago, AURAS tries to mix in their music new elements to the classic AOR/Melodic Rock style. AURAS want to be recognized as a real band, not another music project.

Love, dreams, faith and hope are what AURAS music is all about.

Gui Oliver – lead vocals
Ferpa Lacerda – guitars and background vocals
Edu Sallum – drums and percussion
Matheus Brandon – guitars and background vocals
Hemerson Vieira – bass"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More to come soon.

I know that I keep promising new writing, but I'm actually putting together various posts all at the same time. 2009 was a plethora of great band releases, that continue into the 2010 first quarter. Its hard to believe that the first quarter of the year is almost over, but life is moving rather fast lately.

New of late, where my music is concerned. I'm working on several new dance pieces, along with several new piano pieces that I'll release in the coming month. Transitioning into the band Syrens is complete and we are now playing gigs. You can check us out at www.myspace.com/syrensrocks or www.facebook.com/Syrens or www.syrensband.com . I'm playing both bass and keyboard for them. I also have posted video at YouTube and on the Facebook page, which I'll post here shortly.

Lots of new stuff to turn everyone on too as well. Winger, Rock Sugar, The Poodles, Europe, Danger Danger and tons of other great releases that I'll go into greater detail of in the future. I haven't forgotten about my Broadjam buds either. I'll be turning you onto a new project by my buddy Ian and his cowriter in crime, Peter Olach. So that is soon to come.

Hope this if finding everyone having a wonderful end to the Winter blues and anxiously awaiting Spring like I am. Its almost here. :)