The Majestic Music Appreciation Thread

Hey out there, do you like music? I know I sure do! So let’s talk about it.

I would like this to be a free-form thread for all things music-fan. What are you listening to currently? What gear are you listening to it on? Have an all-time fav you want to gush about? Want to share a Spotify Playlist? Let’s hear about all of it. No limits on genre here, either- I personally love everything from Classical to Death Metal.

Well I guess I should go first-

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Iron Maiden- Senjutsu

Since I did mention my love for Heavy Metal, much as well start with what I consider to be the greatest Metal band of all time. It’s really insane to think that these guys can still be this good after 45+ years and 17(!) albums, but here we are. And while Senjutsu perhaps isn’t quite up there with classics like The Number of the Beast or *Powerslave, * this is still a fine record. The old dogs even pull out a few new tricks, like the Southern Rock-ish main riff for the first single, “The Writing on the Wall.”

What do you think, Sirs?

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I just want to say that the hooks from Superstition by Stevie Wonder are pretty much the definition of funky.

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I’m going to second the motion and leave this here as an alternate-

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I’ve been living for the last couple weeks with a new record from one of my favorites - Manic Street Preachers.

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Yeah. I’ve known since a little kid that Little Stevie Wonder had about three tracks of Clavinets for “Superstition,” but I figured that was how it was.

So, more recently, I was impressed by how Rick Beato arrived at the same conclusion, but by different methods.

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I literally spent most of a day off recently watching Beato’s vids. He’s the music-geek uncle we all need.

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Yeah, exactly. He has access to these stems that when, at least when I was a kid, would have been gold.

So, just slowing open reel tapes down and using the little Tascam back in the day.

No, he’s legit.

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I had totally missed they even had a new record out. I really like this though… they always stood apart from a lot of their Brit-alternative contemporaries for me.

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I wish he’d been around to teach Modes when I was a kid. All I had were crappy books that made it as interesting as watching your fingernails grow.

Yeah, exactly. It was a few wasted years for me between ages 3-9 or so, but for me I got to watch over my uncle’s shoulder and learn some stride piano.

Wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 or so that I started copying Ray Charles, Dr. John, Hampton Hawes off the records.

I didn’t even know who Charlie Parker was, and yet I played alto saxophone for a number of years as a small child.

No regrets, since I always had the piano to fall back on, but even then, it was always copying the groove of Ray and all his disciples, which was everybody, including Dr. John.

It wasn’t until I took up the Hammond organ more seriously, in my early twenties, that I started to make sense out of what it meant to hold the groove in the LH or the LF. When to lay out and when to command a group.

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I bought and have been listening to Gerald V. Casale’s new CD (and yes, it’s a CD, not a download). But I only really like the first 6 songs, so I guess I should say, I’ve been listening to half of the new Gerald V. Casale CD.

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I heard lots of Dr. John as a kid- I grew up in a family of Blues fans. It’s how I ended up playing guitar.

Stuff like that Lonnie Smith track always fascinate me because they’re as much about the spaces between the notes as the notes themselves. You never learn that from any kind of academic musical study, just from listening and playing with musicians you vibe with. As cliche as it is, it’s why someone like Albert King or David Gilmour can say more with 3 notes than many shredders can with 300.

That is not to say, However, that there aren’t some “shredders” out there that have great dynamics and feel-

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Yeah.

But, you know how it is:

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It’s funny, I’m an original MTV generation kid, so of course I grew up with “Oh, Devo, yeah, those guys in the funny hats.” Then later in life you go back and you really listen to something like “Freedom of Choice” and you realize why people like the guys from Tool cite them as influential.

This is still my favorite Devo song too I think.

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I love playing the piano. I play all the time. In fact, I was playing just tonight. As far as piano goes, I love Jon Schmidt. He’s part of The Piano Guys, but he used to just do solo performances before he was famous and I loved watching him play. I learned to play this song called “All of Me” when I was in high school.

As far as just music, I have very eclectic tastes. One group that I have made the effort to get all their stuff is Red. They are typically billed as Christian hard rock. Being Christian myself, I prefer to avoid a lot of the swearing that is prevalent in some of the hard rock so having a group like this that has the drum beats and rhythms that I enjoy but without the swearing I dislike. Here’s an example of one of the songs I really enjoy:

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The clawfinger right hand technique Knopfler uses is just impeccable. I’ve never been able to get my fingerstyle that clean.

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Yeah. It was surprising to me after picking up the guitar after how-ever-many years that it really has to be done fingerstyle.

I’ve played banjo about ten years ago, so I had the claw-hammer as well as the Scrugg’s style in muscle memory, but I was shocked at how difficult it is to play this little tune correctly.

It’s not a difficult pattern, but muting the open string (the D string, the third string), is difficult.

It’s also difficult in that guitarists number their fingers differently than keyboardists, and after thirty years or so (I’m 45) I really only can claim to smoke on the piano and the Hammond. You know, those are my instruments, where I don’t have to think and can just play by ear or sight-read something.

I’m still going to get down reading standard notation on guitar (yes, I’ve played guitar and know the patterns and such) and try to find some way between fingerstyle in the RH (picking hand) and using a larger, scratchier pick for a more sharp attack.

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Eh, my musical tastes read more like forensic evidence entered into a “how did we not see this coming” post-mortem. But at the moment I’ve got a lot of Neu Deutsche Harte, experimental, and alternative going. Three highlights:

You can check out my whole Bandcamp collection if you feel like looking at a musical palate that seemingly has no center.

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I’m jealous- I can only handle keys at a sub-grade school level. But I do love watching a fantastic pianist, like Schmidt.

One of my personal favs is a Ukrainian pianist named Viktoriya Yermolyeva, who posts to YouTube as vkgoeswild. She does piano interpretation of pop, rock, and even metal. Here she is doing her arrangement of “Master of Puppets” by Metallica-

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Funny story- when Weird Al did his parody of that song, Knopfler insisted he play guitar on it. Perhaps that’s why?

Your comment about switching from pick to fingers and back reminds me of one of my latest musical obsessions, the Japanese hard rock group Band-Maid, and the way their bassist MISA switches from pick to slap seemlessly. She is becoming one of my favorite bassists lately.

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