Tuesday, September 9, 2014

About the Soli Lama

Things have changed so much in the last few years.  One no longer needs a publishing house to publish a book and recording studios can be made in one's own home.  Basically the barrier to entry into many different areas has been torn down and there is no one there to tell you NO anymore.  Have an idea for a book?  Publish it yourself.  Want to record an album?  Do it yourself on your computer.  Idea for a film? Make it yourself.  Want to be a photographer?  Shoot something and put it up on your own site.  Have something to say?  Start a blog.  Gatekeepers are becoming increasingly irrelevant and have lost their ability to keep you from what you love because you don't meet their standards.  With the right creative (and quality) content and a little marketing know how, you can pretty much do what you want in any arena.  What's more is that you can do it on your own terms.  You'll know whether you are right or wrong if people keep coming back, which I believe makes for a more interesting playing field.

What right do I have to review music, instruments, devices, sound systems, etc?  Well...none I suppose, but at the same time who's to tell me I can't?

What makes me an expert?  Nothing really...and that's OK.  I'm just one person with opinions about a very subjective topic - music.  Not knowing the right template, or procedure, or form for a review allows me to be as creative as I want.  The gatekeepers are gone, so I'll make my own way, review what I want to review, and make it as interesting and informative as possible.

A little about me...

My earliest memories of music date back to when I was between 3 and 4 years old.  My uncle still lived with my grandparents and when we would go for a visit he would take us up to his room and absolutely CRANK Queen's Play The Game.  I remember how the whole room felt like it was shaking and as soon as it was over he'd lift the needle and we'd ask him to do it again.  And that magical SOUND...I was mesmerized.  That would be the beginning of a love affair that I would have with synthesizers for the rest of my life.  Yes, it's time to come clean.  I'm not afraid to say it out loud anymore.  I am His Musicness the 1st Soli Lama, and I have a synth fetish  : ).   WOW!  I feel much better now.  Whenever I hear that intro, to this day it takes me back to that room every time.  I can still see the make shift shelves for hundreds of records made out of cinder blocks and wood, the Hofner bass, and the rest of the guitars everywhere in the room.

Growing up my parents weren't into music a whole lot, my father loves smooth jazz and soulful jazz so I remember Gino Vannelli's A Pauper In Paradise album playing a lot, Spyro Gyra, Grover Washington, George Benson...that sort of thing.  My mother was more into Gene Pitney, Three Dog Night, Sly, The Beatles, etc.  Again they weren't into music that much but the occasional record would spin now and again on the turntable.  I gravitated towards my uncle musically and he "groomed me" in the way of music.  He is a huge Beatles fan, so naturally, I am a huge Beatles fan.  He would constantly make me tapes introducing me to new bands all of the time - everything from The Beatles to The Monkees to Badfinger to Elvis Costello to Lounge Music to Sparks to....you get the point.  Needless to say I have a pretty eclectic palate when it comes to music.

In high school, I went just about every week to the local music store (At that time it was called Disc Jockey) asking for a job until they hired me.  It was there that I really increased my repertoire of music knowledge in a big way.  Finding discs in the store for people and striking up conversations about what they were buying opened a whole new avenue of finding music for me...and it was there - where a co-worker handed me a tape that would absolutely blow me away.

Side one: Bellybutton.

Side two: Spilt Milk.

It was both Jellyfish albums and I would devour them on my headphones and in my car a million times over (only to be crushed to find out that they had broken up about three years earlier).  It would be through this band that I would broaden my musical horizon once again.  After Al Gore had invented the internet it became so much easier to find information about and interviews with your favorite artists.  What an amazing thing it was to be able to read interviews and find out who inspired your favorite artists...and that's what I did.  I began to listen to everything that I could that had influenced those guys, particularly Roger Joseph Manning Jr. because I was in love with synthesizers.  It's amazing how one can spider web into so many different bands through someone else's interests.  He was into ELP, so I got into ELP....which led me to Rick Wakeman...which led me to...Yes...and so on and so on.

Disc Jockey was a Ticket Master outlet as well, so once I received my license - it was game on.  I never sat more than 20 rows back at concerts and was usually in the first few rows.  I'm spoiled to this day.  I go to concerts by myself all of the time.  It's funny to see the reaction on people's faces when I tell them that.  Is it so hard to believe, that you can connect with a form of art so much that you'd want to go experience it - even if it's by yourself?  For the musical fanatic, the answer is no, it's not hard to believe.  For some reason, other people have a hard time understanding though.

My musical journey would drop me off next in the city of Cincinnati where I would take a college internship at Moog Music, Inc.  Unfortunately it wasn't the Bob Moog Moog Music, it was the Don Martin Moog Music.  Yes, I built Donimoogs.  This is a story in itself and in order to keep this intro brief, I will have another post about that experience in the future.  BUT, I will say this - it was a very interesting experience and I'm glad I was a part of the Moog legacy in some way.  Many years later (Actually this year) and much to my surprise, I didn't spontaneously incinerate when I walked through the doors of Moog Music in Asheville for the first time - (JK)!!!

So there you have it.  That's a taste of my experience with music in a nutshell.  As I said above, with technology advancing so fast, and industries changing at lightning speed, it's never been easier to participate in something that you love and are so passionate about.  I figured, I'd give it a stab and see where it takes me.

I love all types of music.  I'm a sucker for synths, great harmonies, great melodies, and always appreciate a great hook.  I can enjoy a song in any genre of music as long as it's sounds great to me - I don't discriminate!  That means, pop, synth pop, rock, metal, country, rap, classical, electronic, electro funk, trip hop, folk, dance, funk, etc. etc.

Throughout these pages I will write about things that come into my world.  It can be concerts, albums, songs, devices, recording equipment, instruments, basically anything pertaining to music.  With as many reviews as possible, I will also be sharing interviews with the people behind what's being reviewed.  To the folks being interviewed, my goal is to come at the process in a unique way and ask questions that I can't find answers to in your other interviews or press releases.

Ultimately my goal is to share with people how I experience music.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoy.


His Musicness

the 1st Soli Lama

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