Tag Archives: rock 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.

Nirvana Guys Talk to NPR About In Utero’s Gestation

Holy Gettingoldfastcrap Batman! Can't Believe It's Been Bloody 20 Years!

Here at Power’s Towers we have a strict policy on stringing stories – we’re forever stopped our interns from posting news just, y’know, to get something on the board for the week. Ne! We aim for quality posts, and quality posts is what we shall have.

Having said that, we’re going to make ourselves lairs and let you know about the fabtastic Nirvana interview on NPR’s All Songs Considered, where the boys talk about the behind the scenesing of making their last studio LP.

Anyway, brushing tears of nostalgia aside, we highly recommend the NPR ASC podcast too. It’s brought a lot of inneresting music into the office, life, universe, etc.

And to finish, here’s producer-engineer Steve Albini’s famous letter to Nirvana prior to recording In Utero. It’s pure Albini – opinionated, visionary and quote worthy*. We really can’t wait till Trey gets his ass into Albini’s studio for what would be a fricken amazing roquing selection of tasty cuts.

http://www.electricalaudio.com/StudioA/controlroomA.php

Here’s the overalled man in action:

The man has chops in Japanese!

And what must be one of the best interviews with Steve-san:

 

 

 

..no interference from the front office bulletheads.

Song o’ the Mornin’ – The Stone Roses’ I Wanna Be Adored

You're Never Too Old to Feel Uber-Longing

Apparently there’s a movie coming out about the Stone Roses’ tour de force of yore, featuring I Wanna Be Adored. Yeah, more 90s. Seeing as the 90s is the new 60s, let it ride….

Anyway, Trey hardly recollects what he was doing when all that shoe-gazer stuff was bulging the charts. He says, “If you can remember the 90s, you weren’t there”. Which is kinda typical of him, given his penchant for both knowing where he was at any given time in the universe while stringing together a convincing narrative otherwise.

However, word is Trey thought the hook lyric was in the best tradition of Mondgreen I Want to Be Your Dog. Maybe it’s his rock’nroll credentials that drive his unconscious. Who cares.

The song itself sounds like a lazy jam pieced together by a producer to form a genuine composition. But it does capture that youthful longing for immersion – in love, sex, addiction, meaning, causes, whatever – that haunts us rapidly-ageing-but-very-hip folk.

Listen and decide for yourself. Leave your sun hat at home. And please dance less white.

Song for the Morning – Your Redneck Past

Ben Folds' Five Swan Song ... Or Is it?

A nice upbeat tune for breakfast. Ben tap-dances around his southern heritage nicely. Ain’t no rednecks playing swinging piano!

On iTunes.

Ben Fold’s Five were a breath of fresh air through the often bad-breathed 90s. Witty, both musically and lyrically, and kick-ass. I just love me some phat fuzz bass.

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.

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

 

Ai! Yai! Yai! Ya!

The Story Behind the Song – Ai! Yai! Yai! Ya!

What happens when you mix Yorkshire lasses with the Muppets? Ai! Yai! Yai! Ya!

If I had any hair left, I’d say this was about a bad hair day. Or sod’s law. But, really, it’s a diary entry in running a band – it’s a long way from the bottom when you wanna roque’n’roll.

As for the music, while this sounds like a homage to the White Stripes – which would be praise indeed – I wrote the guitar riff on my acoustic. Am just too doggam lazy to flick a switch and hit a power chord.

When I hear a rock band about to kick it up a notch, they got to drop a gear down to get the revs. This was my inspiration for that B-A-E-G move to A5 for the verse, where am giving it some Whole Lotta Rosie. That bit where Mal Young is jamming on one chord for, like, foreeeeveeeer. Nice.

The mid section was me imagining a circus acrobat’s act, Gonzo fired from a cannon straight into the passenger seat of a Key Lime Pie-coloured Cadillac driven by the revomatic Lena Headey. Lucky Gonzo. In the absence of that marquee I had to put in a little schau. Great fun to play, that bit.

My last nod was, por supeusto, to Morricone and that tune from il Bueno, il Bruto, il Cattivo. Not only does the printed lyric not resemble what am yelling, it’s a placeholder for any Anglo-Saxonism you care to insert when things feck up.

I hope Ai! Yai! Yai! Ya! is just as evocative for you as it is for me.

rock music kicking more ass than a bad burro Ai! Yai! Yai! Ya! Trey Roque

 

Just prove that you cannot make anything up anymore, nossir! Here’s something I just stumbled on in writing this post.

Ai! Yai! Yai! Ya! indeed.

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

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