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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Genesis - Turn It On Again - The Hits

Phil Collins often gets a bad rap, partially due to what some perceive as cheesiness as well as musical simplicity. Love him or hate him, his "cheesy and simple" music hit a chord with millions of people. I find that some of the greatest comedians to ever live didn't necessarily have the best jokes, but because they had one-of-a-kind delivery the jokes took on a life of their own. The same applies to music in my opinion. In this entry we will be discussing Genesis' "Turn It On Again: The Hits", where you will find their most commercially successful songs. For the most part, these songs were written by the trio of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford (Mike and the Mechanics).

"Turn It On Again" is the perfect introduction to a great album. Listening to the keyboard introduction is like opening a storybook. The song is about a man who becomes so obsessed with television that he begins to believe the characters are his friends. I guess in a way it's a perfect way to describe the album. You almost create a story in your mind when listening.

"Invisible Touch" is disguised in this upbeat melody, but it is about a manipulative woman who you fall for every time and she just emotionally wears you out. You really hear Tony Banks' genius keyboard ability here, especially in the solo later on.

"Mama" has a haunting melody and really displays Phil's ability to put on a theatrical performance of the ages. It is about a young man's longing for a certain prostitute however it is open to the listener's interpretation. Collins' laugh is based off of Grandmaster Flash's "The Message".

"Land of Confusion" is not one of my favorites as I respect Ronald Reagan too much to appreciate the message.

"I Can't Dance" was one of their later hits and not a favorite of mine. You could tell they were reaching the end.

"Follow You Follow Me" really signifies the forming of the famous trio of Collins, Banks, and Rutherford. Introduced on their "...And Then There Were Three" album, it is an adventurous tune. Whenever I hear this I feel like I'm watching a classic movie like Hook or reading a Roald Dahl book. The keyboard solo is one of the greatest I have ever heard.

"Hold On My Heart" is a romantic song, sort of taking on the tone of "Follow You Follow Me" only with the ability to really pull on the heartstrings.

"Abacab" is in ways very similar to "Turn It On Again" as far as its upbeatness goes. It is titled this as an ode to the A-B-A-C-A-B musical structure.

"I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is one of their earliest tunes and included Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett. It seems to have a story format to it with who I believe to be Peter Gabriel telling a story. It is not a favorite.

"No Son of Mine" is about a disapproving father and is a rather sad song. It is a bit too dark for my liking but has a good message.

"Tonight Tonight Tonight" has a tribal beat and is a great song to listen to when pumping oneself up, due to it having a bit of an angry tone.

"In Too Deep" is a break-up song discussing all the reasons as to why the relationship is dissolving. One of their greatest songs, it is proof that a simple song can be powerful.

"Congo" was released in 1997 after Phil Collins had left the band. On vocals was Ray Wilson. It still manages to generate that Genesis feel, another one that almost seems to take on a storybook-like feeling. Wilson makes it his own.

"Jesus He Knows Me" is about the deceitfulness of televangelists who use God as a way to make money. Whether one agrees with its overall message or not, it is a great song with a nice beat.

"That's All" is their greatest song in my opinion. Taking on a Seals and Crofts meets Chicago feel, the piano is what I consider to be all-time classic.

"Misunderstanding" is a great tune about a guy who is stood up by a girl. In an interview with Redbeard on In The Studio, Phil credits "Sail on Sailor" by the Beach Boys and
"Hold the Line" by Toto as this song's influence.

"Throwing It All Away" is another one of those songs that you think of when someone mentions Genesis. Having that storybook feel to it, I feel like I'm in prehistoric times with dinosaurs roaming around.

"The Carpet Crawlers 1999" is a re-recording of their 1974 track with its original performers. Definitely a Gabriel piece as it sounds like something off of his So album. Great song with a real creepy yet storybook feel. You feel like you're in a fantasy world.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rock Music Videos: SongWriter X and the Skeleton Band part 3 (Formerly Calavera Skeleton Band).

May I introduce to you the one and only Songwriter X and the Skeleton Band. Our third installment begins:

Wondrous Night

What's on the top of tree? I assume Wondrous night is about Christmas. The peace is Christmas is in fact when you feel all is well with the world. You have done people right and can finally relax! But that pesky clown is stealing the top ornament. 

To search for him we head back to the Arroyo Grande tunnel. Let's just enter that orange and Blue vortex already! Once we enter we will find the costumes they are all wearing. Back to the house. Is the ornament there? 

Time to learn about the Art of War again. I am going to read that at my family's Christmas this year and note the reaction. 

Indeed, who cares if the world does come crashing down on you. On such a beautiful night as Christmas, you can listen to a terrific Christmas song. A song with beautiful vocal and instrumental melodies. 

On My Sleeve

A Byrdsy opening guitar riff. The vocals compliment the music perfectly. I like the variation in both the music and vocal verses. The Songwriter X and Skeleton Band members wear their hearts on their sleeve. 

A fun song. Because 1:48 is a magnificent sound. How is the guitar tuned? 

The band plays as a cohesive unit. They each play their parts. Susi and Songwriter X dance in sync to the song. The song ends with transcendent guitar playing. Introduce yourself in the comments Guitar Aficionado. 

And I want to hear from YOU. Let me know what you think of this great rock band.

Rock Hasta La Muerte

This is obviously the Spanish version of Rock Til you die with a few changes.
For one the Spanish Pirate ship is different.

