All posts by The Fill-In Host

About The Fill-In Host

I am the fill-in host whenever DJ Allyn is away or not able to post. If you see anything posted by me, it is because he is away.

Kid Shreds on Accordion

Video of the Day – March 19, 2014

Normally, I cannot stand the accordion.  But this kid is amazing.

Update: Thanks to Sinogirl, the instrument is a bayan, a chromatic button accordion developed in Russia in the early 20th century and differs from the Western chromatic button accordion in some details of construction:

  • Reeds are broader and rectangular (rather than trapezoidal).
  • Reeds are often attached in large groups to a common plate (rather than in pairs); the plates are screwed to the reed block (rather than attached with wax).
  • The melody-side keyboard is attached near the middle of the body (rather than at the rear).
  • Reeds are generally not tuned with tremolo.
  • Register switches may be operated with the chin on some larger models.
  • The diminished seventh chord row is shifted, so that the diminished seventh G chord is where one would expect the diminished seventh C chord in the Stradella bass system.
  • Converter switches to go from standard pre-set chords to free bass (individual bass notes) are common on the larger instruments.
  • Newer instruments may feature a register, where every tone played actually produces a perfect fifth.

The differences in internal construction give the bayan a different tone color from western instruments, especially the bass has a much fuller sound. Because of their range and purity of tone, bayans are often the instrument of choice for accordion virtuosi who perform classical and contemporary classical music.

[Source: Wikipedia - Bayan Accordion]

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Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played – indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful.

Dire Straits chose their name mainly due to the financial conditions the four band members were in at the time.

Sultans of Swing

Sultans of Swing” was the first single release of the British rock band Dire Straits. It was first recorded as a demo, and quickly acquired a following after it was put in the rotation at Radio London. It did not take long for the popularity to find its way to record executives, and Dire Straits were offered a contract with Phonogram, a British record company. The song was then re-recorded and released in both the United Kingdom and the United States, though the demo version remained on the original UK Vertigo single. It entered the American music pop charts in early-1979. Unusually, the success of this single release came more than six months after the relatively unheralded release of the band’s debut album in October of 1978; the song reached the top 10 in both the UK and the U.S., and helped drive sales of the album, which also became a hit.

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowin’ Dixie double four time
You feel alright when you hear that music ring

And now you step inside but you don’t see too many faces
Comin’ in out of the rain you hear the jazz go down
Competition in other places
Oh but the horns they blowin’ that sound
Way on down south, way on down south London town

You check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords
Mind he’s strictly rhythm he doesn’t wanna make it cry or sing
Yes and an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job, he’s doin’ alright
He can play the honky tonk like anything
Savin’ it up for Friday night
With the Sultans… with the Sultans of Swing

And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans… yeah the Sultans play Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
‘Goodnight, now it’s time to go home’
And he makes it fast with one more thing
‘We are the Sultans… We are the Sultans of Swing’

  • Audio from the 1978 album, Dire Straits:
Click to Purchase
Click to Purchase

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Stairway to Heaven ~ Led Zeppelin

led-zeppelinLed Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 by Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (vocals), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards) and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin are regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands. However, the band’s individualistic style draws from many sources and transcends any one genre. Their rock-infused interpretation of the blues and folk genres also incorporated rockabilly, reggae, soul, funk, classical, Celtic, Indian, Arabic, pop, Latin and country. The band did not release the popular songs from their albums as singles in the UK, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.

Close to 30 years after disbanding following Bonham’s death in 1980, the band continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and broad influence. The band have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 111.5 million sales in the United States and they have had all of their original studio albums reach the U.S. Billboard Top 10, with six reaching the number one spot. Led Zeppelin are ranked No. 1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as “the heaviest band of all time” and “the biggest band of the 70s”.

