The Song In My Head

Nilsson Does Popeye
September 29, 2008, 8:02 pm
Filed under: America, Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

Hands down.. Harry Nilsson is on my top ten list as a direct musical influence. And as far as childhood movies go, Popeye (Robin Williams 1st film) leads the pack in greatness. So obviously I was more than pleased to learn that these two were connected together via some strange, sea-shanty cold fusion. I dug into teh internets to find out just how this came to be. Here’s what I unearthed:

“For Robert Altman’s 1980 film Popeye, he recruited Harry Nilsson to do the songs and Van Dyke Parks to do the film score. The songs were sung in the film by the characters, a la any musical, but the original demos of Harry singing them still exist.

Apparently Harry was not the clear cut choice to do the songs according to Altman, “Nobody wanted him at first except Robin Williams. Everyone said ‘You’ll get in trouble with him — he’ll get drunk; he won’t do it; he’s all washed up.’ As a matter of fact I said all of those things about Harry to Robin myself one day. Then I went home and thought about it and said to myself, ‘Jesus, that’s what some people are saying about me!’ So I called Harry Nilsson, because I had never met him in my life, and we got along terrifically.”

If you don’t know much about Harry Nilsson, just do yourself a favor and click here or here and I promise you will be dazzled. Plus you can laugh at how I shamelessly rip him off!  There is a reason the Beatles said Nilsson was their favorite “group”.. and favorite solo artist :)

Sweet Pea’s Lullaby (demo)

Sweet Pea’s Lullaby

He Needs Me

Everything Is Food (demo)


May or may not… and my absence…
June 30, 2008, 5:33 pm
Filed under: America, britain, britpop, britpop songs, indie, Music, polara, pop, rialto, rocknroll, space, supernaturals

First things first…SORRY, SORRY, SORRY! I know I have neglected this blog for a over a month. I was out on tour and the blog itself had some technical issues I had to fix. But all of these things have been resolved and we are back on track! yay!

I just wanted to post today on a few bands that you may or may not have heard of from the hey day of the mid-90’s britpop era. 97′ was the great and final year of britpop before it really died, and there were many bands that snuck in and said goodbye before you really knew who they were. While the U.S was busy with watered down versions of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam bands, the Uk was busy with watered down versions of Oasis, Blur, and Pulp.

The first of these was Rialto. They completely sound like if Oasis and Pulp were mashed together to make James Bond theme music. The next is The Supernaturals (For some reason it seems like there were a million “super” bands in the 90’s). This band in particular was written off by the british press but they really write some amazing pop tunes and had quite a few hits. Then there is Space.. you probably remember them from the Austin Powers soundtrack. And finally, the band Polara isn’t british but I feel their sound fit well enough in that genre. Surprisingly all of these groups are still around in one way or another. Just go to wikipedia to find out what they are up to. I am too lazy today for links.. haha.

Rialto “When We’re Together”

Space “You And Me Against The World”

The Supernaturals “The Day Before Yesterdays Man”

Polara “Pantomime”

Fuzzy Logic (it’s the best kind to have)
December 9, 2007, 4:38 am
Filed under: 90's, Brit-Pop, britain, Music, pop, rocknroll


I wanted to throw out some tracks from one of my favorite Brit-Pop bands, Super Furry Animals.   Signed to Creation (the greatest label evah)  in the early 90’s, SFA released some of the most drug-induced, psychedelic pop/punk, electro whatever records on the planet.  They are a band that is constantly innovating and changing with the times, but still drawing from  the past for melodic, hook driven songs.Their first release, Fuzzy Logic, has less experimentation than more recent albums, but for some reason I still believe that this one is their best (Rings Around the World being a close second). So get fuzzed and sing along.. especially on the last song (for now and ever) which sounds like a missing link to the ending of GREASE, if it were made today.  

Something For The WeekendHometown UnicornFor Now And Ever

He Saved Everyone Of Us
December 5, 2007, 9:22 pm
Filed under: 70's, America, britain, Flash Gordon, Music, Queen, rocknroll, soundtrack


I will spare everyone by not putting the Flash Gordon theme on here.  You all have heard it…. and if you haven’t, well then there is no hope for you.  Instead, I wanted to privy you to some of the other tracks from this movie because they kick so much ass that no jedi or trekkie soundtrack can even come close. It was hard picking the songs I wanted to share.  Queen really followed the perfect rule for films by creating musical themes with certain characters or events. 