Oh no! Here comes those pesky kids that are unaware of the danger they face in a dark castle. If they were ever challenged to a guitar hero competition these musical skeletons would destroy them. At last, they have realized how to fit in. They must wear Skeleton costumes. The two clones are inviting you back to the castle.

In conclusion, don't pay $500 for Rosetta Stone Spanish. Just study this video to enjoy your trip to Barcelona, Spain.

Gonna Be Myself
I love the watery guitar riff. This is a sound I crave. The beauty of sound I cannot describe. The playing of I cannot comprehend.

True to the lyrics, Songwriter X and the Skeleton Band certainly live their own way. They are bold and do their own thing. Firstly, they travel in a Green hearse Cadillac with the license plate abbreviating Mortician.

Secondly, Songwriter X and Susi are trying to ride a horse fossil that has 0 horsepower inside Socrates cave. But they can't care. They refuse to care. They are enjoying life.

And the wall graffiti rings true,
there is always hope
if you can adapt the be yourself concept. As psychologists say,  "as long as you are not hurting anyone else it is an acceptable way to be." Rather, this rock song is the avoidance of being hurt or judged.

Yet with Transcendent guitar solos towards the end of this song, Songwriter X and the Skeleton Band deserve your praise, likes, shares, diggs, and plus ones.

Those nincompoop kids are back fighting on top of the columns. As a British YouTuber would say
I can't be bothered to help them. 
Support the band Songwriter X and the Skeleton Band first by:
Checking out the other two reviews:, and

But the gravest importance to their continuity comes from you visiting one or all of the following pages:



 Google Plus



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Smash Mouth Astrolounge

For anyone who's our age (born mid to late 1980s) the rock album Smash Mouth Astrolounge is a big part of our childhood whether we realize it or not. I still listen to this rock album when driving with friends. There's something retro about the rock group Smash Mouth.

My favorites are: Waste, Then the Morning Comes, and Can't Get Enough of You Baby.

This rock album is based upon a space theme. I get this great nostalgic feeling as though the 60s are actually kinda around; and that I'm living in them.

Greg Camp is a very talented rock songwriter.

Waste has great guitar

Then the morning comes is a classic song that could've been popular in the 70s.

Can't get enough of you baby was in a Pizza Hut commercial w a bunch of 20 somethings.

So I kinda associated that rock song with our age group.

We want to hear your comments about Astrolounge. Let the discussion begin.

By Bill Watt

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SongWriter X and The Skeleton Band 2 (Formerly Calavera Skeleton Band)

I have watched more of the Calvera Skeleton band videos. I will share my comments.
Roll The Bones 
Roll the Bones has a title that I expected a more poppish tune. But an old 50's swing era singer leads this soft and slow song. A female trumpeter takes center stage who I may have recalled seeing in another video. The video is simple with the band members performing on a bright-colored twirling platform. One lyric that stands out is
Dance away the sins of old
This theme appears again in Red. The song ends with a peace-inducing jazz instrumental. Only this has a clearer shallower sound with better percussion.

When Everything Was Alright

When everything was alright has a 90s power rock beat that would be perfect for radio. The vocals and music have variety going from each verse and chorus. The few sentences that are repeated enough and the heavy rock beat make this a perfect song to be performed live at clubs. 

The Clown Who Stole Christmas

An Australian Didgeridoo is played at the beginning of The Clown Who Stole Christmas. A video that is part of the Skeleton world series. This screams ORIGINALITY. Settled in a nice mansion by a warm fire on Christmas day. Looking out the window, are they in London? Some really nice paintings with golden frames. Apparently these videos are paying off big time for them. I think the audio recording was from a band member's actual Christmas experience! Haha this should be a one act play at high schools. 

The clown is a very strange looking cat. And when the main couple meets family or friends at the Arroyo Grande. They appear to be meeting 3 very strange magi that want them to step into the orange and blue vortex. Why is Al Roker with the voice of Macy Gray part of their family? 

The Art of War is read with AUTHORITY. They realize the spider has been taken from the Christmas tree.  And the guy on the far right has very nervous guilty energy. They try replacing it with an orange palm and Garfield. Neither one fit on top of the tree. Nervous energy dude brings her a pot holder. She rightfully hits him with it. But she thanks him for his kindness. We know that he is innocent. And the clown has appeared. He is captured and wrapped with Christmas Lights. 

Man! I thought my holidays were rough. The Skeleton Band song Wondrous Night plays. A decent peaceful Christmas song. And a main reason I enjoy their videos is that despite the skeleton masks there is a warmth and humor to each video. 

I Wanna Be A Beatle

I wanna be a Beatle at midnight. The fake band Wanna Beatles has wannabe etched into their title. The beginning of the video gives off this Hard Day's Night crazy fame vibe. During the video Indy Rock Skeleton Band alludes to the following Beatles songs and characters:
Norweigen Wood,
Within You Without You
No Reply
Won't Be Long
Penny Lane
Abbey Road Cover
spoof on Abbey Road Cover
Paul McCartney look a like
John Lennon look a like (most notably on penny lane portion)
Helter Skelter
Strawberry fields
Eight days a week
I am The Walrus

Such a wide variety of Beatles songs are alluded either in obvious visual ways or sung. And more subtly with different vocal beats. They also used British decorated guitars. The Beatles had such a unique brand that gave each of their songs a signature Beatles sound.

