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Thursday, February 28, 2008


there's also these.....

If you watch that last one and aren't absolutely floored, absolutely shocked, stunned, and agape, then you my friend need serious help.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008



Monday, February 25, 2008


It just dawned on me that there wasn't any American contribution to the 70's Prog Rock thing. That thought came as I was pondering a title for this post, but it's merely an aside.

What made we want to post about Prog was the fact that I was listening to Yes in the car on the way home tonight, and when I got home I saw this post by Misanthrope.

Every once in a while I give 'Tales of Topographic Oceans' another chance. There are moments, certain melody lines, and a fair amount of rippage by Mr. Howe, but as anyone who has gone on this fools errand will tell you, it's not worth the trouble.

In any kind of music, it's important to write good songs. For all of the four side-long compositions there is maybe two-thirds of a side's worth of worthwhile music.

This is the curse of Prog. It requires though - a lot of thought, and once you get to thinking your focus switches to conceptual mode, and then you're lost.

And then there's Fripp.

King Crimson begins as a band. Robert Fripp is only a guitar player and occasional writer on the first record. Over the course of the ensuing records we see him ascend to his eventual dictatorial role. At first he seems to try and use the various contributions of others, their individuality, to further his vision. Then, by 'Red', the band coalesces around the vision. It becomes a sound. You could hear the sound on earlier records, it was always there, but there was always other things happening as well. That shit needed to go. Improv was out, math was in, and it worked. It worked really well.

I'm sure it took a lot of thought.

So why does thinking help King Crimson and kill Yes?

One person's vision is easier to attain - within the construct of a performance - than the visions of five people.

Genesis is confounding. They are a democracy. At the peak of their thinking, Gabriel quit because he needed more time to think and was out voted. After that the thinking slowed down very gradually at first, but then Steve Hackett quit, and it's unclear exactly what he was thinking, but it doesn't require much thought to understand what happened after Steve left.....

.....a lot less thinking, and a more unified vision. It translated into more record sales, but, well, I mean I don't listen to 'Duke' or 'Genesis' much, not a lot of time spent with 'Three Sides Live' on the turntable. Of course I own them.....well, I don't own 'Invisible Touch' or anything since. I must draw the line.

The line is Krokus. If it's worse than Krokus, I won't buy it.

There are Krokus albums I won't buy. I suppose they are worse than Krokus.

Krokus isn't Prog. I got distracted.

ELP is Prog.

I don't like them.

I have most of their records though.

At times, during ELP recordings, none of them are playing the song, or even listening to each other. ELP are the poster boys for 'because we can' music. I think they should have thought about weather or not they should.

Mostly they shouldn't have.

Rush is Canadian. They think about their music AND baseball. It's easier for three to act as one, but they should be commended for their consistency of vision and perseverance through difficult times.

The Germans had Amon Duul and Gong, the Swedes gave us Focus, the French trump it all with Magma, but no Yankee Prog.

Americans don't like to think much, except with our crotches or our wallets.

Krokus were from Switzerland..........

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Okay, I've had enough. My hat is in the ring. Write me in, yo.

Item 1) Immediate withdrawal of all US troops in Iraq.
Item 2) Take insurance out of the health care equation.
Item 3) Legalize gay marriage.
Item 4) Legalize marijuana.
Item 5) Free Telecasters for everyone.


I have come to the conclusion, while watching 'Streets of Fire', that the key to a great film is to have E.G. Daily in it. Not a lot, she's like salt, necessary, but a little goes a long way.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I recently re-discovered my box of cassettes. It's been fun listening to old mix tapes. It has put me back in touch with some old faves.

Like Widowmaker.

Comprised of Mott The Hoople, Hawkwind, and future Blizzard of Ozz alums, it seemed a good bet.

Widowmaker is less than the sum of its parts.

There were a few good moments on their self titled debut (1976). Given the pedigree, I wanted to like it.

I've never seen their second, and last LP, 'Too Late To Cry', but I've had the first one since high school. 'Such A Shame', and 'Pin A Rose' were the standout tracks.


I've updated my sidebar. I added three blogs to my blogroll.

