5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Chris Noe

I probably feel the need for hundreds of albums in my life but I am going to justify these five albums as being the ones that forever belong in my heart and will always make themselves available to rescue my soul from pain and also provide a musical solace for me. The following five are the ultimate records that I felt the need to buy on CD or Vinyl at some point and play them numerous times (like thousands of times) to the point where they’re engraved in my brain. To know the essence of Chris Noe, you must surrender yourself to this music….

  1. The 1970’s were filled with great albums and musicians that rocked the airwaves. Among all of these great offerings by bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and The Who; I found myself drawn to Pink Floyd and their brilliant album Wish You Were Here. This one from 1975 is easily Pink Floyd’s best album. IMHO. When I say best I don’t mean it in terms of popularity or critical acclaim, that one belongs to Dark side of the Moon. But musically and lyrically it is the bands most accomplished piece of work.  This album is a great follow-up to Dark Side of the Moon. This is an often overlooked treasure within Pink Floyd’s music catalog. It has survived the test of time well and is finally receiving more attention it deserved when it was first released. At least I have noticed that. It is an essential Pink Floyd album and I mean no disrespect to “The Wall” which is when Roger Waters started to take over, but its the last great album the band produced. Wish You Were Here is very much dedicated to the founder Syd Barrett, who freaked out years before: and there’s funny songs about the evils of the music business (“By the way, which one’s Pink?”), and the touching ones about the band’s mysterious friend. The real star of the show, although, is the amazing production–with David Gilmour getting lots of room for his most creative guitar playing ever. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

2. I graduated from high school, was attending various graduation parties and this album was playing at one of them. It immediately grabbed my attention. The summer of 1994 I started to believe I was Trent Reznor. I loved his music featured in the films Natural Born Killers and The Crow. When I bought the cd, I listened to it on buses, car trips, in my college dorm and just simple walks around the neighborhood. I was absolutely OBSESSED!!!This album is considered Nine Inch Nails’ most controversial and disturbing work. They (He) completely change the image that was first seen on “Pretty Hate Machine” to something much darker and emotional. The result is a very successful and complex masterpiece that takes you to places you have never been in the music world. With each track you step in further and further into Reznor’s mind. “The Downward Spiral” is an outstanding album and will always remain a classic.
The songs are much more complex and have more structure to them than the ones that appear on “Pretty Hate Machine” and “Broken.” There are heavy songs, and there are soft songs. There are disturbing songs, and there are beautiful songs. You get to experience something different with each song.
The great thing about this album is, just like with any other NIN album, no two songs are the same. Each one has its own identity and feeling to it. Another plus is that there is not a single bad song on the entire album. My favorites are “mr. self destruct,” “march of the pigs,” “closer,” “the becoming,” “a warm place,” “eraser,” “I do not want this,” “ruiner,” and “hurt.” I might as well say ALL OF THEM!!! LOL
“The Downward Spiral” is an amazing album. Reznor knows how to make great music and continues to impress us even to this day. Be warned, though. This album isn’t for everyone. It is indeed a very controversial and even sometimes offensive album. But if you love Nine Inch Nails, then this is a must-have. It is a CD I continue to listen to over and over again. It never ceases to amaze me. A classic to the very end.

3. So I have a guy named Matt to thank for getting me into the band Tool. In high school he would periodically loan me tapes to listen to. When I first heard the album Undertow, my life changed. Flash forward to the year 2001. The album Lateralus is released during a time when our country was invaded by terrorists. However, I was personally moved and deeply touched by Maynard and the gang in a very positive way.

Everything about Tool’s third album is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another. The first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It’s worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within.

With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that reaches amazing heights. Lateralus, like I said was released in 2001, it has got to be one of the more groundbreaking musical releases since the mid-80’s and early 90’s. Lateralus is a long, well thought out musical masterpiece that draws parallels to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” This whole record is just full of amazing progressive rock and it is nearly impossible to fathom that human beings actually wrote and then performed this type of music. Every song has layers and sub-layers and sub-sub-layers.