But Michael Jackson sneaks in as the man on the far right at 3:25.


Red has Calvera Skeleton band signature guitar sound. However, the lead singer is trying a different type of singing. A more classic rock, even 80s rock style. I don't know the significance of Red. But I may infer the theme has to do with love. Because of the Roses and because the singer wants to atone for the wrong he has done. When the band comes into the picture watch for the lead singers doppelganger. 

Rock Til You Die 2015

Rock Til You Die 2015 is their signature rock anthem redone. A clearer, louder sound with added solos. They are in simpler more open space. And the song becomes more badass than the older version. 

The video features a moon with buildings sideways like in the interior universe of San Andreas Grand Theft Auto. In fact, you feel like you are in an unknown dimension in a secret world. The ground doesn't look solid. One false move and you could plummet endlessly. A great guitar solo that is as exciting as any I have heard. From the road we go to volcanic beaches. These guys take risks. Back on the moon again. We finish near the Witch's castle. 

Bonehead and the Groupies

Bonehead meets his groupies in a library that needs a new floor. Rock til you Die is played with Hippish sounds mixed in. The wolf-haired drummer is overtaken by his groupies. As they go down the non-fiction section, across to the sports section. This band remains a mystery. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

SongWriter X and the Skeleton Band 1 (Formerly Calavera Skeleton Band)

Folks I introduce to the stage tonight a terrific indie rock band you should hear before everyone else. The Skeleton Band
I plan tonight to feature my analysis of 3 of their songs. I chose randomly from their youtube repertoire hoping for a good cross section. 

Only For Love

Only 4 love has a Spanish sound. The drummer has a Spanish pirate hat like a conquistador. 
Impressively, the singer's diction is good in all their songs. So if you listen a few times, not only can you understand all the lyrics, but you can piece together the story /theme of the calvera skeleton band's  focused lyrics.

 I love the child hippies around 2:17 haha It's woodstock baby! Great guitars throughout. These Indie rock artists will be good at your live bar / restaurant. And in the video is a solid authentic performance. Special effects exist but you feel it was one take like they are doing a live one act play for you. The skeleton costumes ease both tension of performing and the viewer watching. As most indie rock bands would hope for it becomes only about the music. Which is interesting with a rocking beat. Only 4 Love is upbeat and great for a cultural festival. 

Would love the band to comment on why this artist was chosen for this video and the main concept behind the sound of Only for Love. While the grim reaper creeps around he doesn't attack the hippies. The pink-haired person has a clear devotion to Bob Marley. Elvis dude rocks out. And don't ignore the preschool teacher on the far right at 2:30 rock dancing to the song. 

Rock til' You Die
Rock til you die has a steady bass guitar riff that would make this a concert staple and radio hit. The main few scenes remind me of a more intensely twisted version of the Haunted Mansion from Disney's Magic Kingdom. 

Rock till you die is a simple message that will make any manic-depressive listening to this Indie Rock song enter into their happy stage or mania. I hope they don't spend too much cash on unnecessary things or drive to fast listening to this song.  

The gray skeleton face person gives the impression rightly or wrongly that he or she is younger than the others. But the great enigma of the Skeleton Band is you don't know or care about anything except the music and the atmosphere. Which is what an indie rock band should want. 

The wise old man at beginning has the perfectly suited voice for this pseudo scary theme. You enjoy their fright but you never feel threatened. It is all very good fun. When 
Rock til you die
is sung in barritone or low voice it is a moment of having the exact right note. And throughout the vocal tempo matches the music tempo quite well. Making Rock Til You Die enjoyable listening.

My question is who injured the older man's right foot. I think it was the keyboardist who probably tipped the keyboard onto his foot. haha. I like the kids involved playing the long instrument on the ground. what instrument is that? And lastly, I like the hand motions from the front left guitarist. He or she has a great stage involvement. The Calvera Skeleton band is a great live performance.  

Fell in a well
Though I just started listening to this great indie rock band, Fell in A Well is already my favorite. The great guitar based opening takes you exploring areas in your mind.  

The song is a simple concept to grasp. And if you listen a few times you definitely pick up all the words and laugh at this poor soul stuck in a well. This style of music and singing would work well if this indie rock band parodied the song of some pop rock artist. 

So many examples of great humor throughout Fell In A Well music video. They throw down a rope in a noose and take his head off. haha. Searing guitars over the main beat. 

Get those kids off the top of the well! I hear the girl from the ring climbing up the well. The only unfamiliar lyrics from the chorus probably relate to the cave that is featured in the background. What cave is this? 

Props to the drummer dude for saving papa calvera. Initially he can't get his drums together before the guitar solo opening ends. Screw it! I will throw the rope down the well instead. He better hurry as the grim reaper is too close to the stuck man for his comfort. Finally, he seems to  be  out of the well but his body and legs are mysteriously floating near the top of the well. 

Looking to the giant castle-like wall and the orange sky on the far left. You have to set this place in Palestine, Iraq, Madrid, or your local police station. This band and song is better than my above attempt at humor. Enjoy the Skeleton band's humor and music from their song Fell in A Well. 

Let's continue to listen and discover songs from this great Indie Rock band. Their best is yet to come!
Learn and follow this Indie Rock Band.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Creed Human Clay

               Scott Stapp was inspired by the Holy Spirit when he wrote Creed's Human Clay. Clay is what our bodies are but the soul lasts forever it is where God's Spirit dwells Inside Us All. This music and lyrics can walk you through good and bad times.

