Category Archives: Music

A Generation X Woodstock View

As a teen I romanticized it. Now, I realize that’s the same as mythologizing something. Of course the reality of the experience was anything but. Unless you were having a good trip, as it were. As a young teen in the early eighties, maybe from my older sister’s record collection, I was into CSNY, Dylan, Clapton, Beatles, Stones, etc. This was odd for 1983 I suppose. Even though MTV fascinated me in and of itself, I always “hate-watched” the content thinking it was so superficial compared to my beloved 60’s.
But enough about my thoughts on this now. I’ll add to them later including a whole chapter from my novel “The Horizon’s Blue Chance” which is all about a re-enactment of Woodstock at a college party in 1988. (the Chapter that is, not the whole novel. It’s the next to last one in the book, so it serves a prominent purpose to the story as a whole, at least psychologically and spiritually, a sort of “belly of the whale” experience.”)
I saw an article in today’s New York Times entitled “Woodstock Was the Birthplace of Festival Fashion” and like so much of my blog I just wanted to create a repository for media concerning topics I’m interested in.

My New Single Has Dropped

On all the major and minor streamers. Distrokid is a godsend. God bless you Philip Kaplan!
It’s called “It’s Nowhere.” I hope you’ll give it a listen, and let me know what you think!

Here’s the best link. It’s the Distrokid Hyperfollow Page that has links to all the major services. Am I crazy about this song? Not at the moment. I’ve listened to it so many times over the last few days, I just need a few weeks away from it for sure. Mostly when it comes out on these services you’re trying to see does it hold up at least sonically with other things you like.

I’d say on the whole it does. Like 85% of the time. So that makes me feel good and hopeful about my own mixing and mastering, and the potential of the tools going forward.

I’ll write more about this song later when I’m not so exhausted with it. Hopefully I’ll go on tour and play it live too—for you! For now, here’s a youtube link to the song, that anyone can listen to, even if they aren’t a subscriber to one of the streamers.

Chords and Lyrics for The Happiness Waltz by Josh Rouse

“The Happiness Waltz” by Josh Rouse
title track from the album “The Happiness Waltz”

Eb
Spring, spring, Winter’s sting

Abmaj7
Is gone.
/                       Eb
Tomorrow I’ll be new.

Eb
Salt wind
/                          Abmaj7
Blowin’ through the yard.

/                                           Eb
God knows, I’ve missed you.
Bbm7           Abmaj7             Eb
Happiness waltzed in the room
Bbm7           Abmaj7             Eb
Postcards of where she’s been too
Bbm7           Abmaj7             Eb
Smiling and singing a tune
Bbm7
A swansong
Bbm7           Abmaj7             Eb
Happiness waltzed out the room

(A Musical Interlude over the Verse Chords)

Bbm     Fm7          Abmaj7
Let me into your      world
Bbm7                 Fm7    Abmaj7     Bbsus2
Show me your magic hear-            -eart!
Bbm7           Abmaj7             Eb
Happiness waltzed in the room
Bbm7           Abmaj7                  Eb
Postcards of where she’s been to.
Bbm7           Abmaj7                 Eb
Smiling with pearls on her shoes.
/    Bbm7
A swan song.
Bbm7           Abmaj7             Eb
Happiness waltzed out the room.

Song of the Day: A Song to Help You Sleep – Josh Rouse

Man, chose a doosey today! Musically it’s easy. Just a lot of lyrics to memorize. That’s the irony: The hard ones musically tend to have easy lyrics and vice versa.

Oh well. What was the spark that made me choose this one? I was sitting around last night watching TV, strumming some chords, and out of the blue, what I thought was an original, cool sounding riff came to my head, and I thought, “Oh, finally, this could be an original song!”

But the more I strummed it, I realized it was this Josh Rouse song. Hate that when that happens. You think you’ve come up with not only something original, but also something that is actually good, and then you realize it’s someone else’s.

At least it got me interested in this song, which really I’d only heard a few times before. If it weren’t for Spotify, I don’t think I would have ever heard it. I didn’t realize there was so much material both on “The Best of the Rykodisc Years” and “The Smooth Sounds of Josh Rouse” that wasn’t on any of his previous official “albums” or EPs.

Anyway, like I said, musically it’s easy. Just four chords: Dmaj7 – Amaj7 – Gmaj – E7. It begins on a Dmaj7, and the dominant riff of the song, both verse and chorus, is a back and forth between the Dmaj7 and Amaj7. The G-E change comes in every so often as a sort of “turn around” as they call it in the business.

These are the kinds of songs I really encourage for beginning guitarists who need encouragement. They are easy enough to learn, but they’re also good and fun. They keeps you motivated to play. I remember when I was a teenager, I was going to quit guitar altogether.

And then I found Bob Dylan. Those songs were easy enough to learn, but I knew they were good, and I loved playing them. It was that spark of fun that kept me at it.

Oh, well, I’m going to get at memorizing these lyrics. I’m sure it’ll take a couple or even few days for them to “sink in.” I’ll have to come back to this post, to official mark that I’ve got them down.

Song of the Day: “Imaginary Girl” by The Silver Seas

Actually I’ve learned a couple others since the last “Song of the Day”, but they both took a couple or three days for the lyrics to really sink into  the “officially” memorized zone, and by that time, like the irony of life itself, I sort of lose interest in them, and end up not blogging about them. But I really do need to put them down in a blog post, or something that tells my subconscious that “This song is official. You can put it in the books. I know it by heart, and I can play it live.”

Anyway there are a ton of songs that I’ve learned in the past and I know at the present moment, say 75%. But I sort of need a spark to get me to actually learn it 100%.

Here’s an example of such a spark: I was watching the video of Daniel Tashian’s “I’m the One” song, and I was learning the chords, and writing down the lyrics. I was getting it down, but I was getting a little depressed because I actually couldn’t sing the Chorus. The high notes. That was discouraging. I’d always thought I could imitate Daniel’s voice pretty well. I hate to make excuses, but it could be that he just knows how to do “Falsetto” and I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know. Or maybe its just a bad day for my voice. Anyway that discouraged me from blogging about that song today at least. I will still learn that song and get it down 100% even if I can’t ever play it live, because it’s just such a good song.

Oh, I forgot about the spark. When I was watching that video, I noticed in the recommended videos a video of the lyrics of the Silver Seas song, “Imaginary Girl” from their 2nd album. That was one of those “75%” songs for me. And I knew I could sing it pretty well. Also, I knew there was one or two little pieces of lyrics for that song, that I wasn’t sure about, and it looked like this video had them right. So that was all the spark I needed. I’ll post that video below. I’ve gone through the song 3 or 4 times now on the live P.A. system, and I feel like I’ve got it down now, that I can put it in the “100% Club.”

I’ll probably post a video of me playing it live at some point. Until then, if you’re reading this and you would like to know the chords, let me know, and that might be the “Spark” I need to publish those.