Tag Archives: Metallica

Backstage Stories From Robertas Semeniukas Channels All Rock Anthems & Angst Into Excellence

25 Apr

Hailing from Lithuania, Robertas Semeniukas pursues nothing short of passion and dedication in his music. With Backstage Stories consisting of 20 tracks, do not let that stop you from listening. Once you play the first track, you will be hooked. An interesting observation about this album is that it consists of 8 vocal tracks and 12 instrumental ones. Robertas Semeniukas carries a wordly sound in his music and this can be heavily attributed to him playing and recording with a variety of bands over the course of his music career. It is no surprise when one takes a listen to the album, they will hear the influences of Jeff Beck, Slash, Guns N’Roses, Queen, and Metallica to name a few. Semeniukas’s music clearly shows that he has an all around talent at producing, composing, and arranging his music into something extraordinary. With a dedication to his music, he has collaborated with musicians around the world and has performed amongst festivals as well. He is multi-faceted as he extends his musical talents to television projects, session musician, and producer/collaborator as well, Robertas Semeniukas is a prolific composer, producer, arranger, professional guitarist and singer. Pushing that level of passion even further, he also has extended his knowledge into educating future music makers in master classes in Lithuania and around the world. Driven by a deep love for his craft, Robertas’s music has earned him performances in festivals across the globe, from China to Texas. From the synthey guitar that reminds me of the best classic rock and 90s to slower paced tracks, Backstage Stories needs to be on stage, front and center.

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Best Performance at the Grammys 2014

27 Jan

Grammys-2014

While I’ve made my thoughts about the Grammy Awards clear before, I did happen to catch most of the show last night while I did some work, and, unlike in year’s past, the show actually sustained my attention and did not make me apoplectic. The big winners of the night were Daft Punk, Lorde, and Macklemore + Ryan Lewis, and I was perfectly fine with those artists cleaning house. Why? Musical aptitude. Simply, they are all talented, and I am a sucker for when musicians with actual talent are provided with awards – unfortunately, this is not usually the case. But enough about the awards. While the Grammys is an awards show (it is right there in the name), we all know that people tune in to see the eclectic pairings of music superstars perform to a crowd of awkward Taylor Swift, old Yoko Ono shoulder dances, robots, and Sir Paul. And while I was a bit angry that the Grammys did not have a performance tribute to Lou Reed – one of the most important musical figures in the rock era – most of the performances were on target. Of all the unique performances of the night, my choice for best moment may surprise some of you.

Was I the only one who though Metallica and Lang Lang absolutely killed it? “One” is a pretty sick song, and it does feature  one of the greatest breakdowns in metal history. The addition of Lang Lang’s frenetic concert piano added an odd and appealing element to the piece, and the solo exchange was on target and such a pleasure to listen to. Perhaps the performance was my favorite just because it was so darn heavy. The award show (which ended late) had been dragging on a bit, and Metallica woke every viewer (and audience member) up with this performance.

Rocking Babies to Sleep…Musically!

11 Dec

Beatles Baby

Let’s face it, babies just do not understand good music. While we adults turn on Beatles’ tunes and pretend we are Paul or John, babies are content with any mellifluous sound that distracts them from the poop they just made in their diapers. Why pick any old pleasant sound, when you can show your baby what “good music” is before they even have the opportunity to grow up and shriek at some teen idol with meticulously practiced dance moves and vocal manipulation?

Meet Rockabye Baby, an extraordinarily creative music project that since 2006 has created CDs of instrumental lullaby versions of popular rock bands. Since the first releases in 2006 (Coldplay, Metallica, and Radiohead), Rockabye Baby has put out nearly 50 albums, the latest a tribute to U2. So, parents, here is the perfect opportunity to introduce babies to “Enter Sandman” without traumatizing them. “Enter Sandman” goes from advising babies to ignore the voices they hear from the beasts under their bed, closet, and head, to an instrumental that, while also rather freaky, is significantly more baby-friendly than Kirk Hammett’s guitar. Hammett, by the way, bought the Metallica version of Rockabye Baby for his son.

Not a Metallica fan. No worries. Bathe your baby with Beatles music. Here is a lullaby version of “All You Need is Love.”

I am caught between singing along and falling asleep. The version is just…so…relaxing. I *yawn* think I am going to just rest my eyes for a little bit. Forget about the baby, I want this as the soundtrack of my nighttime snooze. A parent (supposing the lyric is appropriate) can sing the song to their baby while rocking them to bed. “All You Need is Love” is certainly appropriate. I might not suggest singing the lyrics to the rendition of “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd. Even though the baby may not understand what you are saying quite yet, it is probably unwise to alert them of the lunatic in the hall.

The Pink Floyd CD (and The Beatles) will certainly be in my future child’s music collection. Start them young, right? Don’t laugh, a child’s impressionable ears are a horrible thing to waste. My father would play “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” by Franz Liszt when I was a baby. I consider it one of most incredible pieces of music I have ever heard. It was hardwired into my fledgling brain!

Talking about Rhapsody, why not introduce your baby to Queen. The lullaby version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” may be the best of all the albums.

Buy the CDs at Rockabye Baby.

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