Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Metal with a Message

Happy Music Monday, comrades!

  It seems to be human nature to seek similarities in others, and I'm no exception...probably to the chagrin of those I claim to be like me!

  One of the great joys in my life is teaching guitar, and recently, two younger comrades were in their lesson, and the conversation turned to metal.  These brothers are upstanding citizens, actively working even at a young age to steer their lives in accordance with their principles.  They've discovered the roar of metal, and I suggested that I put a list together of some of my favorite metal songs with a good message.  I remember being in their shoes, and it can be tricky to find music that is good on all accounts.  So, here's four cool tunes with power, roar, and good ideas behind them.  They represent a variety of styles, and are a cool starting point in the world of metal.  I know for a fact that I'm overlooking many great songs, so feel free to add them in the comments!

Metallica - The Unforgiven  

A thought-provoking song about authority, rules, and a life wasted.

Iron Maiden - Flight of Icarus  

Mythology provides the material for this tune.  If only Zeus had a boombox.

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

A classic metal tune, and I never even knew all the words.  Turns out it's lamenting the division of humanity, and saying "Maybe it's not too late."

System of a Down - Aerials

Bizarre, deep, profound, and crazy..."Life is a waterfall, we're one in the river, and one again after the fall."  You can headbang to S.O.A.D, and ask the important questions, too.

There's a quick sampling of a rockin' genre...Four songs is hardly an overview, but fellas, I hope this gets you started.  These are some of my favorite jams.

Metallically yours,

- Josh


Monday, January 5, 2015

Free Guitar in 2015

Happy New Year, Comrades!

  Man oh man, I'm super excited for 2015.  There's going to be big doings in the Revolution:  more tours, new albums, an epic live show, etc etc....but the thing I'd like to talk about today is...FREE GUITAR LESSONS!

  OK, here's what's up.  For the past ten years, I've been fortunate enough to make my living teaching guitar.  I'm looking forward to the next decade of teaching, and I'm making a slight change to lessons.

  No, no, they still cost money (I still have to eat, and this is how I put food on the table), BUT:  I always say to people "when I'm a rich rock star, I'll do this for free."

  I'm still working on all parts of the "rich rock star" title (plan to get it, though!), but in the meantime, I realized something:  Although busy, I have a few extra minutes here and there.  I can't make every lesson free, but I'm going to offer some free lessons in the meantime.  I'll be starting a bit of a series at my studio.  I already think of it as a tree house, it being on the second floor, and it's decorated festively.  So, come party in the tree house!

  The first in the series will be on Wednesday, January  14th, from 7-9 pm EST.  I'll be hanging out at my Waldorf studio, and also hosting this on a Google + hangout, so no matter where you are in the world, you can join in the fun.  We can go over any topic at all, but I'll be spinning some rootsy music, and have the cigar box guitar in the studio.  I think January is a good time to start at beginnings of things, and American roots music has been capturing my attention recently.  So, let's talk about it, listen to it, and learn some cool stuff.  Bring your guitar, and bring your friends.  This is going to be fun.

  See you there!  You can call me Professor Redhair.  (Unless I've cut out all the seasonal neon dye!)

Rock on, and Happy New Year!

- Josh

PS.  Here's a video I just did talking about rhythm guitar: