Legendary Journey guitarist Neal Schon shows off his PRS NS-15 signature model to Premier Guitar's Steve Cook during this rig rundown prior to the band's show in Nashville, TN on September 12. Other topics include Neal's amps and effects with guitar tech Adam Day and how Neal controls feedback while using a semi-hollow guitar on stage and in the studio. And cellophane.
Ginger - "Mother City" (Valor del Corazón, 2006)
Ginger’s (he had not yet assumed the Wildheart surname) melodic ode to his adopted home city NYC from his first proper solo album (the Singles Club project that eventually led to the A Break in the Weather compilation doesn’t really count, does it!?). Stylistically, this double-album is all over the place (heck, there are like 6 genre shifts in “Drinking in the Daytime” alone), but in a good way as it saturated with pop-y, accessible melodies. If you are a fan of any of Ginger’s work, you’ll definitely find something to like in this.
King’s X - "Prisoner" (1992)
Live bootleg performance of one of my favorite King’s X tunes (from their often maligned, self-titled fourth album) featuring Dane Sonnier from Galactic Cowboys on acoustic guitar. Given drummer Jerry Gaskill’s second heart attack scare a couple of weeks ago, my having never seen King’s X live may go down as one of my great regrets in life.
Spock’s Beard - "Lay It Down" (Day for Night, 1999) Huge fan of this entire album. Neal Morse has a certain way of tugging at my heartstrings with his writing. This way-too-short “ballad” is part four (or IV) of a seven-part suite that closes out the album. Hey, what to you expect from one of the bands that sparked a mid-90s resurgence in prog rock?!
KISS - "Take Me" (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)
Great tune from one of my favorite early KISS albums that for some reason doesn’t really seem like a KISS album to me. I almost wish Eddie Kramer had produced the entire KISS catalog, as he seems to have had a hand in most of my favorite work from them.
Toad the Wet Sprocket - "In My Ear" (Load and Clear)
“I never meant half the things I said to you. So you know there’s a half that might be true.” Just kidding. I mean everything I say here. Or do I?!
The Four Tops - "The Fool on the Hill" (La Musique de Paris Dernière, Volume 2, 2002)
I’m assuming this is the same version as the one that originally appeared in 1969 on The Four Tops Now!. A definite “Motown-y” take on a soon-to-be Beatles classic (it was only a couple years old at the time), but it almost has too much of a Motown Christmas feel to it for my liking.
The Cult - "Outlaw" (Electric, 1987)
Great example what has become classic Cult: a slinky guitar riff underneath a punchy start-top rhythm whilst Astbury inscrutably ad-libs over the top of the whole thing.
Transatlantic - "A Salty Dog" (The Whirlwind, 2009)
I love this “supergroup,” but I really had a hard time getting into this album. Despite that, this is a very good, almost note-for-note cover of the Procol Harum song from the limited edition bonus disc that also features covers of Genesis and Santana, as well as a Beatles/America mashup.
Cheap Trick - "Need Your Love" (Dream Police, 1979)
Being of a certain age, Dream Police was my introduction to Cheap Trick right after Budokan. Having already accepted the strangeness of KISS, the weird white police uniforms and quirkiness of Rick Nielsen did little to deter me from loving this album. This song didn’t hurt either.
Glen Phillips - "Better Off Here" (Glen Phillips (with Nickel Creek) Live at Joe’s Pub 8/18/2002)
I find very little to criticize or complain about when it comes to Glen Phillips, especially live Glen Phillips, where I think he truly shines. Funny that I’ve never actually seen him live, though.
Jonathan Coulton - "My Beige Bear" (The Aftermath, 2007)
Widely regarded as one of the first internet superstars and global ambassador of geek culture in the music world, Coulton is a wildly talented multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter. And though his lyrics often border on the nerdy side of things, the man can write a darn good pop song, as evidenced here. And I think I hear a ultra-distorted bass line in the background, so that gets extra points as far as I’m concerned.
Devo - "Cameo" (Something for Everyone (Deluxe Version), 2010)
Umm, OK. This is a quirky as it gets, folks.
Missing Persons - "Words" (Spring Session M, 1982)
“Do you hear me? Do you care?” 3 words for you: clear plastic bra. Amiright?! Gimmicks (and quirkiness) aside, Missing Persons actually had some decent songs.
Looks like today is Quirky Friday for me. Hope you have a quirky one, too!