Sunday, August 9, 2009

I heart the 80's (and 90's)

So, the 80's made a comeback for a while... in fashion and music. All that neon clothing... all those gated-verb snares and toms. Haha. Having been born in the 80's, it's a bit of a weird phenomenon for me.... It hardly seems long enough ago to "come back" as a retro throwback, but who am I to say what trends are ok?

Well now I'm seeing that trend slowly slip into the 90's.... Grunge has definitely been alive and well for the last few years, neon clothes have taken a decidedly 90's turn, and I've even seen a few flannel shirts! Our new Live Life Loud record cover is kinda 90's... with a single iconic image on the front. That was big in the 90's... of course, I'm repeating the words of people who know much better than I..... but to me, the 90's conjures up images of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Pearl Jam record covers. :)

Oh the early 90's definitely left its mark on me. Some influences I'm more proud of than others..... Pearl Jam's "Ten". Radiohead's "The Bends". Foo Fighters' "The Color and the Shape". Like them or not, they were all MASSIVE records. It's interesting to see how those bands have aged. Some have definitely aged more gracefully than others! Pearl Jam got dated.... Radiohead got weirder (delightfully, in my opinion).... and The Foo Fighters...... well, they stayed pretty much the same. Does Dave even age?!

Anyways... to get to the point... I've been diving into keyboards and pianos more recently. I'm not sure how many of you know this... but piano was my first instrument. I picked up guitar second, and it became my instrument of choice... but keys and pianos will always have a special significance for me. I enjoyed playing a few piano, rhodes, and organ parts on the recent HN record (coming out next month)... Particularly on "Lest We Forget" and "Long Ago". I even got to tinker with a theremin on the title track, "Live Life Loud".

I've always enjoyed tweaking with electronic instruments.... I started toying with them during the recording of my Fox Run record... and I had quite a bit of electronic influences in my Under The Canopy record.... I suspect whatever project I embark on next may have even more electronic instrumentation.

That brings me to the subject of synths. I've been checking out all kinds of old synths from the 80's and 90's.... and there are a TON of old synths out there. It's so fun to learn about. Some of them are probably sitting down in your basement right now... unused and forgotten. You never know, they might be worth something..... even the cheesy cheap looking ones can be useful to someone like me. I used a Yamaha PSS-170 (pictured below) ALL OVER my Under The Canopy record.... especially on "The Siege of Atlantis".

SO. Run down to your basement, or ask your folks, and see if you've got any hidden treasures in a basement or closet anywhere....

If you find something cool, email me the model number and I can help value it for you.... (or just search that model on ebay). Then, you can either make some cash..... or bring it to a HN show to give to me! Haha! Wishful thinking?



Anonymous said...

oooh, rhodes? That sounds so exiting. I love me a good rhodes in a song. I can't think of anything else but anxiously awaiting to hear that.

baylormum said...

We are getting ready to move out the home we've been in for 20 years. We bought our daughter a keyboard to see if piano was really something she wanted to do. Looks very much like the pic in your post. It's buried in one of five closets! Come thru Amarillo & it's yours. You remember where Target is, right? :)

Ida said...

Jon, haha I loved this blog!!!

I LOVE the piano!! I loved how you used it in your remix of Let's Dance.. That intro to the song that was like just piano is my fave!!!

I wish I could a keyboard.... I just have a piano.. Nothing electronic...

graciegirl said...

i have a keyboard or synth..... or whatever you call that..... that looks juss like yours in your picture!
the only difference is ours is REALLY old...... hehe... :P

cool blog tho :)

christena said...

i've been like obsessed with synths lately. i have no idea why. i do have one, but i use it all the time :)

btw, great concert saturday :D

Anonymous said...

I found a old guitar in my basement a couple of months ago and have been trying to teach myself how to play- its like 30-40 years old, its faded but it says its a regal

Lindsey said...

My first keyboard was that exact one. I practiced on it for years before my piano teacher found out it wasn't full sized and made me get a new one.

Jessica said...

I love the tinker in live life loud haha :)
my sis has a Yamaha PSR 500

Riley Smiley said...

Wow the 80s has become really popular lately

my school choir just did an 80s-themed pop show

but i'm not a big fan of 80s's fun but i wouldn't be caught dead in it

so i just found out that i can't go to y'alls concert with skillet in houston because of a choir audition and my directors would KILL me if i didn't try out :(

but i hope the concert's amazing anyway