The photo is of the first performance ever by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham in a small club outside of Copenhagen, the Gladsaxe Teen Club, had booked The Yardbirds a few months before but the Yardbirds broke up and Peter Grant and Jimmy Page came with other musicians to fulfil those commitments. They signed a contract for a small tour in Scandinavia. Jimmy recruited 3 other guys and they played all the clubs where The Yardbirds were supposed to play. The first of these clubs was the Gladsaxe Teen Club.

Gladsaxe Teen Club was really a gymnasium of a progressive school built in the 1960s and located in the area of Gladsaxe and they held concerts there almost every Saturday between September and March.

They Yardbirds didn’t become Led Zeppelin until after their return from Scandinavia. They took the name Led Zeppelin after Keith Moon, the drummer of The Who suggested that they would “go down like a lead balloon”.

Stairway to Heaven

The recording of “Stairway to Heaven” started in December 1970 at Island Records’ new Basing Street Studios in London.  The song was completed by the addition of lyrics by Plant during the sessions for Led Zeppelin IV at Headley Grange, Hampshire, in 1971.  Page then returned to Island Studios to record his guitar solo.

The song originated in 1970 when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were spending time at Bron-Yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales, following Led Zeppelin’s fifth American concert tour. According to Page, the instrumentals were written by him “over a long period, the first part coming at Bron-Yr-Aur one night”.Page always kept a cassette recorder around, and the idea for “Stairway” came together from bits of taped music.

Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones explained that, following the song’s genesis at Bron-Yr-Aur, it was presented to him:

“Page and Plant would come back from the Welsh mountains with the guitar intro and verse. I literally heard it in front of a roaring fire in a country manor house! I picked up a bass recorder and played a run-down riff which gave us an intro, then I moved into a piano for the next section, dubbing on the guitars.”

In an interview he gave in 1977, Page elaborated:

“I do have the original tape that was running at the time we ran down “Stairway To Heaven” completely with the band. I’d worked it all out already the night before with John Paul Jones, written down the changes and things. All this time we were all living in a house and keeping pretty regular hours together, so the next day we started running it down. There was only one place where there was a slight rerun. For some unknown reason Bonzo couldn’t get the timing right on the twelve-string part before the solo. Other than that it flowed very quickly.”

The first attempts at lyrics, written by Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant next to an evening log fire at Headley Grange, were partly spontaneously improvised and Page claimed, “a huge percentage of the lyrics were written there and then”. Jimmy Page was strumming the chords and Robert Plant had a pencil and paper. Plant later said that suddenly,

“My hand was writing out the words, ‘There’s a lady is sure [sic], all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven’. I just sat there and looked at them and almost leapt out of my seat.” Plant’s own explanation of the lyrics was that it “was some cynical aside about a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration. The first line begins with that cynical sweep of the hand … and it softened up after that.”

The lyrics of the song reflected Plant’s current reading. The singer had been poring through the works of the British antiquarian Lewis Spence, and later cited Spence’s Magic Arts in Celtic Britain as one of the sources for the lyrics to the song.

In November 1970, Page dropped a hint of the new song’s existence to a music journalist in London:

“It’s an idea for a really long track…. You know how “Dazed and Confused” and songs like that were broken into sections? Well, we want to try something new with the organ and acoustic guitar building up and building up, and then the electric part starts…. It might be a fifteen-minute track.”

The complete studio recording was released on Led Zeppelin IV in November 1971. The band’s recording label, Atlantic Records was keen to issue this track as a single, but the band’s manager Peter Grant refused requests to do so in both 1972 and 1973. The upshot of that decision was that record buyers began to invest in the fourth album as if it were a single. A handful of rare original seven inch promos were pressed at the time, accompanied by a humorous in-house memo (Atlantic LZ3), which are now extremely sought-after collectors items.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/Led-Zeppelin-StairwayToHeaven.flv[/flv]

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
and it makes me wonder
really makes me wonder

And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,
It’s just a spring clean for the May Queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, Ooh, it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know
The piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady, can’t you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she’s buying the stairway to heaven

  • Audio from the 1971 album, Led Zeppelin IV:

album-led-zeppelin-IV
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Take it All ~ Trust Company

By The Request of Kevin Corn

Trust Company (also typeset as TRUSTcompany and TRUST*CO) is an American alternative metal/post-grunge  band from Prattville, Alabama.