What is surprising is Queen rocks out so hard in the classic Queen style, yet the songs totally fit the futuristic feel of the movie.  Listen to “Battle Theme”.  Brian May’s lead guitars sound like they flew in straight from planet Mars (that rhymed..teehee!).  The next up is Ming’s theme.  Totally evil, totally huge, and very memorable.  Then lastly I chose The Wedding March.  Starts out very standard Queen with the lead guitar noodlies. Then the song turns to the dark-side just to remind you that the wedding is for the crazed universal Hitler-esque Ming the Merciless.  Awesome. Enjoy :) 

Battle Theme

Ming’s Theme

Wedding March

The Forgotten Son
December 3, 2007, 5:06 am
Filed under: 50's, 60's, America, dylan, folk, Music, seeger, singer, woody


At 14 years old, while the other kids in high school were out partying and living it up, I was busy dorking it up at home watching music documentaries on PBS.  At the time, the thought had never occured to me that I would eventually become  a songwriter.  I was just a kid who was really, really into music and singing.  Buying CD’s and raiding my sister’s music collection was a daily occurance, and much of my youth was spent lost in a daze of stereo components and mixed tapes. However, I clearly remember the night that the folk singer Pete Seeger appeared on my TV.  I thought to myself “don’t forget his name… pete seeger….pete seeger…pete seeger”.  By the weeks end his albums found their way to my cd player,  and I retreated into a dusty world that seemed like the perfect musical backdrop to a Steinbeck novel. 

Mentioning Pete Seeger’s name usually brings out lame conversations like the following:

lame ass -“isn’t that the guy who sings Like A Rock?”  

me -“no, that would be Bob Seeger, the biggest retard in music history

 lame ass -“oh” 

Rattle off a few of ol Petey’s greats, and then you get a smile and a nod of recognition: Turn, Turn, Turn.  Where Have All The Flowers Gone?  Wimoweh.  Guantanamera.  If I Had A Hammer.  We Shall Overcome.These are all folk classics, yet why is it that people don’t know the name Pete Seeger?   It’s a hard thing to explain, but I think it has to do with the fact that Seeger’s career fell smack dab in between two giants known as Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.  Acting as a bridge between them, his own legacy became overshadowed.

Being a best friend of Woody and a mentor to Bob (he personally took young Bobby under his wing to help him tour) Pete’s namesake remains firmly fixed as that of a union/protest singer and not much else.  Guthrie’s best songs had a more universal  appeal and tone, and Dylan ascribed to being no one’s political pet,  eventually abandoning the protest movement altogether.  Pete chose to remain behind, and unfortunately songs about unions and scabs and big boss men don’t resonate as well with the kids now a days. On top of that, Pete was more of a banjo man, which also may have hindered his chance with a mainstream audience. 

All of that said, I think Pete Seeger is one of the best singer/songwriters that has ever lived.  His melodies are made to be sung, his stories are full and rich, and his technique is flawless.  Having seen a huge resurgence in the indie-folk scene, I point my finger with scorn to all the wannabe Beardo Mcgee’s that think they are folk artists and say “learn from this master”. 

Darling Corey

Little Boxes

Turn, Turn, Turn

Casey Jones

Sopranos And Altos
December 1, 2007, 5:06 am
Filed under: 60's, America, britain, Disney, female, Music, pop, singer


 If I had to chop off my manhood and become any female singer for a day, I think it would have to be either Julie Andrews or Karen Carpenter.  They easily have the cleanest and the purest vocals of anyone in the music biz.  I have never heard any woman out-sing these two.  They are the kind of singers that can lay it down in one take.. and if they have to  do another take, they make the speakers go out of phase cus their vocals are pretty much perfect every time.  There ain’t no computers fixing bad notes here, baby!  What I also love about each of them is not only are they GREAT singers, but they are so unique that you can instantly recognize them as soon as they hit their first notes. 

I decided to put on here my all-time favorite Julie Andrews song “Feed The Birds” from Marry Poppins.  What I love about this tune is not only her voice, but the actual song construction itself.  It starts out minor, but somehow has  a light quality to it with Julie singing.  When it finally reaches the chorus the whole song drops down a key and goes major!  Normally a song going from minor to major would go UP a key giving it lift and becoming “happy”.  This does the opposite but still retains the same effect. The other song I put on is the Carpenters “For All We Know”.  Karen has a very “alto” voice and her range dips into almost male tenor from time to time.  She can still sing quite high, but she never really needs to.  Karen was known to be overly perfectionist about how she sounded, and that suits me just fine.

Feed The BirdsFor All We Know

Daisies Never Die
November 30, 2007, 7:50 pm
Filed under: 1, 70's, America, Emitt, Mccartney, Music, Paul, Rhodes, rocknroll


There isn’t much I can add to how great Emitt Rhodes is.  I discovered him while in the middle of recording my album “Let’s Be Poor Together” and it couldn’t have happened at a more appropriate time.  His production sense greatly influenced the sound of my album and helped me define what I was looking for in myself as a musician.

Anyhoo,Click Here Now and get the amazing, yet sad story of this man. 

Live Till  You Die You Should Be AshamedEver Find Yourself Running