You do not listen to this album…you surrender yourself to it. The experience of Lateralus penetrates deeper than the brain — it is deeply spiritual and uplifting. Nothing comes close to obsessing my world of the first decade of the 2000’s like this one.

4. I was a Senior in High School in 1993 when this glorious record came out! Everything fell into its right place with this one. Gish was stunning! But Siamese Dream was a masterpiece!!!

Every artist has their “crowning achievement”

I think Smashing Pumpkins were one of the greatest rock bands of the 90’s, easily.

Billy Corgan has been one of my favorite guitarists. His work on the studio albums Gish, Siamese Dream and even Mellon Collie (1995) is brilliant, layering guitar upon guitar with brilliant riffs and awesome solos.

His lyrics are often depressed and angry, but they show hope and beauty too. Lyrics aren’t usually as important to me as music, but Billy Corgan writes good ones, in my opinion. For a rock star, he surprises me with the kind of songwriting talent.
“Cherub Rock” opens up with a distinguishing drum roll followed by simple clean guitar playing the main riff. Within less than a minute, a wall of guitars is hitting you, but it’s still extremely listenable. The melodies of this song are awesome, and I’d bet you’ve heard it on the radio.

“Quiet” is an assault of layered metal riffs. “Today” is another radio song. It’s one of the weaker songs on the whole, but I think it’s still pretty nice and ironically a lot of people’s favorite song.

“Hummer” is nearly 7 minutes long, with several different parts and great textures and melodies. “Disarm” is a beautiful acoustic guitar and vocal track, with strings added (that are good and not cheesy).

“Soma” starts with a peaceful clean guitar riff, but explodes into a wall of distorted guitars and wild leads. I still pull out my acoustic guitar once in a while and play the tabs to this one.

“Geel U.S.A.” is one of the best rockers, and one of the most layered. I don’t know how many guitars are in this song, but I’m pretty sure it’s more than 12 or so. Think My Bloody Valentine-esque The solo is wildly energetic, and the metal riffs are awesome.

“Mayonaise” is gorgeous and noisy at the same time. It’s my personal favorite.

There are no bad songs. Or else it wouldn’t be on my list. Duh!!!
When I first got into the Pumpkins back in 1991, I didn’t like Billy Corgan’s voice that much, but I grew to really appreciate it. The wall of sound created by Billy Corgan’s guitars combined with his original voice and songwriting is also backed up by the experienced drumming of Jimmy Chamberlain. He used to be in a jazz band apparently, and the guy definitely knows what he’s doing.
James Iha and D’Arcy are respectively great rhythm and bass guitarists as well but they are unfortunately known more for their live contributions because Billy tended to prefer taking over in the studio. This was always the one controversial fact about the pumpkins.

If you want my opinion (I guess you do, if you’ve read this far), this is one of the best rock albums of the 90’s, and you should buy it. Highly recommended. 

5. Funny story about this one. My mom and dad found this laying around, shortly after I bought it. They listened to it (well parts of it) and glanced at the lyrics and album cover and hated it. They threw it in the trash and did NOT want me to have it. Somehow I acquired it again and still kept listening to it. I think they wanted to make sure that I didn’t get influenced by Satan, or whatever! LOL

My friend Jason and I were hanging out at the mall and went into a Sam Goody Record store. We each picked out a cd. This was the one I bought. I initially was attracted to the cover. I too was attracted to the lyrics I read in the sleeve. I couldn’t wait to go home and listen to it.

This is definitely one of the best metal albums of all time and should be on anyone’s top ten list of all time. Megadeth has not produced a CD of this greatness before or since. Don’t interpret this as not liking their other stuff. But this is the first one I tend to pull out to listen to in its entirety. The guitar playing and Dave Mustaine’s growling voice just don’t get any better. My ultimate favorite songs are “The Conjuring” and “Bad Omen”.

Even the cover art is awesome and puts forward the premise of “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying”. This one along with Metallica’s “Ride The Lightening” sums up the state of today’s world.