Creed Human Clay lyrics include the rarely heard Young Grow Old.
The tracks in their order:
Are You Ready
The first rock album I ever heard. I was disappointed I didn't have my Now 3 CD for the long trip from Marshfield MA to Fredericksburg, Virginia to put my oldest sister in college. I complained and she gave me Creed's Human Clay to listen to. I certainly didn't grasp the whole meaning of the album right away. At around 10 years of age I simply liked the rock beats and could day dream about having glory amongst my classmates. I remember the day dreams being strongest towards the end with the countdown and Life has just begun.

Are You Ready is a powerful opening song for an album. It has sort of a Native American guitar beat. Which Scott Stapp has Native American roots. Also at first listen one thinks he is talking about someone else when he says, "Hey Mr. Seeker", and "Hey Mr. Hero." But he is talking about you.

What If
Here is a music video I never knew existed.
My perception of this song was always hazy, jaded, and apathetic imagery. The song being about fighting against unjust people or against your own bad habits. The lyrics sort of have a old testament biblical analysis of our words. But here is a music video that brings fresh insight and production into some of the strangest imagery I have ever seen. I will try to make sense out of this bizarre video if at all possible. Give me a minute to get over my WTF moments.

Analysis: Made for Scream Movie. Creed was asked to produce music for Scream. Hence the Scream theme.
Creed Beautiful
Falling for the love of a woman. Around 2:40 is a beautiful solo. Marriage seem to Strip Scott Stapp of joyful emotion among other things.

Say I 
Creed Say I

For me, at least, It's enjoyable to clearly hear the frantic, fraction, focus part. As the CD i had always skipped there and it sounded like he was cursing. If you like foul things you may enjoy the audience members in their woodstock show.

Say I certainly seems to be in the same contention as My Own Prison in terms of taking blame. Say it was you, admit your sins and failures if you hope to be competitive in life. In whatever form of life you choose to follow. Then march forward. I love the part at the end of the song after the "Frantic, fraction, focus" part. Say I is sung and then goes back into heavy music as the song pushes well past the 5 minute mark.

Great guitar playing by Tremonti. Shows he is not a showoff. That he can play a subtle haunting guitar line throughout the song. It's cool to hear and you are glad a guitarist can take you to this place of sound.

The 1999 Woodstock version of Say I was classic. This could easily be Creed's most important track lyrically, spiritually. Scott briefs the woodstock audience on being open to God's spirit inside them. Although he suggests it indirectly. Conviction in the literal sense.
Not surprising though the forces of hell seem to rise up against something that might get something done for God's Kingdom. It seems as if everyone is led by demons to get extra horny. As nudity hits an all time high for this song of the concert. Could also be editing but I like my theory above. Not sure you could be friends with woodstockers you try to make a message in your song and they don't respond and are liable to knock over the kegs of beer! Haha the men passed out next to dozens of black bags of trash. Only at woodstock.

Woodstock '99
Wrong Way
Questioning what makes us bad / unsuccessful. The music is everything for this song. Mortality is a theme. Could we be on the wrong way?
At 2:26 I love the jiving guitars and the vocal bridge. Scott hopes he left  a legacy / answers for others.

Faceless Man
Nature reminds us of all that's real. Silence in the woods will become a spiritual experience for you. Who is the faceless man? You can figure out the answers or save time to do what is right. If you believe in a Higher Power this saves you time. If you are pushed down a path and find success but question you identity, and what you want from life; Be grateful if you now have the independence and opportunity to pursue it.

So easy to think of someone you love and daydream to this song especially around 4:40.
Never Die
Fountain of Youth / Heaven
Hazy dreary guitar line.
What is the meaning of playing out tin the rain?
What is the water he speak of ? Jesus? Certainly youth can last longer if you keep the spirit of a child inside of you. If you like Hard Rock this album is for you, long songs.

With Arms Wide Open
Starts slow and beautiful. Welcoming his son into the world. All the joys and fears of this. The bond between your partner and you after birth is also described.
At 2:40 the solo and vocal bridge dramatize the idea that his son can be open minded in life.
Creed With Arms Wide Open

Who is Scott talking to? Who is he asking to take him Higher? Escaping the mundane routine of seeing the same people and each doing going to school, work, etc.
Go to a place where there is no disease / addiction. Replacing hate with love.
3:05 solo raises you above it all. 3:21 Scott affirms highness. Dreams have become reality.

Wash Away Those Years
According to a comment on this song was about a friend of Scott Stapp's who was raped. And also themes of domestic violence are addressed.
A woman who was raped or simply in a bad relationship can close her eyes / meditate. And imagine everything is all right. Tears are a sign of strength. They show a person isn't backing down from the situation by escaping into any type of escapism (denial, distraction, defeat). Instead the person faces them head on with staying power. They cry through the anger/ revenge for tragedy. They go on to make things right in his or her life.
4:23 the vocal bridge speaks of metaphors:

We have crossed many oceans and we lay there in between
           In life there are many quotients and I hope we find the mean

My guess is we make many decisions, plans, commitments and we wrestle with them. And of all the factors and variables we pinpoint the solution. Sailing through the ocean and solving a division problems are metaphors you will only find on a Creed Rock album.

