Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pink Panther Progresses

I have always loved Henry Mancini's Pink Panther Theme. It has a beautiful and catchy melody and a good jazz beat to it. So, when I was exploring the acts for the 2011 Prog Day festival, I was intrigued by a link to a version of the pink panther theme by a German progressive rock group called Panzerballett. I clicked on it and was instantly in love. I found it exceptionally creative in its use of elements of prog, jazz, and metal to a well-known underlying melody. To me, this is talent and creativity at its finest. How can you twist a well-known tune without mangling it? Well, in my opinion, they have done it.

And, if that's not good enough for you, make sure you also listen to the fantastic version of "Smoke On The Water" at the same site. Both of these tracks are from their album Starke Stücke which you can find on Amazon here.

1. Panzerballett - Pink Panther (192kbps MP3; 7.28MB)

2. Panzerballett - Smoke on the Water (192kbps MP3; 4.62MB)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Say Goodbye - a Triumph!

I have always enjoyed the Triumph songs I had heard, so I was delighted to find a stack of Triumph CDs at a yard sale for two bucks a piece. It helped me recall all the reasons I loved the clean rock sound. I started with Allied Forces and instead of adding the hits like Magic Power, I thought I'd introduce you to one of the other fantastic songs on this CD.

Say Goodbye is a beautiful rocker. I am a huge fan of guitarist Rik Emmett (check out his solo stuff, especially Absolutely, which features the brilliant "Drive Time").

Triumph - Say Goodbye (192kbps MP3; 6.28 MB)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Enjoy the music - Support a Cause ...

Yes, it has been ages since I posted new music to this blog. But, I know many of you are still enjoying the tracks on this blog based on site visits and song downloads.

How about you support a great cause as you enjoy the music on this blog and help bring it back?

This summer, I will be walking across England for a charity called the Joseph Salmon Trust. A group of us will leave Newcastle, on the East coast of England on July 5, 2010 and walk about 15 miles each day to reach Bowness-on-Solway on England’s west coast six days and 86 miles later on July 10, 2010.

It will be grueling, tiring, possibly painful, hopefully a lot of fun, and for a good cause. I am hoping you’ll be able to provide some support to the charity that is benefiting from the walk. While the more you can give the better, PLEASE do not ignore this plea because you don’t think you can give a large amount. Even a 50-cent donation would be appreciated, acknowledged, and move me one step towards my goal of $2,500 (or £1,500). You may sponsor me “by the mile” or just make a single contribution.

So, what’s the charity?

It is a UK charity called the JOSEPH SALMON TRUST ( and provides financial support to parents who have lost a child. The form of support is individual to each case and could include funeral costs, basic household costs during a grieving period, or simply to allow parents to take some time off work to come to terms with the tragedy.

Unfortunately, since it is a UK-based charity, your contribution will not be tax deductible if you’re based in the USA. If you’re in the UK, please consider making *some* contribution as the UK government apparently adds an additional 25% to registered charities in the form of a gift aid tax refund.

How do you contribute?

I’ve made it as easy as possible for you. I have created a page on “” that will ensure that all the money you contribute goes directly to the organization. They even collect the gift aid tax refund from contributions made by UK contributors. Their costs are covered by 5% of the Government contribution, so NOT ONE CENT of what you contribute will go anywhere except to directly support the charity’s cause. Please remember ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ON THE SITE ARE IN BRITISH POUNDS.

Just use the link below:

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson 1948-2009

When I was in high-school and college, there was no escaping Michael Jackson. Among my peer group, it was cool to bash Michael Jackson's music as candy pop designed for unintelligent people. We couldn't get away from his music on the radio. Secretly, however, we watched the Thriller video every time it came on even as we outwardly sneered at its lack of substance.

Still, there was nothing better to blast through the speakers to get the dance floor active.

More recently, I began to appreciate his music, dancing, and production as the desire to be different gave way to waves of nostalgia and a true appreciation for high quality music production. Few albums sounded better than Michael Jackson's albums. The clean and tight bass drums, the crystal crisp highs, the vocals which were often spit out with a vehement passion ...

It is the music that has been overshadowed by the man over the last several years and I think his early death will serve to focus more attention on the man's incredible talent at composing, arranging, dancing, and singing.

Not sure there's much "underheard" Michael Jackson, but here's a previously unissued demo from The Ultimate Collection that you can find inexpensively on here. I always liked his ballds. They tended to be well written and were not as easy to dismiss as his dance-floor hits.

Michael Jackson - Fall Again (demo) (4.02MB; 128kbps MP3)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Richard Wright 1943-2008

One of the bands that has been getting a lot of rotation on my car CD player is the Rocket Scientists, who are fast evolving into one of my favorite bands. I am certain that I will feature more Rocket Scientists here if I ever get back to making this blog more regular, but for today, in honor of Richard Wright of Pink Floyd who died on Monday, here is the Rocket Scientists cover of Pink Floyd's Welcome to the Machine from their Earthbound album.

RIP, Richard.

The Rocket Scientists - Welcome to the Machine (6.59MB; 192kbps MP3)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Going Deep With Leonard Cohen

Even those of you casual radio listeners who know Leonard Cohen probably have only heard his song Suzanne. Here are a few more selections from the "musical poet."

Leonard Cohen has long been considered more of a poet than a singer. His lyrics are haunting but oblique and his use of words is exquisite. However, to ignore his music and singing is to do him an injustice. He has an incredibly deep voice and you almost get a catch in your throat listening to him. His melodies are beautiful though most of his songs are, admittedly, like dirges. He sings these slow, deep, drawling songs that just suck you in with their weight.

Here are a few songs that are more upbeat than the typical Leonard Cohen. Everybody Knows has a nice, almost rollicking feel to it (yes, for Leonard Cohen, this is "rollicking"). The second selection, I'm Your Man is one of his bigger hits and also has a slight dance-y lilt to it. I was going to add a third selection, but decided that you should just buy some Leonard Cohen to get a good sense of his music.

These songs were taken from an excellent compilation of Leonard Cohen songs called The Essential Leonard Cohen. This 2-CD set is available relatively inexpensively on Amazon here. If you like this (and most of you will), you can find the rest of his discography on Amazon here.

You can read his wikipedia entry about his career as a singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist here.

1. Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows (5.14 MB; 128kbps MP3)
2. Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man (4.05 MB; 128kbps MP3)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sniffling On a Train

I apologize for this silent week. On Monday evening, I started sniffling and sneezing and it blew up into a full-fledged cold/flu episode that had me huddled shivering under a blanket each evening and in no mood to find, write, and post any MP3s. Not sure if anyone missed me this week.

But, I'm back anyway. I have some chest congestion and a cough that sounds worse than it feels, but I'm back with some classic rock.

Blackfoot was a brand with some impressive links to the rock world. A quick read of the Wikipedia stub here will show you that Blackfoot is closely linked with such legendary bands as Uriah Heep and Lynyrd Skynyrd. A great group with a great sound that somehow never lived up to its potential. The song featured here is probably one of their greatest hits - Train Train. The rhythmic beat that starts the song and the strong vocals should give you an idea of the capabilities of this band.

I strongly recommend this Greatest Hits album here. Find the rest of their discography here.

1. Blackfoot - Train Train (4.1 MB; 128kbps MP3)