If you’re a metal head, this CD is a must buy!!! That’s all….carry on. 🙂

btw……I think my parents will forgive me on this one 🙂

Okay so there you have it. records i cant live without because we have history together and i am addicted to their sounds.


Complaints and Grievances Part 1

It goes without saying that MUSIC is my escape and my obsession. When things suck in my life, I turn to music. Lately my stress at work has been elevated. People are grouchy and mean. Everything is NOW NOW NOW! Today was seriously an overwhelming day at work. Social distancing, major construction, repaving the driveways and parking lots, raining/snowing, truck deliveries getting re-routed to outer space and then my department is shorthanded. My supervisor has no compassion or a soul for that matter. I think that’s all. I got a bottle of wine waiting at home. But I also have music by my side.

Then I start worrying about things in my personal life. Do my obsessions take over my life. Am I a good father? Do I live up to the responsibilities of a good husband. Do I pray enough? Perhaps I eat too much junk food? Do I bother people on social media. I think I text too much. What is love? Do I wear my heart on my sleeve too loudly? I believe that I am a good person. My time on this planet is short. I just want to make the most of it.

I need a new playlist. Open to suggestions. This playlist is intended to comfort me in these hours of darkness and melancholy. But I am lost for words and ideas. Uninspired and drifting through my days lately. Laughter has always been a part of my personality. Humor gets me through my days just as much as music does. But I cannot help but just feel sad sometimes. A lot of people don’t appreciate me. Some do. I acknowledge them. They are great.

I wish I could stop dwelling on the things I don’t have. My impatience takes over me. I get over excited about people and things in my life. I don’t even know the point of this ramble.

So now I’m going to use this time to reflect a little bit and once again look into my past. I miss my family and all of our gatherings. From simple visits to grandma and grandpa’s house to long drives to Florida or to New York. I miss all of the birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I loved watching my cousins grow up and making them all laugh when I danced with Santa Claus. I miss my friends from high school and college.

You know who you are. I thought something like Facebook was going to bring us together forever but life happens no matter what kind of social media comes along because we are not in control of our lives anymore. We have to adapt and we have to go wherever the tide takes us. We can surely make choices and we are entitled to our feelings. But the reality is, things burn and they crumble and rust, whether we want them to or not. Ships sink to the bottom of the ocean.

We enjoy the museums to appreciate the relics of our past. People die. Life is precious and we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Look around you. Look at the sun. Embrace the sky. Take a walk while you still can. It’s important to cherish our lives now while we are living them. New families are created and new friends are formed. I am trying to face myself in the mirror and confront my feelings because I have suffered writers block for sometime now.

Once in a great while a creative bubble forms but I am out of the flow. I have endured a great many obstacles in my life. But of course everybody that I know in my life has also endured a lot of pain and suffering as well. Proving once again that we are not alone in this great universe. And now……in my trembling hands with my head shaking in my parked car while listening to the song “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” by Tears for Fears and looking at the railroad tracks and dead trees behind them, I am speaking to everyone in my life (then and now) and I want to give everyone a big hug but I can’t because we are all under house arrest.

So hopefully we can get back to that before the world turns upside down because otherwise I guess it’s been nice knowing you. However, my faith and sense of humor are both strong and it may take a long long time to rebuild this nation. Maybe something really really scary like this has to happen so that everybody could just wake the fuck up!

Music is healing. The songs in my ears are healing. I am always on a quest searching for more songs to capture my world and encompass my feelings. Maybe someone will read this. Otherwise, I hope to gather a bunch of songs and use them for solace and an escape. Ahhh now I breath.

And now I Drop the Mic 🎤

Concerts Uncategorized

A Large Slice of My Favorite Pumpkin Pie

                                                              “Shiny and Oh So Bright

This type of imagery occurred a lot on stage

On Monday, August 13 my friend and I went to see the rock band, The Smashing Pumpkins at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. They were touring this year in celebration of their 30th anniversary as a band. There has been so much personal drama surrounding this music group ever since the mid-1990s.


