Monday, May 31, 2010

On Broadway Score

hey -- I just uploaded the score I did for the film On Broadway, by Dave McLaughlin and Lance Greene, and thought I would share it for those of you who want some mellow acoustic instrumental music to listen to. Featured are Joe McMahon (bass), Phil Aiken (piano/organ), and Tom Polce (drums).

This is the piece that scores the climax scene

This one is the opening credits theme.

This is another wistful little number.

As always, you can right/Apple-click to "save file as."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cover of the Week 83

Dennis Hopper had been known to many of us before Blue Velvet. However, I don't think it was until some time after seeing that movie that I drew the line to Apocalypse Now, Easy Rider, and then on back to Rebel Without A Cause. But Blue Velvet was life changing for me. It was just one of those new fresh pieces of art that you soak in when your in your early 20s. I thought (at the time -- still do) David Lynch was a revolutionary. His movies affected my lyric writing and the Buff Tom point of view on many things, including the underbelly of growing up in mid-century suburban America. I count meeting him on Big Red Letter Day (recounted here) as one of the fondest memories of our recording career.

Hopper's character in BV is genius, of course, but his acting and the possession of the part is chilling, I think. One of the scariest characters in film.

I have wanted to tackle one of those big old Roy Orbison songs for CoTW for a while. They are just so much fun -- if challenging -- to sing. So here is my opening. A candy-colored clown they call the Sandman. Rest in peace, Mr. Hopper and Mr. Orbison.

In Dreams mp3

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Ride Home

Scud Mountain Boys on the soundtrack back up I84.

YouTube Video

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Covers of the Week 81 + 82

Lynyrd Skynyrd were one of the pillars of my musical development, as mentioned in this space before. I still think of us wiry 13 year-olds, self-named 200 Proof, playing Southern Rock numbers in my parents basement.

While Buffalo Tom has fooled around with "Tuesday's Gone" at soundchecks, I don't think we ever played it in a set for real, unless we were well drunk at at the butt-end of a night. Of course, this was a situation in which we often found ourselves. But one of the band's first covers was Badfinger's "No Matter What." I remember going out and getting that single when I was a kid. I love Badfinger. But this other cover this week is one of those really nice songs that sometimes sneaks up on you. The band was mostly known for big, melancholy power pop and guitar-driven ballads. But this is a real folky number. I was actually searching for the Skynyrd song and "Sweet Tuesday Morning" also came up in the search. I thought, well, there is a beautiful little song to do as well.

So you get two covers, as Buff Tom is on the road next week. BTW, come see us in New York. Thursday we play at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleeker on Thursday night as part of this special event. We only play a few songs. The next night we are at the Mercury Lounge for two shows. Last I heard, there were still some tickets available for 10:30 show.

You in Chicago, please come down to Schuba's on July 16, where I will play a solo show. Buy tickets now and sell it out. Maybe I will add another. This is a one-off while I am in town for another event.

And the next week, if you are around Long Island, a bunch of my old childhood/junior high friends are meeting for a reunion kickball tournament (graduates of rival elementary schools head-to-head!) in my old hometown, Huntington, NY, for charity. We should all be at a bar in Huntington Village on July 24, playing the covers of our youth.

Sweet Tuesday Morning mp3

Tuesday's Gone Mp3

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cover of the Week 80

When I was a kid in the late 1970s, Jackson Browne was already ever-present on the radio. I really loved "Doctor My Eyes." And The Load Out was one of those gargantuan live albums, along with Cheap Trick At Budokan, and Frampton Comes Alive! But I was pretty agnostic on the guy, sorta liking him, just enough to leave the songs on the radio, and remained that way through the 1980s until he took a turn for the worse, as many errant 1970s rock & rollers did in the 1980s. After "Somebody's Baby," I started turning off the radio. It was only later that I went back and discovered older material like "These Days" (via Nico's version), and For Everyman.

Around that same time, 1980 or so, when we were ramping up our first band, the Plastic Peach, our singer, Danny Nolan, who went on to be my best man, was our main asset. The girls used to gush, "he sings like Neil Young and looks like Jackson Browne." Clearly, this proved to be a lethal combo. When teenage girls' hormones were raging and your front "man" has such enormous powers, well, it laid the groundwork for many fun nights on the beach. For Danny, not so much me, the shrimpy, wiry redhead with an oversized Les Paul. What would an analogous combination be nowadays for high school freshman girls? I really have no idea. I think music is already too fragmented for 2010 kids in early high school. Back then, we had top 40 pop stars on the one hand and rock stars on the other. That was pretty much the choice.

Jackson was OK by me, but never felt compelled as a kid to spend my allowance on his records. I was too busy collecting the catalogs of the Stones, Who, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, the Dead, Stevie Wonder, and then onto the punk rock years. But I always loved, loved, loved this week's selection for CoTW. When we would be sitting around in dorm rooms in college and someone had the other gigantic record, The Pretender, I would always play this song in my role as dorm-room d.j. I started to realize around this time that one of the common threads in much of the music I loved is the gospel influence, specifically those huge gospel piano chords, where you play and keep the root notes and switch chords over them. As well, the call-and-response vocals. Not that Buff Tom betrays much direct gospel influence (maybe only on "Treehouse"), the indirect call-and-response and root and changing chords are borne out from that strain of music, via the Stones, Stevie, Ray Charles, etc.

I only have learned today that the song was written in the wake of the suicide of Browne's first wife. It was co-written with her mother.

Here Come Those Tears Again mp3

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Buff Tom last session

Finishing up with a couple of more new songs at the old Fort Apache, now known as Camp St Studio, with Paul Kolderie and Adam Taylor.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

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