Friday, December 16, 2016

Star Wars Rogue One: A lifelong Star Wars geek's dream come true

I just saw Star Wars: Rogue One today and I'm just beside myself with geeky glee!  I loved last year's Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which brought the fun back to Star Wars with it's mix of classic and new characters, but this new stand-alone film was truly made by Star Wars nerds for life-long Star Wars nerds like myself who grew up with, and loved, the Original Trilogy.  I can't believe some of the things I just saw in this movie!

I'm going to get spoilery, so if you haven't seen the movie yet - run away, far away, from this page!

Still here?  Ok, I warned you!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Renaissance - yet another example of great music from the 1970's

The easiest way for me to explain the band Renaissance is this: if the band Yes had an artsy sister, Renaissance would be her name.  Let me explain...

Both are considered (amazing) prog/symphonic/art rock bands who created some absolute epic pieces of music; both have amazing keyboard players (Yes primarily has heavy synthesizer work with classical piano sprinkled in; Renaissance primarily has heavy classical piano work with synthesizer sprinkled in); both prominently feature powerful and intricate bass playing; both bands keep the drum work in the shadows so to speak - meaning, there really aren't any memorable drum beats that pop out at you in either group's songs; Renaissance (with the exception of Prologue) utilize acoustic guitar on their albums for a softer sound, while Yes features a heavy dose of electric guitar (by the amazing Steve Howe) for a more aggressive sound; and for vocals, Yes features the male lead of Jon Anderson (great lyricist as well), while Renaissance features a female lead singer (the unbelievable Annie Haslam supplying the ear candy...I can't even put into proper words how great of a voice she has) which provides a naturally softer vibe to their songs - though still as powerful as any male lead.

The run of albums that Renaissance put out from 1972 - 1977 (5 Studio / 1 Live) are some of the best of any group, of any genre, during that time period - and that's saying something considering the amazing sounds being released by all artists during that time frame. 

Let's just go in order...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Sweet - amazing 70's Rock in all it's crazy glory!

Throughout 2014 and 2015, I was obsessed with the Electric Light Orchestra - I just couldn't go a day without listening to some of Jeff Lynne and Co.'s magical creations.  As the calendar was changing from 2015 to 2016, I kept hearing songs from a band called "Sweet" on two of my favorite satellite radio stations in the car - Classic Vinyl and 70's on 7.  They played a song called "Little Willy", and I thought - well, that was a catchy tune.  Then, I heard their two more well-known US hits, "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run".  Again, I liked what I heard, but it still wasn't enough to make me go "Holy shit! I need to hear more!". 

However, I then heard their song from 1975 called "Action" - and, yes, the "Holy shit!" moment was had.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing - these guys sounded like a harder rocking version of Queen!  I do love me some crazily overdubbed vocal harmonies!

So, since the beginning of 2016, I moved to get my hands on everything I could from this band called "The Sweet" or "Sweet" (I really don't know what their official name is, so I just call them "The Sweet"...sounds more dramatic with the "The").  Also, before I go into my ramblings, run (don't walk!) to their official YouTube site - it's an absolute treasure trove of awesomeness!  They've recently put up a few videos from a live performance they did back in 1974 on the legendary German music show called Musikladen.  It'!  Their performance of a song called "No You Don't" is so kickass, I actually got mad at myself for living all these years and only now finding out about this band.

Ok, let my new-fanboy ramblings begin...