Formed in 1997, Trust Company came together through vocalist Kevin Palmer and drummer Jason Singleton, who briefly played drums in the Ed Kemper Trio. Originally called 41 Down, the band then recruited bassist Josh Moates and guitarist James Fukai. After building a local fan-base and releasing a self-titled album as well as a couple demos, the band went on to sign a major label deal with Geffen Records. The band then changed their name to Trust Company to avoid confusion with the Canadian band Sum 41.

The group released its debut album, The Lonely Position of Neutral, on July 23, 2002. The album was well received with the lead single “Downfall” gaining heavy exposure through MTV2. Subsequently, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. A second single “Running From Me” followed with more moderate success. The Lonely Position was certified gold by the RIAA, and the band went on to tour with artists such as 30 Seconds to Mars and Papa Roach. They also toured with KoRn and Disturbed as part of the Pop Sux Tour in 2002.

Take it All

“Take it All” is the last song on The Lonely Position of Neutral album.  It was also used as a song on an Xbox video game in 2004 called “Breakdown”.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/trust-company-take-it-all.mp4[/flv]

Looking up from underneath, as low as we are,
Nothing looks the same to me, am I deceived?
I stand and watch myself from somewhere else,
Something I don’t want to see.

Take it all, so I’m left with nothing at all.
Have it all, ’cause I’m learning how to fall,
Yes I’m learning how to fall.

Standing up from underneath, as low as we are,
Things aren’t what they used to be, was I deceived?
I stand and watch myself like someone else,
Something I don’t want to see.

Take it all, so I’m left with nothing at all.
Have it all, ’cause I’m learning how to fall,
Yes I’m learning how to fall.

Why don’t you fall? Fall.
Take it all, so I’m left with nothing at all.
Have it all, ’cause I’m learning how to fall,
I can’t trust what I see;
I can’t tell if its me, it is changing.
Take it all, ’cause I’m learning how to fall,
Yes I’m learning how to fall.

  • Audio from the 2002 album, The Lonely Position of Neutral:

Click to Purchase
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Gasoline – Kicking Harold

kicking-haroldA longtime force in the underground alternative rock scene, Kicking Harold has tasted the limelight many times but has never been able to maintain a spot in the mainstream long enough to break through.

Starting in 1994, the band was originally made up of members Brian Anderson, Ed Shemansky, and Tim David Kelly. The three played their first gig after putting together a few songs just to have fun, and strangely enough the president of Headliner Records came in and signed the band on the spot. Cutting Ugly and Festering over the next few months, the record arrived in 1995 and began to create a stir in indie circles. MCA Records picked up on the growing fanbase and approached them with a contract. Signing only days later, Kicking Harold reissued their debut the next year and found themselves popping up on alternative radio all over the country. Scoring gigs with Bad Religion, Helmet, and the Deftones, the band gained a massive buzz with fans but the label started to lose faith and started withdrawing the publicity around the record.

Sure enough, by 1997 the band was without a label and Anderson quit the band out of frustration. Shemansky and Kelly continue to write and record without support, and put together Return of the Bulb Men in a series of tense recording sessions. Drafting in Todd Ramsey to replace Anderson on bass, Headliner takes the band back but limits the release of their record severely due to its avant garde tendencies. Instantly becoming a collector’s item, the record’s frustrating release convinces Ramsey to leave before doing much with the group and English singer/guitarist Sam Varma and bassist Eddie Patrina become the newest members to join.