Human Clay
Inside Us All
The peace of God surpasses all understanding. You can lose your soul despite fame.
Waiting by the phone to remind me I'm still here
What does that mean?
At 3:01 we are introduced to an amazing guitar line. The song becomes about the guitar. We know Scott's point about accepting God's peace.

Woodstock '99
Despite his awkward presence you can tell the intensity and confidence in Scott Stapp's performance. They make each song loud and heavy.  Certainly the heaviest version of In America I have heard. The story elements help to follow along to the song. Only astute the lyrics aren't simply good guys trying to sound godless. But the lyrics are a reflection of Scott's soul searching at the time. You can get a sense of the joy he was getting in being close to the answers. When he sings,

Please mr. prophet man I gave my last dollar can I still come to your show
Scott Stapp is not woodstock's man. He even talks about sin in his song. But he has a microphone talks about what is right and Creed rocks. This shows Woodstocks shallowness and openness to anyone who can rock. Might as well go the right path and not fuck up your life searching for social acceptance.  Refer to Say I.
Just an Illusion is normally a somewhat lack luster song. But this is tailor made for Woodstock. And they like perhaps more than Say I. Mark Tremonti is happy to shred and plays a solo into more than I recall it being on the record. That's concert going improvisation for you. When Scott tells his message at the beginning of Say I the band has to keep circling the same notes as a backdrop for his talking. If he can't back that up with an amazing performance you could see how this sort of thing unravels many bands. The tension between singer and group.
Faceless Man is normally a great emotional song. But doesn't seem to fit here. All the slow play and soft singing. The vocal bridge with the guitar bridge was strong. I couldn't sit through in one sitting. Now whether the song was too slow or the topless females had me searching for other videos we will never know!

They go on to kick ass with My Own Prison, One, Unforgiven which really electrified the place. Then a surprise came with Robert Krieger of the doors. Some amazing guitar solos as the sun set. And Scott Stapp took over as Jim Morrison singing Riders in the storm. And ??    They end the show with What's This Life For Robert Krieger playing as an extra guitarist. Great to see the behind the scenes clip with all 4 Creed Members and Robert Krieger in the center being photographed. Scott Stapp and Mark Tremonti appeared to get a long. The fact is Creed delivered at Woodstock 1999.
Scott Stapp
Scott Stapp Holy Spirit writing
       The one stable part in Scott's life centered around himself allowing God to direct his lyrics. He was true to God and himself there. He made a deal with God if he did this that Creed would be successful. But Scott had begun taking pills and abusing alcohol. This tore him away from his band mates. And certainly personality clashes. Another band where the lead guitarist and lead singer didn't want to be controlled by the other. Or not have their artistic vision.

       Scott talks about responsibility and accepting God's peace in his lyrics. But he didn't do the first part in real life. He abused God's grace by telling himself God would forgive him and gradually pushing the line. It got to the point (it is described in more detail in the links below) where he took twice the legal limit of Adderall. He thought they were harmless because they weren't street drugs. This powerful drug made him psychotic. He drove around the US  for a month following the angel on the hood of his car. He carried a shotgun with him. He gave away weaponry, sports memorabilia, and art to random places. Like a church in Mississippi. He believed he was part of Isis and was a real life Jason Bourne sent to Kill President Obama. He believed all his money was stolen. He went days with eating. And posted a video from a Holiday Inn. But he experienced God's grace when he jumped / fell off a building. Rapper T.I. saved his life. He awoke in the hospital to the loving presence of his wife and mother-in-law washing his feet. Time will tell if he stays on the straight and narrow. But. ..

     He was inspired by God when he wrote the lyrics to Human Clay. The music Tremonti writes is also inspiring. And these music and lyrics can help you through good times and hard times. This record will Never Die.

Scott Stapp Interview

Scott Stapp reflects

Scott Stapp relationship

Scott's Breakdown

Scott on Mark

Mark Tremonti on Scott Stapp

Scott Treats Bi-polar Disorder

Scott's Adderall Experience
Creed Rarities

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Shannon Hoon Songwriting

         Shannon Hoon was certainly a brilliant an ambitious songwriter. He had a jock type of personality. He certainly carried a message with his music. He was a highly energetic songwriter. He did use drugs like Cocaine to heighten his creative focus. He just overdid it and crashed. But he accomplished far more in music in his short life than most musicians do in a lifetime.

          To illustrate how Shannon Hoon carried a message look to Blind Melons performance of Galaxie on David Letterman. Letterman gives him this insincere handshake like he wants to get away from Shannon. Hoon purposely holds the shake and goes up and down lol. On their first Letterman performance Hoon had a huge question mark written on his forehead. Kurt Cobain's death was the reasoning behind it.
Musician Shannon Hoon singing intensely in 1995 shortly before his death
Late 1995 Shannon Hoon sings with intensity and diction

          Hoon was great at personalizing his observations into his songwriting. One example of this is the song St. Andrews Fall. Blind Melon witnessed a person fall off a building while in St. Andrews. This definitely personally affected them. You can hear the song's music crescendo into absolute madness. This simulates the fall. Then the music then pauses. So he was an energetic songwriter.

More examples of his energetic songwriting with his personal message include:
Walk should be considered an all time great folk song. The song is original. Walk features great harmonica. 
If you study the lyrics: You can tell it is all about Shanon Hoon's struggles.