Taken in the early 1990’s with D’arcy on the far left

The drummer (Chamberlain) gets fired from them in 1996 because of involvement with drugs and the death of a former keyboard player but then later returns. Their bass player (D’Arcy) is fired and permanently replaced in 2000. But I know one thing is for sure, the music sounds great in the studio and live.

I think Smashing Pumpkins were one of the greatest rock bands of the 1990’s, easily.

Billy Corgan has been one of my favorite guitarists. His work on the studio albums Gish, Siamese Dream and even Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) is brilliant, layering guitar upon guitar with brilliant riffs and awesome solos.

His lyrics are often depressed and angry, but they show hope and beauty too. Lyrics aren’t usually as important to me as music, but Billy Corgan writes good ones, in my opinion. For a rock star, he surprises me with that kind of songwriting talent.

When I first got into the Pumpkins back in 1991, I didn’t like Billy Corgan’s voice that much, but I grew to really appreciate it. The wall of sound created by Billy Corgan’s guitars combined with his original voice and songwriting is also backed up by the experienced drumming of Jimmy Chamberlain. He used to be in a jazz band apparently, and the guy definitely knows what he’s doing.


James Iha and D’arcy are respectively great rhythm and bass guitarists as well but they are unfortunately known more for their live contributions because Billy tended to prefer taking over in the studio. This was always the one controversial fact about the pumpkins.

But to see them live again for the first time since the fall of 96 was absolutely mind-blowing. This show lasted way past 3 hours but contained about 31 songs that spanned highlights from all of their studio albums. There were montage videos (D’arcy was unfortunately edited from some of the classic videos), bright and shiny lasers and colored spotlights that enhanced the already intense amplified sounds of guitars and drums just charging at you like a rocket!

I was quite satisfied seeing them again. This show was way better than the one I saw over 20 years ago. Much cleaner, tighter and I finally got to hear Jimmy’s fantastic and spot-on drumming since the last time I saw them, he was temporarily replaced by the drummer from the alternative band Filter. Yes there was no D’arcy but I’ll settle for 75% of the band.

Recent photo of the band. Obviously no signs of D’arcy but instead we have Jack Bates on the far right

Even on a Monday night with a wife and kid back at home and with my impending daily job still waiting for me at 8:00 am the next day, the wild and crazy concert was worth it.

Album Reviews Concerts Uncategorized

The Beating Pulse of Music

The Story of My Pulse With Pink Floyd

Well I don’t know where to begin with the babble on Pink Floyd. I absolutely love this band. Ever since I was a kid in the 80’s, I was exposed to them. My dad played the records and I was awakened from whatever slumber I was trapped inside when I listened to their music. I just want to thank my father for opening up my mind to great music. We didn’t always have a lot of common ground but it was the notes coming from David Gilmour’s Fender Stratocaster that could potentially bring us both to tears. Any time the two of us took a drive in his pickup truck, it was almost a certainty that the band Pink Floyd would be emitting from the car stereo. Ever since I was about 10 years old; I UNDERSTOOD this unique, abstract, bizarre, spacey and progressive rock band. I was hooked.

Then just before I went into college, the 2 of us went to Soldier Field in Chicago and saw Pink Floyd perform one of their last live concerts ever! It was quite an awesome experience. In the summer of 1994, my dad surprised me and bought 2 tickets for us to go see Pink Floyd live. It was my first concert ever. I was 18 years old. I was so pumped. The band takes the stage. I am among a crowd of 50,000 people with my dad screaming and shouting. I have never been to a rock show as awesome as that one in my entire life…been chasing that high for 24 years…my dad raised the bar right out of the gate. I still have my ticket stub and I bought a T Shirt.


