Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World TabsGrunge moved into the acoustic realm with the 1994 release Nirvana Unplugged in New York. MTV’s Unplugged is generally considered to be a songwriter’s forum, and Nirvana’s set was no exception – only many of the songs were covers of other songwriters near and dear to Cobain, and not the expected lineup of Nirvana hits-sans-juice. Taped on January 10, 1992, the repertoire contained no Nirvana standards (except “Come As You Are”) and included num­bers from the Meat Puppets, the Vaselines, and David Bowie. Run-throughs earlier in the day were plagued with sound problems and mis­takes. Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World was a particularly sticky situation. The band never got through the song in rehearsal (after a few abortive tries), and Cobain even announced it at the show by saying, “I guarantee I will screw this song up.” (more…)

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22 May 2013

Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady

Jimi Hendrix – Foxy LadyFoxy Lady is one of Jimi Hendrix’s most memorable tunes on an album of mem­orable tunes – the monumental 1967 debut record, Are You Experienced? As a piece of music, it is beyond important, it is ground­breaking. As a piece of rock history, it is immortal – the biggest, most furious noise from one of the era’s leading musical spokes­men. If a classic is defined as that which improves with age, then Foxy Lady defines classic rock. A brilliant amalgam of proto-metal, r&b, and Jimi’s own inimitable brand of innovative avant-rock, it remains essen­tial – forever imbedded in the core of con­temporary guitar lore – and is a must-know selection in every self-respecting guitar play­er’s repertoire. (more…)

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4 May 2013

Stone Temple Pilots – Plush

Stone Temple Pilots - PlushAfter three platinum albums, a string of hit songs, a Grammy win and five years of unqual­ified success, Stone Temple Pilots need no intro­duction. Nor does the Stone Temple Pilots classic Plush from 1992’s Core album. This is the song that broke the band and unleashed the ubiquitous, must-know modern rock guitar riff of the new age, a riff that is deemed by many to be the Smoke on the Water or “Stairway to Heaven” of the alternative generation. But there’s a lot more to Plush than just a cool guitar riff. Under the surface, evocative dissonance and unorthodox harmonic moves abound, delivered with the gritty, distortion-laden but coloristic and well-crafted stylings of guitarist Dean DeLeo, and held in check by the solid bass work and arranging savvy of brother and leader Robert DeLeo. Aspiring to the rock compositions of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Burt Bacharach, and Brian Wilson, Stone Temple Pilots promises to be around for some time. (more…)

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21 Apr 2013

Grateful Dead – Uncle John’s Band

Grateful Dead – Uncle John’s BandOne of the world’s truly classic groups, the Grateful Dead have become an institution in rock. From their early 60s beginnings, they evolved into a colorful and unique band, and the object of affection for millions of “Deadheads” globally, due in large part to immortal songs like Truckin, Sugar Magnolia, and Uncle John’s Band. Facile as both acoustic and electric players, Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir relied on a folk-inspired, all-acoustic approach in Uncle John’s Band – which lent an earthy, down-home, and very inviting mood to this all-time favorite Grateful Dead track. (more…)

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19 Apr 2013

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Kansas – Dust In The WindKansas, an adventurous and multifaceted progressive rock band of the 1970’s, enjoyed an impressive array of hit songs, including the ambitious and artistic opus “Carry On, Wayward Son.” Dust in the Wind, a Top 10 single from 1977’s Point of Know Return album, is one of their most pop­ular and enduring tunes. It reveals the softer side of Kansas with layered steel-string acoustic guitars, light percus­sion, and violin, producing a gorgeous tapestry of sound.

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10 Apr 2013

Dick Dale – Misirlou

Dick Dale - MisirlouMisirlou is the quintessential surf instrumental and Dick Dale’s sonic signa­ture – or is that redundant? In any case, rock history acknowledges this tune as the first surf genre piece to feature the “wet” sound of Fender’s reverb unit. Coupled with Dale’s furious upside-down Strat attack through the immediate­ly overdriven, 100-watt Dual Showman stacks, it is absolute dynamite. For most, the definitive surf sound. Misirlou has unusu­al origins for a seminal piece in American rock. Its roots are in Middle Eastern music, and it was a 1940’s pop hit in Turkey two decades before Dick revived and reinvented the piece in 1962 – when he gave it a high-energy twist by performing it on electric gui­tar with his Deltones band. (more…)

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6 Apr 2013
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