Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chickenfoot's "Up Next" and on Steve Jobs' influence

Michael Anthony rocks!
  I have to admit that when Chickenfoot first got together I had no interest whatsoever in even hearing the band. I'm not a fan of either Joe Satriani or Sammy Hagar, and so I never checked them out. However, there has been so much hype surrounding their second album (strangely entitled "Chickenfoot III") that I caved in and listened to it. I was pleasantly surprised and found a couple of songs that I liked. In particular "Up Next". Check it out:

  This song jumped out at me and got stuck in my head from the very first time I heard it. It has so much more energy than the rest of the songs on the album, Satriani's playing is meaner and more aggressive, Michael Anthony's backup vocals are so amazing, and, most importantly for me, its so damn catchy! The whole song is covered with hooks that just make you want to bob your head and sing along.

"I'll show respect, the best I can"

  The main guitar riff at the beginning is awesome because all of those "off-beat" notes contrast so well with the basic quater-note pulse of the bass. Satriani uses a lot of little licks and fills (and a lot of them using harmonics) throughout the song. And the guitar solo is brilliant, very different than the rest of the song in that its moody and dark, and Joe uses his delay effect perfectly to make it sound very space-y. Although when I first heard the solo I was totally expecting it to break out into a ripping shred-fest before going back to the verse. I'm looking forward to seeing if they extend that section live. Also I really like how Satch changes the lick before the chorus and plays it in three different places on the guitar neck.

  Michael Anthony is fantastic in this song, there is so much attitude in his playing here, sliding all over the place, adding fills everywhere, and just generally laying it down with his mean round tone. I'm a big fan of how he takes the spotlight during the choruses, while the guitar lays back and just strums the chords Michael is showcasing himself and adding fills at the end of every 2-bar figure. Oh and did I mention his backing vocals are phenomenal? yeah he rocks!

At the Pearly Gates

  While doing a little research for this post I watched the short videos that Chickenfoot posted previewing the different tracks on the album. It was there that I realized what this song is really about, because even though its very upbeat and energetic, the subject of the lyrics is rather grim. The topic here is death, and how it will come to all of us at some point, and for a lot of people when they least expect it. Unfortunately the one that was "Up Next" was Steve Jobs and I personally owe a ton to him and his team at Apple because I use their products for everything.

  We have all been touched by his influence. In fact, Joe Satriani was commenting on the preview video that he had recorded the demo for this song on his iPhone while sitting in a hotel room. I recorded the audio and video for this on my iMac, using Garageband and iMovie, and I used Safari to put it all on the web. So thank you Steve and everyone that worked with him at Apple for making my life better and easier. And if there is a lesson to be learned here is that life is short, make the best of it and enjoy good music!

  Oh and by the way, is it just me or does Sammy say "I'll PEE myself"?? check out the video at 1:21.

1 comment:

  1. LOL, actually I think he says "I'll be myself." But lots of singers don't enunciate well!