Tag Archives: live music

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Frank Zappa’s King Kong

"We're involved in a... sort a... low-key war against apathy.... Something's gotta be done before America [redacted] up the world and [redacted] on it."

Thus speaks Frank Zappa, the man who understood personal branding and the music industry long before it understood itself.

Comment aside, Trey stuck his head in the office and said two words – King. And, Kong.* This left the crew, our intern especially, scratching our cobnuts trying to solve the riddle. Yes, it was before noon and, yes, after Trey’s first coffee of the day and, no, he wasn’t wearing his customary slippers and bedtime onesie. This could only mean one thing – so we raided his iTunes search field to find out.

The actual tune begins at 2:35.

BTW, a search in the iTunes store reveals hella‡ songs called King Kong, and FZ’s stuff can actually be found there now. King Kong variations take up side four (side four! Them were the days!) of the LP Uncle Meat.

Naturally, TR has FZ on CD, as you never know when the spirit of Steve Jobs will rise out of the Internet and take back all your music you bought. He still can certainly make it hard for you to play it on your devices….. Devices!°

Here’s the studio version, with the obstreperous genius Jean Luc Ponty:

And one with FZ’s 80s band, who we don’t care for all that much. Is kinda soulless, compared to the 70s ensembles, especially. But for a middle-aged guy who scorns Californication, FZ is in damn good shape.

Son of Zappa, Dweezil, also turns this tune out with his high-school band (kidding!). Unfortunately, we could only source a version with the stickety Chick Corea∡:

 

* Yes, we didn’t know how to punctuate that either. 

‡ Do people still say ‘hella’? That seems to have gone the way of the minidisc.

° Another Zappa quote. Miniquote. Snippet. And it has nothing to do with anything using an OS.

∡ Yeah, we did wake up with a snarky woof today.

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Neil Young’s Pocahontas

How One Man Combined Whimsy & Feeling And Made You Blub

Early mornings, Trey’s something of a sleepy bear – best approached with caution. But this morning was different, tinged as it was by the Song o’ the Mornin’, the plaintive Pocahontas, by Canadia’s very own Neil Young.

As the subtitle boasts, Neil’s forte is far less his stomping rock tunes + scrap metal solos, and far more his deft touch at mixing whimsy with genuine emotion. After all, Neil ain’t an injured Indian. But the Marlon connection to Pocahontas may have been inspired by Sacheen Littlefeather’s acceptance of Brando’s* Oscar in 1973.

Which is worthy of an entire album of songs, that can never be bested by that one speech.

For more whimsical, tear-inducing acoustic emo, check this out. A salmon on your plate will never be the same.

Songs available here:

Pocahontas

Will to Love

 

 

* Notice that it’s ‘Neil’, and ‘Brando’. This is probably why:

Marlon Brando, Pocahontas, Neil Young

Song o’ the Mornin’ – Kath Bloom’s Come Here

Since Linklater's got a new movie out, Before Midnight, the gang at Power's Towers have checked out the first two of the trilogy.

And we can’t wait for the appropriately late showing at Bio Oko, so lovely have been the others.

One might quip that Richard Linklater is America’s best French film director (if it weren’t for the execrable School of Rock), given that his movies are ever so talky and about important stuff, like love, life and the meaning of it all. It ain’t Taratinesque, fo’ sho’.

Anyway, a Yank boy and French girl meet on a train and spend a night of magic in Vienna, waaay back in the early 90s. How they hit it off, what’s important to them, their chemistry, the natural performances and leisurely story telling – are all uberly hard to do once a camera starts rolling.

So this morning, like the last Trey’s had all week, it’s Kath Bloom‘s Come Here, from one of the most pitch-perfect romantic scenes in cinema history.

You can buy the song here, or where the hell you please. Sadly, not in a chic vinyl store in Vienna, in 1994. 1994′s gone, baby. Gone.

The movies can be rented or bought here, among other places.

Going That Extra Mile for Music

You may not notice the screw-ups, but we sure do!

Okay, agreed, enough already! Music needs imperfections for our analogue brains to dig.