St. Andrews Fall
I still don't know the instrument at the end of St. Andrews' Fall. If you do write the instrument name in the comment section below.

Mouthful of Cavities

Mouthful of Cavities has funny to hear lyrics. Yet the song is sung and played in a very somber or sad way.

Change is so good it baffles me how someone can come up with such powerful lyrics. Hoon has the courage to say things he tried to but may have not been able to do himself. What courage! Haters will say this song is hypocritical, but it is simply a moving song about courage and humility.
Musician Shannon Hoon, singer of Blind Melon. Puts his hands up in tired triumph in concert
Late 1995 Shannon Hoon is tired yet Triumphant

2 x 4
2 x 4 may be about heroin but I think of classic mountain rock when I hear it.
Needle fetal someone's pourin' warm gravy all over me
The way it's delivered is just amazing. He might be alluding to the fact that doing Heroin is like being hit by a 2 x 4.

Toes Across The Floor
The aroooooa chants in toes across the floor. The music video seems to suggest hallucinations. Tripping on acid. etc.

Bill Watt highly recommends The VH1 Behind The Music Documentary of Blind Melon. In part, because it illustrates the following point: On one hand the drugs completely ruined Shannon Hoon's life. On the other hand he came up with these brilliant songs in which the drugs must've helped him focus more on the creative part. There's a clip of Blind Melon playing St. Andrews Fall less than a month before Shannon's death. It's like his body's there but he's not actually there.

Shannon Hoon was clearly losing it don't know how he could write and sing so well. Check this out at the Live At The Metro Concert. Less than one month before Hoon died and he appears to be suffering from drug addiction. His eyes either suggest cocaine come down or Heroin usage. I cannot verify either. The most fucked up I've seen Hoon (not in person) is in their performance of 2 x 4 at the Metro.
          If you recall last article the destination video was Blind Melon at Woodstock. Where he was tripping on acid. Sadly he kept relapsing on drugs that seemed to Shannon to solve his personal problems so well. The past year of Hoon's life the drugs had taken over. Like most addicts he was probably able to justify this. But he looks good in these final concert pictures from late 1995. He died October 21, 1995.
Musician Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon engaging the crowd in late 1995
Late 1995 Shannon Hoon gets the crowd into his words

       Bill Watt thought Hoon was pretty high during Soup. Based on the VH1 documentary on Blind Melon he definitely pushed the limits of Cocaine. A drug that turns anyone into an angry jock type figure. Supposedly Hoon dealt with Heroin as well. Some people say his eyes were the result of Heroin. But he might have been coming down from Coke.

If you don't already have it. Here is a link to Soup and you can also navigate to get Nico while you're there. Enjoy!

Blind Melon Rock Studio Album Entitled Soup

       Shannon Hoon sang on Nico and wants to be heard. He died before the release of a major Blind Melon album. He had plenty of reason to keep going. As discussed in the other Blind Melon article. I don't believe Hoon wanted to die. Many people simply find that drugs like Cocaine and similar stimulants sharpen their creativity and focus. Even Dr. Wayne Dyer lived by this theory. Shannon Hoon is another case of a person going to far for their art / music. He accomplished a great deal while he was here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Youtube Game. Universal and Convenient

I invite everyone to play the youtube game. Find a buddy anywhere in the world on another computer. You both Start at any video and the first one to get to the chosen destination video by only clicking on and watching featured or related videos wins. In this case, start with this video:

and end with any Blind Melon Woodstock video. The catch is you can only click on the featured or related videos. You have to watch each video in its entirety. So if you keep clicking long videos it will take a while! But enjoy the videos you come across. Videos you would not have watched any other way! Obviously the first person to piece the connection together and arrive on the winning video wins. 

In the case of Bill and I.  Bill Wins! Bill states,

"Got it. The key for me was Lindsey Buckingham who did the holiday road song. Then tried to find Axl Rose who was friends with Shannon Hoon. Got to the alt rock songs and somehow made it."

Meanwhile, Youtube distracted me by featuring a very personalized video. I picked a 52 minute video of Fr. John Corapi speaking LMAO.

Bill has a winning record over me. 
But remember to watch an enjoy each video. Don't be joylessly focused on winning. Win with soul. You should always be able to talk about an interesting video you went through to get to the destination video. ENJOY

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blind Melon: The Rise and Fall of Shannon Hoon

Shannon Hoon is out of control, endlessly jumping on a car. He did this a lot more than the 1995 Blind Melon Galaxie video shows. This was the burning out of Shannon Hoon. Blind Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn says, "I get nauseous when I see that video, just watching Shannon just disintegrate in front of your eyes. . . "

Five years earlier, in 1990 Blind Melon formed. Guitarist Roger Stevens, Brad Smith bassist,
Shannon Hoon vocalist, Christopher Thorn guitarist, and Glen Graham drummer. I love bands with two guitarists. Often times a combination of lead and rhythm guitar produces great rock n roll. The Blind Melon name came from Brad Smith. Blind Melon's biggest hit is their first eponymous album Blind Melon.

Blind Melon: Blind Melon is produced so that you can hear the guitar playing of Christopher Thorn in your left ear, and the guitar playing of Roger Steven's in you right ear. Thorn plays rhythm guitar and occassionally mandolin. While Roger Stevens plays lead guitar.