Performing all over the country, Kelly recorded the Burn One Down EP during the tour but again Headliner lacked any faith in the record and it became even more obscure than Kicking Harold’s last record. Band tensions began to run high, and in 1999 they split apart to try and reinvigorate themselves. Kelly released a much higher profile solo album (Growing Up Naked) and got a nice response from college radio, inspiring him to bring the band back together with the new lineup of Todd Ramsey and drummer Michael Keeley in the summer of 2001. Recording Space Age Breakdown throughout the next few months, the band released and recorded the record the following year on Mityma Music.

Gasoline

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/kicking-harold-gasoline.flv[/flv]

I am gasoline and matches
I turn everything to ashes

I am gasoline and matches
I turn everything to ashes
I’m Burning, I’m Learning
I’m Learning, yes, I’m learning

I give kerosene divorces
I light angel wings with torches
I give kerosene divorces
I light angel wings with torches

I’m Burning, I’m Learning
I’m Learning, yes, I’m learning

Life is good because I’m breathing
Hell is just a stage of grieving
You’re an evil human being
Sorry if that hurt your feelings

I’m Burning, but I’m Learning
I am Gasoline, I am history
I am Gasoline, I am gone

  • Audio from the 2002 album, Space Age Breakdown:

album-space-age-breakdown
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Summertime Blues – The Who

the-whoThe Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. The band reached international success, became known for their energetic live performances, are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s and ’70s, and recognized as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

The Who rose to fame in the United Kingdom with a pioneering instrument destruction stage show, as well as a series of top ten hit singles (including the celebrated “My Generation”) and top five albums, beginning in 1965 with “I Can’t Explain”. They first hit the top ten in the USA in 1967 with “I Can See for Miles”. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top five albums for the group in the USA, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who’s Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), and Who Are You (1978) among others.

Keith Moon died in 1978, after which the band released two more studio albums, the top five Face Dances (1981) and the top ten It’s Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before officially disbanding in 1983. They reformed on several occasions to perform at special events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia revival tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members began to discuss the possibility of recording an album of new material. These plans were delayed following the death of John Entwistle in 2002. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey continue to perform as The Who. In 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the USA and UK.

Summertime Blues

Summertime Blues” is a 1958 song recorded by Eddie Cochran about the trials and tribulations of teenage life in America.

It was written in the late 1950s by Eddie Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart.  Part of its lyrics address the controversy surrounding the voting age, which at the time was 21. Such protests would lead to the 26th Amendment, lowering the age to 18.  The Who played “Summertime Blues” as a staple of their concerts from 1967 up to 1976, with intermittent appearances thereafter. It has not been played since bassist John Entwistle’s death in 2002. It was performed during the 1967 U.S. tour, including a June 1967 date at the Monterey Pop Festival, where the members of Blue Cheer were in attendance. The Who’s version is done in a more aggressive style than the Eddie Cochran original.

The first version to be released by The Who appeared on the 1970 album Live at Leeds. The single peaked at number 37 in the UK and number 28 in the US. Most of the Who performances feature John Entwistle singing the vocal parts of the boss, the father, and the congressman in his trademark baritone growl, doubling Roger Daltrey’s lead vocals in his normal voice in the verses, and singing the falsetto part in the chorus.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/the-who-summertime-blues.flv[/flv]

Well, I’m a’gonna raise a fuss,
An’ I’m a’gonna raise a holler.
I’ve been working all summer
Just to try and earn a dollar.
Well I went to the boss
Said I had a date
My boss said “No dice, son, you gotta work late”

Sometimes I wonder what I’m a’gonna do
There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

Well my mom ‘n’ poppa told me
“Son you gotta earn some money,
If you want to use the car
To go riding next Sunday.”

Well I didn’t go to work
I told the boss I was sick
“Now you can’t use the car
’cause you didn’t work a lick.”

Sometimes I wonder what I’m a’gonna do
Cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

Gonna take two weeks
Gonna have a fine vacation
Gonna take my problems
To the United Nations

Well I went to my congressman
He said, quote: “I’d like to help you son,
But you’re too young to vote.”

Sometimes I wonder what I’m a’gonna do
Cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.

  • Audio from the 1970 album, Live At Leeds:

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