Stand By Me

When you have a few minutes, take a look and listen to this video. Really cool rendition of the song Stand By Me. Remarkable recording and production.

Billy Bob Thornton

This was a really, really odd interview. Looks like Billy Bob was running on stronger painkillers than me.

Gilbert Donovan

Every so often I come across a vocalist of remarkable talent. Destined to become a superstar. And I have come across such a talent in Gilbert Donovan.

From his MySpace page:

Gilbert has had a musical, magical life and the gift that Heaven gave him has put him where he is today. Unemployed, unsigned and unfamiliar to the public. As a young boy he sang in the church choir, where he remembers the pastor complimenting him saying his voice was unlike anything he’d ever heard. His teen years found him playing local high school dances and the county fair but it didn’t take long before Gilbert’s hometown let him know he wasn’t where he belonged. Perhaps it was his late uncle Winston’s inspiring words, “Son, with a voice like that you don’t need to be singing around here” that finally pushed him to go to Nashville and chase his dream. So Gilbert moved to Nashville in 1982 and has been on the verge of a record deal ever since.

Gilbert, backed by a stellar band of players, can be heard at his MySpace page. Tequila Sunrise brought tears to my eyes.

Guitar Hero

Activision Blizzard is reporting that sales of tracks on the Guitar Hero platform have tripled on average.

Some examples from last year:

  • Guns N’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle” (1987), Geffen, released on “Guitar Hero III” Oct. 27, 2007: 38,000 downloads, up 153 percent.
  • Pat Benatar, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (1980), Chrysalis, released on “Guitar Hero III,” Oct. 27, 2007: 9,800 downloads, up 180 percent.
  • Aerosmith, “Dream On” (1973), Columbia, released on “Guitar Hero III,” Oct. 27, 2007: 10,000 downloads, up 15 percent.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Suck My Kiss” (1992), Warner Bros., released on “Guitar Hero III,” Oct. 27, 2007: 3,900 downloads, up 200 percent.
  • Nirvana, “In Bloom” (1992), DGC, released on “Rock Band,” Nov. 20, 2007: 9,000 downloads, up 543 percent.
  • KISS, “Detroit Rock City” (1976), Casablanca, released on “Rock Band,” Nov. 20, 2007: 3,400 downloads, up 89 percent.
  • David Bowie, “Suffragette City” (1976), RCA, released on “Rock Band,” Nov. 20, 2007: 1,700 downloads, up 55 percent.
  • R.E.M., “Orange Crush” (1988), Warner Bros., released on “Rock Band,” Nov. 20, 2007: 3,200 downloads, up 256 percent.
  • Smashing Pumpkins, “Cherub Rock” (1993), Virgin, released on “Rock Band” on Nov. 20, 2007: 6,600 downloads, up 843 percent.


Stairway to Heaven

Really not sure what to think about this one.

Beat It

I was going through my iPhoto collection last night and I came across some interesting pictures and videos.

This one video I could not understand. We were closing out a rehearsal before an evening event. My son, who was 16 or 17 at the time was on bass.

And he started jamming on an MJ tune. Was it the hall? The balloons? What caused this bizarre behaviour?

What troubled me most is why I chose to encourage him by playing along. My amp never sounded the same after that song.

Is It Too Loud

I had to chuckle when I came across this article. It reads in part:

One area in which there may be no room for compromise is loudness. Irving Plaza, for example, has a 115dB SPL limit at the mix position, a result of recent noise ordinances in New York City that call for $1,000 fines if noise levels exceed a certain figure on the street. “Everyone knows beforehand,” says Burns. “We stamp the contract that there is a dB limit, and we don’t have any problems. We have a lot of professional engineers come in, and they go according to the rules. Plus, most of the time they realize that it sounds better at a lower SPL. In my opinion, once you get past 115 it doesn’t sound good sonically. It’s just a lot of noise.”

Wells quotes a 110dB SPL limit at the House of Blues (“If you’re peaking at 110 at the booth, it is really loud,” he says), but most clubs leave it to the house engineer’s discretion. “I try to keep the levels at about 102 and 103,” says Willemain. “At the Wildhorse, the system will only do probably 105 to 106, and I’ll let peaks go through at about 108 to 110, but I don’t like to get it too loud. This is a family entertainment venue, and people will bring their kids.”

Let’s see. 110 – 115dB SPL limit at the mix position? That is ridiculously loud.

There are accepted standards for recommended permissible exposure time for continuous time weighted average noise, according to NIOSH and CDC. For 110dB it is about 3 minutes. And for 115dB it is less than 1 minute. After that, hearing damage sets in.

A Hard Day’s Night

There has been some interest in the opening chord of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. The chord was attributed to George Harrison and his Rickenbacker guitar, but how he played it has eluded Beatles fans and guitarists alike.

Dr Jason Brown, of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, came up with a way to break down the chord’s components by digitising it and using a mathematical equation.

He reached the conclusion that there must have been another instrument involved. He broke the chord down to show that Harrison played eight notes on his 12-string Rickenbacker.

Lennon is responsible for one note that probably came from a six-string guitar, while McCartney played one note on bass. George Martin, the man who produced the Beatles music, played five notes on piano.

Imagine, using effects when recording a guitar to create a bigger than life sound.