This is one reason why so-called dance music sucks. And it’s not the only one, but we digress.

From James Jamerson paying a major triad over the minor in Bernadette:

To Freddie singing flat and drowning the microphone:

“Who gives a doggam if the music is cookin’?” I hear you bellow. And we at Power’s Towers agree.

But sometimes there’s the kind of howler maybe only musos – or the truly fan/tastic – get. And here’s one, for your edification and listening pleasure, a fab song with a cheeky alternative guitar solo to the LP:

The Power’s Towers are so into Brian at the mo – his uberly musical approach to guitars, in the bish-bash-bosh arena of rock guitar no less, is unparalleled. Really. He’s like the whole guitar section of Freebird in one skinny, man with a ‘fro.

This mistake is so minor (at 2:11), but I feel his pain as he shakes his head, knowing full well that one day someone will create YouTube, dig out an old video, and put this minor flub online for the world to see and cop.

For that, is for nothing else – and there is so much more else – we got to love our Brian. Going the extra mile for music.

We promise you lovely people the same attention to detail – to keep the screw-ups that enhance the sound, and to put a Paddington Bear hard stare on those that don’t.

Magistrala Show – Thanks for Coming!

Once again, thanks to all you lovely people who managed to make it for the show supporting CCEA.

Trey Roque plays Magistrala IP Pavlova Praha

Not just the show, but the entire thing was a pretty unique, fabtastic event, was it not?

I’ve never been asked to do so many encores — I actually ran out of songs!

It was so cool to be playing outdoors in the centre of Praha too. Had a real ‘Times Square’ feeling, with all the traffic and the panoply of people that make up Praha, who had to stop by and check out le Roque.

Stay tuned for more acoustic solo shows. Trey’s planning to play more live shows once the nights turn cooler and our thoughts turn to indoor entertainment.

In the meantime, have a fab babi-leto.

Trey Roque plays Magistrala IP Pavlova Praha

Thanks also to my impromptu backing band, on handclaps, tambourine and comfy sofa:

Trey Roque plays Magistrala show at IP Pavlova Praha

 

As ever, pics courtesy and (c) of Tino.

Trey Plays Magistrala

Part of a fab fest aimed at regenerating the Magistrala at IP Pavlova – come on over! August 7, 20:00

Salivating at the prospect of playing IP Pavlova. Doggam!

What?

In the spirit of his new acoustic-guitar music (Trey & the elves are still busy at work), Trey will be playing the CCEA-managed urban regeneration fest.

The project is a two-week long fest of music, open-air movie screenings, fussball and chess tournaments, and pleasant outdoor refreshments. Let’s hope the good weather holds!

CCEA’s idea is to highlight the need for a better solution for pedestrians and people who want to use the space for something better than …. cars. Here’s how it is now:

Trey Plays Magistrala

Magistrala as it is – not much majesty, is there?

And here’s a few pics for how it will be:

Trey Plays Magistrala

Magistrala with fab street art.

Trey Plays Magistrala

Of course – the area will be buzzing with lovely people. And there just may be different types of cars in the street – but that’s architectural licence for you!

Trey will be premiering a clutch of fab new songs, plus all those faves you know so well. AND it’ll be a bit safer for your ears!

When?

Wednesday – August 7, at 20:00. A full hour or more!

In the spirit of Bruce Springsteen, he’ll be playing until they shut the lights off. Trey will also be taking requests from his back catalogue (yeah, we know ;-)). Macht shau!

How much?

Free. Though Trey will be selling his Eagles EP for those of you who love a little hard roquin’ and want to support the artist.

What do I got to do to take part in roque history?

Come on – come over! Get your sexy self down to IP Pavlova, Praha, and then use this uberly simple map.

Trey Plays Magistrala

Download & print this map.

Naturally, enjoy all the other lovely happenings too – Trey promises not to get too jealous.

Spread the word with a programme. We’ve highlighted Trey, for those of you who see as badly as he does.