The album has a mellow 70s retro rock vibe that makes you feel slight darkness. From the very first chord of Soak the Sin to Time. And there is a dark tone of Hoon being rejected; by religious people in Holyman and by an ex-girlfriend in Dear Ol' Dad. Hoon is expressing his feelings and thoughts for being a highly energetic, sometimes jocular man. He is often misunderstood.

Tones of Home has a great beat. Very simply you relate it to your home whether materially or spiritually in the sense of the people and thoughts you feel most comfortable. Much of the album can be related to one's own mixed up life. I always interpreted drive to be about the human trait rather than driving around.  

One of the biggest songs of 90s rock music is No Rain. Blog contributor and musician Bill Watt has no idea what it was about when it came out and still doesn't. Other than the song could be about the simple life. 
All I can say is my life is pretty plain
          I like watching the puddles gather rain . . .

         So stay with me and I'll have it made

 Others say the song is about having a lover sticking with you through the lowest points of addiction while you are getting your life together. Blind Melon No Rain is a good place to discuss the No Rain's meaning. The guitar rhythm is possibly the coolest I've ever heard. The wolf calls are also cool. The girl in the bumble bee suit ( Heather Deloach) is now an icon. 

Sleepyhouse is an awesome song. Sleepyhouse is a unique guitar song about being content staying at a residence called Sleepyhouse. Friends stayed in a yellow house in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

A look at the album's booklet simply gave me a strong impression that the lyrics are personally meaningful to Shannon Hoon. They are well thought out. To buy the album or shop on amazon click on Blind Melon.

Blind Melons eponymus debut album as a whole is trippy, but simply clean fun compared to their next album Soup.

A strong track from Soup is Car Seat God Presents. Listening to the song is creepy when you realize it is about a story in the news where this lady (Susan Smith) drowns her kids.

Skinned is about a serial killer Ed Gein who lived secluded in a dark farmhouse for many years. He would kill and skin people. He would use their skin to make lamps and furniture. He obsessed over his mother.

Blind Melon galaxie signals the end of Shannon Hoon. He must be suffering from cocaine use during this infamous concert. But seriously galaxie may be their best song. However the galaxie video creeps me out.

Something eerie about it. The kid playing with the chemicals. And him (Shannon hoon) dying shortly after that. The jumping on the car thing apparently went on for much longer. And the band mates were sad because he was clearly losing it when he was jumping on it. Guitarist Christopher Thorn was quoted saying, “ I get nauseous when I see that video, just watching Shannon just disintegrate in front of your eyes . . .”

That’s Timothy Leary as the old guy. I guess the theme is the decline of Shannon Hoon. The kids playing with potions, Denis Leary as a wizard, talks about past relationships. Shannon loved his 1963 Ford Galaxie and would drive it around town when he was aggravated during recording sessions, particularly during the video filming.

To Bill Watt the whole thing is as if Death is next to Shannon Hoon. The car gets thrown in the potion, I think the kids supposed to be Hoon. His first love and break up are explored. Shannon Hoon has been this way as a kid. All this energy; he is truly an adventurous man. He was on drugs filming this video. And it's all literally a crash course waiting to happen. I can't help watching it. It's an amazing song but it's one of the eeriest things I have seen.

The whole Soup album is beyond eerie buy you can't help but play it over and over. Definitely pick it up by clicking Soup.

Both Woodstock '94 and Intimate and Interactive are strongly preferred concerts to check out. While Woodstock '94 got Shannon Hoon good press for bringing his old magic, the Intimate and Interactive concert shows Hoon close to death. Check out the concert version of Galaxie above, Toes Across The Floor or the heart breaking version of Change during this concert. Shannon Hoon looks terrible during the concert. Even going back a year earlier he looked much healthier. He has fantastically maniacal energy into his unmatched songs. He was an incredible songwriter and performer.

8 short weeks after the release of Galaxie video Shannon Hoon died of an accidental cocaine overdose on a tour bus. He didn't intend to die despite career dissatisfaction. Photographer and good friend Danny Clinch said, "He wasn't at wit's end. He didn't want to die."
Shannon Hoon in interviews seems like a douche. But I believe his jocular personality was necessary to release his brilliant songs. It's a shame the demons get the best of him. But he was an adventurous guy and took risks with Cocaine. Bill says, 
Hard to say if he had the personality to stop he prob wouldn't have had all those good songs to begin with. Unfortunate but it is what it is. 

Blind melon is unique because every song on their debut album is intensely personal and doesn't sound like anything else you have heard. Blind Melon's second album Soup featured the song Galaxie that spawned eight weeks before Hoon's death. Post death releases include Nico. This is named after Shannon Hoon's daughter Nico Blue. She had just been born before Shannon's death. All proceeds of the album's sales went to Nico's college fund. This was the last album to feature Shannon Hoon as vocalist. For My Friends was released in 2008, their fourth album. The first album to be released in ten years with a new singer. The band sounds great but will never be the real original Blind Melon. Today Nico is in her early twenties and continues to sing Change at Blind Melon concerts. Bill has never bought Nico because it reminds him too much of Shannon's Hoon's awful demise. But I believe Nico is Hoon's legacy. And it's an album to explore by clicking

