Category: Music (page 1 of 2)

Progholm Syndrome

Tuesday Evening, 33°F and foggy
Listening to The Nice, Rondo

It’s no secret that I have a thing about progressive rock. I tend to go through phases with it, where I will get deep down into a single prog band for days or weeks then I’ll come back out of my prog binge and not listen to another note of prog for weeks.

A few years ago my best friend and I started a really limited Facebook group called Progvember, dedicated to listening to prog during the month of November. For some reason (probably a combination of NaNoWriMo and a disgust hangover from the US presidential election) I neglected Progvember entirely in 2016. I thought I could get away with that. Turns out prog had something to say about that. Uh-uh, Grace. Not so fast. Continue reading

Rumors of Rock-n-Roll’s Death

have been greatly exaggerated

Tuesday afternoon, 63° and windy
Listening to Night Beats, The New World

If you  believe there is no good new rock music, or that Justin Beiber, Rhianna or *insert popular, predictable, auto-tuned act here* killed rock and roll, I have seven suggestions for you.

1. Quit complaining about today’s Top 40. Top 40 has largely sucked throughout its history, has only been a trailing indicator of musical trends, and has completely missed countless fantastic acts. For every Space Oddity there were approximately 1,794 Afternoon Delights. If you’re over 35, you do not have enough years left to wait for Top 40 to spoon feed you something great.  Most likely, it won’t.

Yes, 1973 was an exception. So what. You’ve been holding your breath  for 43 years waiting for that to happen again? Get over it.

Continue reading

A Banner Day

in my Pearl Jam universe

Thursday night, 70°F
Listening to The Rolling Stones, Let It Loose

On August 17, 2016, I made a post explaining why the words of Saint Wozniak’s tattoo were left out of my novel, State of Love & Trust. In short, his tattoo is the first stanza of the Pearl Jam song, Whipping, and therefore protected by copyright.  At the time I wrote that post, I was well into the process of attempting to  obtain permission from music publisher Hal Leonard. Based on everything I’d read while researching copyright issues, I fully expected it to be too expensive. But I had to at least ask. Those lyrics fit Saint’s reckless, hardheaded character too perfectly for me to not at least try to get them included. Continue reading

Why 2112 Inspires Me

Sunday morning, 72°F and sunny
Listening to The Allman Brothers, Jessica

I take my writing inspiration from a lot of different places, but mainly from music and musicians. While I’ve talked about Pearl Jam quite a bit because my first published novel was inspired by their music, I think it’s time I mention Rush and 2112.

It’s a story any Rush fan knows, so here’s the short version. Rush’s first, self-titled album was a brilliant work of accessible hard rock that went gold. Their second album,  the more progressive Fly By Night, went platinum.  Caress of Steel, their third album effort, contained a 12-minute progressive piece, The Necromancer, on side A and the entire B-side was a conceptual suite called Fountain of Lamneth. That album “only” went gold, disappointing Rush’s label.

Rush was instructed to head back to the studio and produce a rock album more like their first.  But Rush believed in their progressive direction and hit back hard with 2112, a concept album that begins with a 20-minute, 7-song suite based on an Ayn Rand novella. (Oh look, novelists inspiring musicians. I love it!) Continue reading

Ellie’s “Religion”

Tuesday evening, 75°F and mostly sunny
Listening to Pearl Jam Unplugged, Rockin’ in the Free World

Ellie’s story was predicated in part on the question, What would happen if a character took Pearl Jam as seriously as a religion? Pearl Jam as a religion is a funny concept, and something Eddie Vedder has even  joked around about it. Continue reading

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