Trey Plays Magistrala

 

Something Ain’t Right

The Story Behind the Song – Something Ain't Right

Or ‘How A Murder Ballad Gets Itself Writ’

I either begin writing a song with a tune in my head, or start with the chords. I do love me a sweet chord progression, and I believe I got the one for Something Ain’t Right from Schubert – after watching Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon a bahzillion times. Schubert got his idea from a Swedish folk song back in 1827, Kubrick’s movie was in 1975, and I began writing mine in 2008. Ain’t that a grand lineage?

I was visiting a friend in the USA, writing songs on his porch and looking for an agent for my science-fiction novel, in between times meddling with them chords. He was having a little woman trouble, and I picked out a thread from it and spun my own tale of paranoid jealousy. With a little help from Marvin Gaye. I put the verse and chorus together real easy once I knew which direction I was going in (that’s always the hardest part), but there was something lacking…. or ain’t right. It felt incomplete.

That didn’t stop me playing the tune live, though – and when you have to put a song out before an audience you really feel the bumps of it. I had a filler mid section – and, boy, did it feel fillery. I knew I wanted a chromatic, perhaps cheesy, return from the mid to the refrain/ chorus, but what to do in the meantime evaded me until 2011. I guess I lost my rag a bit and simply hit two chords hard – trying to snap myself out of the oh-so-seductive sequence. It worked.

The Fmi and Dmi staccato really adds the chili-pepper to the whipped-cream verses, and reveals the frustrated fury beneath the entire lyric. I don’t usually write tunes with a storyline, much less take three years to do so, but I have to admit – this one sounds so good it doesn’t sound like me, it sounds like a band I really love. And that, gentlepersons, is why I do it.

So, here she is – Something Ain’t Right.

Something-Aint-Right

BTW, you can get Kubrick’s movie and the music over on iTunesazom. Enjoy!

 

© A Power

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Say NO! NO! NO! To Cam Blockers

A Bloody Good Way to Can the Cam at Shows

I thought I was pretty up on tech, after all I visited Cupertino and got an effin t-shirt to prove it…

Until I went to see Barack Obama speak at Prague Castle in… what? 2009?

Anyway, as soon as the Commander in Chief stepped up to the mic, a thousand hands shot in the air with bleedin smartphones. I stand a reasonable 6’2″ in my Fox River socks, and could hardly see him for cam-spamming. It’s not like it wasn’t going to be on the Internets, like, forever…

It’s all too easy to imagine the plight of the vertically challenged, now they have to compete with a forest of extended arms a-blinking.

That’s why it’s a refreshing change to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs make an appeal to their audience that manages to get the job done without pissing people off.

yeah yeah yeahs

I didn’t take a cam to see B/O in the CZ, as I wanted to be there in the moment. So instead, here’s a random photo I took while in my fave city, San Francisco.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Can the Cam

Street Chimp, Miffed, Caught on Cam.

Cafe Na Pul Cesty Show… Better Late Than… Bleh

Thanks to all you lovely people – you roque us!

As the title says – thanks for coming to the show!

I’ve been sick as a small puppy in a box since then, and had to get my biz back on track, so haven’t had the time to let you guys know – you roqued!

Also, thanks to Tomas and the bar staff for making us feel welcome. We had a fab time.

Prague's best rock band

Cafe Na Pul Cesty Show – Delicious Poster

Extra Inducement to Come See Our Live Show March 7

This is our only show in March, and we’d love to see you there.

Especially when it’s our first chance to show off our new CD, and a few new tunes!

And we have some special offers – in addition to the gorgeous popster poster below.

  • The first 20 people through the door get a lyrics sheet (fab, right?)
  • Everyone who signs up for our mailing list at the show gets put into a raffle. Free CD prize!
  • Existing fans who bring someone new also get put into the raffle. We know who you are, you lovely roquesters!
  • Every CD bought (or won!) gets a dedication written on it by the lovely lads in the band.
  • We will roque you!

(Okay, that last one is a given, but it’s certainly a given worth shaking your butt and coming down to see us).

If you’d like to print or treasure the poster for yourself, just right click and download. That’s more than cool with us.

So, don’t forget the details:

Rock band Trey Roque play show Cafe Na Pul Cesty 7 March