Chip's Music Musings

Posts that don't fit in the other train categories. Off Subject Chit Chat I tell you. :)
Chip
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Chip's Music Musings

Unread post by Chip »

Greetings!

This thread is to share with everyone a variety of music that I love. Some of which you may have heard of, a lot of which I'm willing to bet you haven't. I'll periodically add new posts about a different song, artist or album and a write-up of why it's special and things to listen for.

First post coming soon!

P.S. Don't be afraid to share your opinions as well, as well as sharing something someone else may not be familiar with.

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~Z~
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Re: Chip's Music Musings

Unread post by ~Z~ »

Here's one that I have replayed a few too many times - Metallica - Holier Than Thou:
Lead singer, James Hetfield, sounds so freaking good here. Song is 30 years old now, but the band plays it so well.
I noticed Lars(drummer) played a few extra measures at the beginning, should be 24 instead of the 28 that I heard.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cAGvbP2A0Y
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Chip
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Re: Chip's Music Musings

Unread post by Chip »

Considering he trashed his voice in the early 90s, Time has treated Hetfield's voice very well. It's definitely gotten stronger in the last 5-6 years which is awesome.


Of course Lars would screw up 😂 he's the only drummer I've ever known to have actually gotten worse over time. I still say the first S&M was and always will be his best performance and you will never convince me that was actually him playing on ...And Justice For All. Even Kirk has gotten it together recently after getting really sloppy during the St. Anger era.

Chip
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Re: Chip's Music Musings

Unread post by Chip »

On the first edition of Chip's Music Musings, as promised I delve into the catalog of Spock's Beard. This is one of my favorite bands, and one of the best American bands around that you've probably never heard of. Make note of that statement, that's going to be a theme of this thread going forward

A Little Background

The original lineup formed in Los Angeles in 1992. After replacing the bass player shortly before their debut album The Lightwas released in 1995, what I consider the real first lineup (SB v1.0) of brothers Neal (Lead Vocals, keyboards, some guitars) and Alan Morse (lead guitar), Nick D'Virgilio (Drums), Dave Meros (Bass) and Ryo Okumoto (Keyboards, Hammond). The latter of whom joined after the release of The Light. This lineup lasted for the next 5 albums and is considered by most fans (myself included) to be the best version of the band. Shortly after the release of Snow in 2002, Neal Morse left the band after his daughter was born with some health issues and subsequently launched a solo career as a christian artist (he became a Born Again Christian). After the departure of Neal, Nick D'Virgilio took over lead vocal duties and continued his role as the band's drummer and started contributing guitars and keyboards as well, not unlike what Phil Collins did in Genesis after Peter Gabriel left. This version of the band (SB v2.0) lasted for 4 albums until the departure of D'Virgilio in 2011. They then brought in touring drummer Jimmy Keegan as a permanent member and recruited Enchant frontman Ted Leonard to fill the lead vocals and rhythm guitar slot (SB v3.0). The current lineup is Alan Morse, Meros, Okyumoto, and Leonard with Nick D'Virgilio playing drums on a session basis and is not a current full time member of the band. I dub the current band SB v2.5.

Here's there wiki page for those interested in learning more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spock%27s_Beard

I'm going to split this into 2 parts because the Neal Morse era really deserves to be separate from the rest of the catalog and quite frankly, the other 2 versions of the band only have 1 album each I feel are exceptional. Those 2 albums will get their own respective write ups one day.

The Music

Being a prog band its hard to just jump in to a band like this. I started with Snow but being a double album that is one long story arc it can be a bit much to someone that isn't familiar with that kind of format. That album will probably get its own write up one day as well. The album I would recommend as an introduction to SB is Day for Night. As far as I'm concerned it is the quintessential Neal Morse-era Spock's Beard album. It contains a little bit of every element they're known for with a pop oriented prog suite, a rhythmic call-and-answer based song, and a lot of hard driving guitar and bass playing that is constant through the entire catalog.

Here's the opening track and a great example of their pop/prog sound


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MablXWqx-Nw

The other standout song here is part of the eponymous suite titled The Healing Colors of Sound. As far as I'm concerned this could be the best song Neal Morse ever wrote. The whole suite is phenomenal as well and I highly recommend it. Can't figure out how to embed this one since it starts at a specific point.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln_S6Dy4pZ0&t=885s

Crack The Big Sky: Another hard driving rocker with some fun prog elements thrown in.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpeL3tmjwb8


Moving on from Day For Night to a cherry pick a few other notable songs from the catalog, we have Walking On The Wind from the Beware of Darkness album. A staple in the live setlist in the rare occasion they play live these days.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ua6IPuafBw&t=1638s

June from The Kindness of Strangers: Another fan favorite.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiuYjG3h5aI

And last but not least, The Light off the debut album, The Light. I waffled quite a bit on which song to include off of this album because a case can be made for all 4 of them but I chose this one because its just so weird in the direction it breaks off to about halfway through when it suddenly turns into this weird hispanic/salsa beat. I love it despite the lyrics being a little wtf? at times, "I am Senior Velasco, I drink my milk with Tabasco". Wtf is that? lol


https://youtu.be/SEAuIadKmZM

The Wrap Up

There you have it, an introduction in one of the greatest American Prog bands ever, and one of the best bands you've probably never heard of.

Again, these are some highlights of SB v1.0. I'll go in depth on the best albums from SB v2.0 and 3.0 (X and Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep respectively) at another time since there's already a ton to go through here and those IMO are really the only 2 albums from their respective eras worth talking about. I purposely didn't include anything from Snow because that's its own animal and deserving of its own post. I'll get to it one day, don't worry 8)

I hope you enjoyed this and please feel free to post some constructive criticism so I can tailor future posts to more of what is interesting and less of what isn't.
Last edited by Chip on Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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SD80MAC
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Re: Chip's Music Musings

Unread post by SD80MAC »

I've been really into this Queen song recently. It was one of their last hits with Freddie. Roger Taylor's monstrous drumming and high-pitched harmonies, Brian May's screaming guitar and Freddie's unreal vocals make this truly definitive Queen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFDcoX7s6rE
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Re: Chip's Music Musings

Unread post by J T »

SD80MAC wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:22 pm
I've been really into this Queen song recently. It was one of their last hits with Freddie. Roger Taylor's monstrous drumming and high-pitched harmonies...
I wonder if Roger Taylor and Roger Taylor have ever played drums together. :D

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Recommended music

Unread post by David Collins »

I thought this would be fun to have everyone share music they either came across and really like or they've known it for a while and it's been a favorite of theirs.

Just put the name of the song, the artist, the link to a youtube video of the song, and why you like it! I'll go first.


Up Down, Morgan Wallen Ft. Florida Georgia Line

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFDJ75Oe-GE

I like this song because it's always played on Friday nights while I'm hanging out with my friends, It's really relatable except we don't drink :D
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