The first, Mathdude, is a new blogger. Mathdude is a longtime friend, brother of Tony Alva, and a music fan whose taste I held in high regard - until it was revealed that he is an AFI fan.

Hey, I got some questionable tastes.......Krokus anyone?

The second addition, that of D-Factor's Waved Rumor, is long overdue. As far as I know, D-Factor does not champion any totally lame bands. Time will tell......

Lastly, Newcritics, which Tony, Fred, and I contribute to from time to time.

If you have a blog and I don't have you on my sidebar, please let me know. Now that I know how to add to my blogroll and I don't have to have Tony or Hue do it for me (thanks again guys), I'm happy to do it.


Savage Distortion is not anti-God, anti-faith, and certainly not anti-spiritual. If faith helps you, if your belief comforts you, swell. My issue is with organized religions and how they manipulate those who believe, and, of course, the relationship between organized religion and war.

Frank Zappa summed it up fairly well on 1981's 'The Meek Shal Inherit Nothing':

"Some take the bible For what it's worth when it says that the meek shall inherit the Earth
Well, I heard that some sheik has bought New Jersey last week 'n you suckers ain't gettin' nothin'

Those Jesus Freaks, well, they're friendly but , the shit they believe has got their minds all shut An' they don't even care when the church takes a cut. Ain't it bleak when you got so much nothin'

Do what you wanna. Do what you will. Just don't mess up your neighbor's thrill.
'N when you pay the bill, kindly leave a little tip, and help the next poor sucker on his one way trip... "

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The Savage Distortion will not officially endorse a Presidential candidate. It's my beliefe that endorsements only serve to sway the weak minded. Folks should pay attention, and make up their own minds.

Having said that, I hope to vote for Obama........

Thursday, February 14, 2008


You'll be so glad you did.


We can all trace our mitochondria back to a single woman, the 'Genetic Eve'.

We can all trace recording studio magic back to Tom Dowd.

You own, and love a Tom Dowd recording.

I recently watched Tom Dowd & the Language of Music. I was well aware of his legacy, but was still blown away by the sheer volume of contributions to popular music. I'm talking hits, and great records. There is a difference.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


A few months back a new band, Himalaya, moved in across the hall from Smoke and Mirrors. Unlike most bands that we've had as neighbors, we liked what we heard leaking out of their room.

We told them so.

We offered our services.

They took us up on it.

We tracked three songs which are now in the mixing stage.

The experience was very positive, and resulted in the band asking Chrispy to sit behind the board for thier live show at the new Luna Longe. Of course the house engineer, Shannon, was there, as well he should be, and Chrispy helped him by providing knowledge of the tunes and desired sound. It worked well although it was certainly a challenge to provide good sound in the cavernous enviroment that is the new Luna Lounge. It's a huge concrete box - the absolute worst environment for live sound. Shannon and Chrispy did what they could, and by all accounts it was a success.

I like Himalaya. I like their stuff, and I like them. Their approach to recording has been low stress and high yield.

Since they reside across the hall it was a simple matter of recording them using their own gear in an environment familiar to them.

Making the artist comfortable is a major factor in getting a good recording, and in this case it has paid off in spades.

I have a suspicion that when we finish up the three tunes, we'll start on some more.

I look forward to that.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Tony Alva: "Jackson, rack up 'Words of Wonder', my man."

Jackson: "Uh........."

That's how is started.

How it ended was a trip to Virgin.

Faithful readers may remember my obsessive blogging on the perfect Keith mix. Well, I failed to represent properly. I left off 'Words of Wonder', a truly great reggae tune from 'Main Offender'.

It came to a head when it was disclosed that I had lost my copy of 'Main Offender', and had compiled my mix from memory.

Necessary measures had to be taken.

We had to go to Virgin.

While we were there......


Riot - 'Restless Breed'

Judas Priest - 'Stained Class'

Tony Alva:

'Timeless - A Tribute to Hank Williams'

New York Dolls - 'New York Dolls'

Some things just have to be done.


Go here and donate. Go here to learn more.

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Do something good today.


Hee hee hee.....

"In the beginning, good always triumphed over all man's sins......."
- Alistair Feind

Take that NFL Axis of Evil!

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