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I learn things I might not otherwise learn!

Today, I worked out the rhythm and lead guitar parts for “More Than A Feeling” by Boston.  On request, from a student. As often happens, with a classic single like that, there’s so much more to it that one might expect. It’s a very clever and sophisticated chord progression, with exquisite lead guitar and vocals tying it all together. Something you might be bored of from countless listens in malls and “classic rock” radio overplay – but why was it such a huge hit? Lyrics, performance, composition of course, but also superb arrangement. Every note, every chord, in this puppy, is intentionally placed and perfectly executed.

I touched this song as a young guitar player.  Because I really did and do love it. But I never broke it out completely. Now? I’ve isolated every electric and acoustic overdub in that thing, and I take my hat off to Tom Scholz!  And his band.   And I thank my student for asking me to look at this.  It’s obviously beautiful to hear, but when you break a thing like that apart, you can see why it stood out, and why it was such a huge hit.

Today’s guitar lesson!  Pick a hit song you loved as a kid, and deconstruct it. Learn what you can. You might be amazed.  You will definitely learn something new.

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Thoughts On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s National Holiday

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George Takei posted this great image on his FB page. I remember the “Flesh” colored crayon from my childhood. It was “white,” well, caucasian, northern european, sort of tan/pink – the color of my skin! I remember thinking, “that’s pretty limited.” And I was uncomfortable with it. Copper, yellow, red, blue etc. all those colors […]

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Are We A Nation Of Laws Or Not?

Not merely broken, the system is evil. We’re witnessing lawlessness from law enforcement in the form of repeated cases of homicide, which then are handled by baking the offending officers a cake and sending them home to make book deals. Meanwhile everyone else is expected to be “peaceful” and law abiding. Sure, OK! Right, I […]

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Was Ist Los Mit Der Uber Goober?

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Maybe it’s because I am half German that I am wary of things called “Uber.” It’s a knee jerk reaction, I admit, to a common prefix that simply means “Over” or “Above.” Suddenly Über-the radar, is this heinous behavior from an Uber exec, which seems to suggest that that company feels it is Über-the law, or […]

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Oh we are having ALL the fun Now!

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Saw this while driving by Mosswood Park in Oakland yesterday, had to stop and take a few pics. These dapper doggie heads used to dot the landscape in these parts atop signposts in front of Doggie Diner restaurants. The best part is they’d rotate so you could get a full view. I don’t think I ever […]

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It’s Not A “Card,” It’s Racism, Plain And Simple

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Something I have been trying to articulate, but haven’t quite managed because my brain explodes when I try to, is perfectly stated in this New York Times Op-Ed by Charles M. Blow called The Obama Opposition. The GOP’s opposition to the Obama administration is to Barack Obama the person. It is for the most pathetic […]

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One True Confession Deserves Another! Here’s Mine. What’s yours?

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The problem with the Navy SEAL dude claiming to have killed Bin Laden is that his name isn’t Brock. He looks like a Brock. I’m just not buying him as a Robert. If he expects anyone to take his boasts seriously, he has to be a Brock Johnson, or Max Hudson, you know, something manly, […]

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From Russia With Love: English Translations of Soviet Era Songs, by Andrei Marcon

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Before Moscow native Andrei Marcon emigrated to California as a young man in the 80’s, he acquired some cassette tapes of Russian underground music, which were passed around person to person against the wishes of the Soviet authorities. He has since taken it upon himself to translate into English some of these songs which he […]

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Wrestling “Wrestling Jerusalem”

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Saw this last night. Absolutely brilliant. It runs 2 more days I think, so if you happen to find yourself in SF looking for a good event this weekend, I can’t recommend it highly enough. There’s also a movie of it in the works, so you’ll get a chance later. He’s taking it on tour […]

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