The Truck Driver’s Gear Change Hall Of Shame:
Many writers and arrangers feel that when their song is in risk of getting a bit tired, it can be given a fresh lease of life by shifting the whole song up a key, usually in between choruses, towards the beginning of a “repeat-till-fade” section. You may have heard this technique informally referred to as “modulation”, but the correct ethnomusicological term for the phenomenon is the truck driver’s gear change. This reflects the utterly predictable and laboured nature of the transition, evoking a tired and over-worked trucker ramming the gearstick into the new position with his or, to be fair, her fist.
Examples most people would know about are in The Beatles’ Good Day Sunshine and Penny Lane.
As a companion piece to the controversial 100 “greatest” guitarists of all time, here’s something even more controversial: The Top 50 Worst Guitar Solos of the Millennium.
I know I left out plenty of deserving guitar dudes on this list (there’s a lot of hammered shit out there, y’know). I took care to exclude bozos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and John McLaughlin because, frankly, their styles seem to have less to do with pure rock-n-roll than that of say, Eddie Van Halen. Anyway, it’s a good bet that some of you will consider some or all of these solos the best of all time.
Here’s the Top 10 (with the worst being number 1):
- “Let It Rain” by Derek and the Dominos; Soloist: Eric Clapton
- “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd; Soloist: Gary Rossington, Ed King, Allen Collins
- “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” by Ten Years After; Soloist: Alvin Lee
- “Demand” by Phish; Soloist: Trey Anastasio
- “Renegade” by Styx; Soloist: Tommy Shaw
- “Fuel to the Fire” by Rory Gallagher; Soloist: Rory Gallagher
- “Hot Blooded” by Foreigner; Soloist: Mick Jones
- “Do You Feel Like We Do” by Peter Frampton; Soloist: Peter Frampton
- “I Like to Rock” by April Wine; Soloist: Brian Greenway
- “Venom Soup” by Ted Nugent; Soloist: Ted Nugent
(via Waxy.org Links)
“I, Robot” in a nutshell:
I don’t know why, but after the movie I came out of the theater wanting to buy a pair of Converse shoes (vintage 2004), have them delivered to my local FedEx station, drive my MV Augusta SPR motorcycle to pick them up, stop by the shop to have my new JVC CD player installed in my Audi, pick up a couple of Dos Equis on my way home, wash it down with an Ovaltine and then invest what money I have left into a mutual fund with Prudential Life Insurance.
Warning: the author’s language may be offensive to some (ya wimps).
One Hit Wonder Central:
one hit wonders music of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s
Remember Big Country from the 80s?
The band released The Crossing in the spring of 1983. At home, the album went platinum. In America, the album went gold. Its success coasted on the Top 20 pop hit “In a Big Country.”
I always liked that song. Or The Boomtown Rats‘ I Don’t Like Mondays? That’s a great song.
DiVERSiONZ has an interesting offer:
…for a limited time, I am offering any takers the opportunity to have their very own fresh jingle made for their blog. That’s right, just send me an email at email@example.com or drop me a comment with the name of your blog (maybe even your catchy slogan) and I will put it to music and email it back to you as a .wav file free of charge.
Soon, I hope everyone will have their very own jingle that they can display proudly on their blog.
Steel White Table’s jingle is suberb. Imagine hearing that every time you visited Steel White Table? What a brilliant idea!