Music Magic

I saw a meme on Facebook that I can’t resist – the albums that we find most influenced us in our lives. I don’t care for Facebook. I hang a shingle there for peeps who don’t blog, flickr or twitter. But, I digress. Here are some my favorite records, in no particular order.

  • Ken Nordine‘s Word Jazz was my introduction to beat-ness
  • Beatles: Sargent Peppers was the first rock music I ever loved
  • Reader’s Digest Collection of favorite Classical Music: Mozart My dad played Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550 many times when I was a very little kid. It still haunts me. 
  • Rush: Moving Pictures was my introduction to Neil Peart. Sums up junior high school.
  • Cheap Trick: One on One was the first album I bought with my own money
  • Police: Outlandos d’Amour made me want to be in a band
  • Thelonius Monk: Best of the Bluenote Years was my introduction to Monk…I don’t think I’d ever listened as hard to music as I did with this collection
  • Ornette ColemanThe Art of the Improvisers
  • Diana Froley: You’re not Broke but I’m going to fix You Diana recorded this in her kitchen. I still find inspiration in this music.
  • Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast While I loved this music as a lad, this album gave my Dad and I a chance to discuss the differences between dogma, theology, art and story telling. It was a moment when I realized how cool my dad really was.
  • Buddy Rich: Plays and plays and plays and plays I wore this record out
  • Helmet: Born Annoying, Meantime
  • Fishbone The Reality of My Surroundings
  • Steve Vai Flexible recorded with an 8-track borrowed from Frank Zappa, this Lp was my summers’ soundtrack through college.
  • Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band Trout Mask Replica always sounds new to me
  • Tom Waits Bone Machine is my favorite Tom Waits album – probably my favorite album period. Someone, please play this at my funeral, just for fun.
  • The Dukes of Dixieland, West Side Story and Camelot lps in my parents’ stereo system
  • Posh Hits, Vol 1 featuring the Circle Jerks, Agent Orange, Black Flag
  • Donald Fagen The Nightfly
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers Mother’s Milk
  • The Cure Head on the Door My college years
  • Fugazi Repeater
  • Bill Evans Trio Portrait in Jazz True introspection
  • Oingo Boingo Dead Man’s Party Play this at my funeral, too – right after Tom Waits
  • Medeski Martin & Wood Friday Afternoon in the Universe
  • Tommy Flanagan Montreux ’77
  • The Ventures Batman Theme

This last one took me a while to track down. I had this record in my basement as a kid, and it made a profound impact on me. The dissonance in the reverb soaked surf guitar was intriguing to me. I still love it.

The Ventures Play TV Themes

There are many other singles, albums and bands worth listing. For example, Neil made me plenty a-fine-mix-tape of outstanding music. Tim and J Cookson shared lots of hardcore and punk (Angry Samoans, Dead Kennedy’s, Marginal Man, Dead Milkmen, Butthole Surfers and Minor Threat). I am still into my old Knitting Factory records, Latin Jazz, 1950’s be-bop and indie rock. But the records above all contributed something important to my musical DNA.

This is an incomplete list. What about YOU? What records do YOU hold dear to your soul?


Blister Freak Circus raffle

I just found this as I was unpacking. It’s from show I once played, where the band sponsored a contest to win several pounds of scrapple. I’m fairly certain that the scrapple ended up in a toilet supply tank at that club.

How to make scrapple


Cold Drinks

Cold Drinks CD cover

Finally! Patrick O’Donnell’s latest CD is released into the wild (Skoda Records). I love getting mail. This is his best music to date (in my opinion). And not just because I contributed drum tracks, either.

What a nice way to start the musical new year!


Inner Ear (Drums)

In July/August of 2004, I had the pleasure of recording most of the drum tracks for Patrick O’Donnell’s CD, Cold Drinks. The really cool part for me was the fact that we recorded at Inner Ear in Arlington, Virginia. Many a fine Dischord Records release have come from there, and enjoyed working with Patrick and Chad from Beauty Pill/Smart Went Crazy.

While my drums were set up, I recorded a bunch of tracks to use with future material in my own studio, the Dead Chicken Ranch. Today, I received a DVD of the audio files and the timing couldn’t be better. The DCR is just about to open its doors again. More on that soon.

Here are some pictures of my set-up from that session:

Drum set up @ inner ear

Another view of my tubs

birdseye view of my drums

One last picture of my drums...

I think this CD is Patrick’s best yet. It’s coming out shortly on SKODA records (Patrick has been very busy making films in New York).