Shannon was a great storyteller. He told you all about his life through Blind Melon songs. You feel you know him. He is a tragic figure but he made his musical contribution. Shannon Hoon gave Blind Melon's music and his life an inimitable maniacal energy. His creativity burned very bright before fueling his demise. Hoon is appreciated by true musicians and music fans. He was a true musician's musician despite being a very underrated musician. Truly one of the most talented artists.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oasis Morning Glory, Champagne Supernova, and Wrap Up

       How great does the song Morning Glory make you feel?
       This is the song you most look forward to on Oasis's 90s rock album What's The Story Morning Glory. You become excited listening through the playful She's Electric. The reason the song pumps up your heart is no accident.
       The song is straight up written about Cocaine.
All your dreams are made when you are chained to the mirror and the razor blade.
In fact, if you are recovering from a drug addiction, especially one to stimulants the song might serve as a good substitution. Oasis' Morning Glory gives you the feelings of a cocaine high. This is straight up rock and roll. No artistic expressions (unless you consider the helicopter intro artsy) just loud forceful guitars.

          I know you Oasis fans are mad fer it already. So here is some free Oasis music.

This is a decent music video.  As it acknowledges the climatic guitar solo by having someone score a soccer ball past another. But the video doesn't give full justice to the ear splitting intro and outro of the song. Only the Oasis Morning Glory vinyl album can do that.
(What's The Story) Morning Glory? [3 CD][Deluxe Edition][Remastered]

The next song on the album is Champagne Supernova. People have their own meanings to this epic closer of the What's The Story Morning Glory album. But I love the live versions of Champagne Supernova because the ending was stretched out by 5 minutes with Noel Gallagher improvising solos. Magical! But Noel's take on the song is interesting. Summarized from Wikipedia is a combination of many things:

Someday You will find me caught beneath the landslide in a Champagne Supernova in the sky
Noel Gallagher says, "That's probably as psychedelic as I'll ever get. It means different things when I'm in different moods. When I'm in a bad mood 'being caught beneath a landslide is like being suffocated'."

According to Noel the song was also about believing in a group such as a band ( the sex pistols for him) to conquer the world but they fail to live up to that promise. 

And lastly the lyrics 

Slowly down the hall faster than a cannonball 
is about a British television series called Camberwick Green. It took the host twenty minutes to walk down the hall. Noel couldn't rhyme anything with hall except cannonball.

More free 90s rock music
But when the music company takes that down, Here is the album.

To wrap things up, Oasis What's The Story Morning Glory is ear candy. It's just melancholic enough in terms of the British sensitive voices to make it poignant. And the guitar riffs and energy make it a great way to start a glorious morning!

(What's The Story) Morning Glory? [3 CD][Deluxe Edition][Remastered]

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oasis She's Electric

       This song is certainly about a woman Noel was infatuated with. Oasis She's Electric lyrics describes the song's meaning perfectly. In short, Noel is referring to a women's family. At the end he writes, 
She's got one in the oven, 
       But its nothing to do with me. 

This is referring to  her having someone else's baby. 
      She's Electric fits perfectly into Oasis What's the Story Morning Glory as the fun and relaxing song. It is the Digsy's Dinner of the album. This 90s rock Oasis album is very wholesome. The songs have an edge but you could listen to this album with a pastor. So you can very much be at ease. And the lyrics aren't devoid of God. 
She's  got a sister and god only knows how I've missed her
So the song is simply soft rock that gives you a great feeling. Another enjoyable part of this song is that one of the repeated lines is: 
And I need more time

I like taking my time with things to make sure it's done right. In the case of the song it is having enough time for Noel to square his life together to have a future with the girl. In our lives it may mean more time on a project, fitness goal, etc. 

So in conclusion, on its own She's Electric is nothing groundbreaking. However, as part of the Oasis What's The Story Morning Glory album it's a relaxing, fun song. The Digsy's Dinner of What's The Story Morning Glory. Enjoy the album!
(What's The Story) Morning Glory? [3 CD][Deluxe Edition][Remastered]

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Oasis Cast No Shadow

  Noel Gallagher wrote Cast No Shadow on a train ride back to the studio while recording the 90s music album What's the Story Morning Glory. This was the last song written for the 90s album. Noel Gallagher wrote Oasis Cast No Shadow as a dedication to the genius of Richard Ashcroft. But he is saying Ashcroft has no soul. This is because the song states

As he faces the sun he cast no shadow
In searching the symbolism or meaning of shadow we find it is the essence of a person. Their duality, whether their doppleganger or their alter ego. Their unconscious. To not have a shadow is to be more in never never land than Peter Pan, who desperately fought for his shadow. The Shadow is important.

One great interpretation of the song Cast No Shadow from one of many great Oasis albums is by Tayrn Manning from the Wall Street Journal. Her Interpretation of Cast No Shadow is about an artist's struggle with being heard. Feeling misunderstood and questioning if their music is being felt. Decent interpretation. Below is my fan made video of Oasis Cast No Shadow from their album What's The Story Morning Glory.

Because there is little information on the great track Oasis Cast No Shadow I will convey my opinion on the track. And what I think it means.

     In general, the lyrics present someone being chained down unable to move. And someone that doesn't have his alter ego or doppleganger. Someone who goes through life quite simply. And Richard Ashcroft I think has a very strong shadow. So I think his tribute A Northern Soul is more complimentary towards Noel than Cast No Shadow is to him. To say someone has no shadow is to say the have no soul. But musically Cast No Shadow is absolutely beautiful. Chorus, harmonies and acoustic melodies.

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