For me, the band became an obsession of mine. I never could ONLY be a casual observer and listener. “Another Brick In The Wall,” was my first encounter with the Floyd. Mom would take me to the grocery store with her when I was a small boy. I was probably five years old when I kept hearing that song on the radio. My imagination was quite vivid at that age of my youth. Sometimes you like what you are hearing without quite being aware of the meaning or having a complete understanding of its lyrics, structure and relevance to your own life

In high school, my dad bought this awesome Pink Floyd Box Set. When I gazed upon the cover, with nude figures soaring above the water, I surrendered to the abstract art which definitely made an enormous impression on me. 8 compact discs inside the box. A large book with stories, pictures, track listings and lyrics captivated my interest for several weeks. After school homework and on dull weekends as a teenager, I would gravitate towards the magic of Pink Floyd. The 8 cds consisted of 7 albums and a bonus cd from the early days when a man named Syd Barrett was their lead guitarist and singer. The others were chosen as highlights that represented the “FLOYD SOUND.”

A Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Animals were the chosen ones for this box set. My father loved this kind of stuff! He was big into bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, CSNY and many others. But when it came to this artistic and experimental music from these four obscure British musicians, it was a whole new ball of wax. Moods were created. The atmosphere has that imagery of a street alley corner, an abandoned mountain peak, being lost in the desert and being inside a warm room looking outside at the cold neighborhood sort of feeling. Getting lost into that PINK noise.

Sometimes atmospheres and moods are hard to describe in detail. When I hear Roger Waters’ lyrics come to life in these Rock Operas, like THE WALL, I am left speechless because suddenly I have insane images in my head of worms, naked women in bathtubs, hammers marching, kids staring at airplanes up in the sky and getting thrown into a meat grinder by disgruntled teachers. The same holds true to all of their albums.

My dad and I would get into really long philosophical conversations about these guys, the meanings behind their politically charged and surreal lyrics and the imagination that they yielded. We would be working in the yard, painting the family room, or he would be helping me with my homework and have these awesome songs in the background.

While I was in college a couple of noteworthy things took place. One was that my dad met someone online that had a cassette tape of the Chicago performance we were at. It was a bootleg copy but still pretty cool. I swear there’s a part during the encore that I can hear my dad’s voice but one can only imagine. The second thing that happened was on Pay Per View, they were televising a live Pink Floyd concert during that “Pulse” tour. This guy paid for it and then charged everyone 5 bucks to hang out in his dorm room and watch the show. Some folks were tripping and others were stoned but everyone was having a good time.

Then came PULSE the CD in the summer of 1995. This live double disc set had a battery operated blinking light attached to the case to represent a pulse. The artwork on the packaging was stunning. Picture attached. Sound wise, it was a good representation of the music they played on the same tour as when we saw them. The only real difference was the second disc contained all of Dark Side of The Moon (they did not play all of the songs from this album at the show we were at). The encore was the same with “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell.”


PULSE is definitely on my list of favorite live albums. It takes me back to a memory of that experience where Mr Sight and Mr Sound hung out and played for two hours. They eventually released a DVD set for PULSE complete with special footage and awesome art. While I enjoy the live in Pompeii experience or the numerous other live recordings from the Wish You Were Here tour or even the mighty The Wall one, I still LOVE the PULSE double CD set most because it directly ties me to my experience going to see the band live.

Pink Floyd was always about the concept of Sight and Sound blending together. I think that folks who enjoy SOME of Pink Floyd’s music and not much of the more EXPERIMENTAL stuff should honestly hangout with my dad and I more often. It’s like unraveling a mystery. Solving a puzzle within an enigma. Exploring symbols, metaphors and digging deeper is part of the fun. There’s more to this music than what lies on the surface. Anyways, PULSE is so great because it’s extremely enjoyable and it isn’t really an acquired taste. Once you hear it then it becomes this emotional transposition from just appreciating their works to totally submerging yourself into the true genius behind David and the gang.

I owe it all to my dad! He solidified his coolness with me. Props to you papa! Shine On. I’m glad our special bond is timeless……




Album Reviews Uncategorized

Soul Healing Music


I was in the car driving home from work earlier this evening and I started to cry. Emotions began to amplify themselves within my mind. Life, beauty and death surrounded me. Why?

It was the powerful music I was listening to. I’ve been playing this album for over a month now, ever since it was released. Tonight I came to the conclusion that this was spiritual therapy. In fact, not only am I dedicating this blog entry to my niece Samantha, I am proclaiming that a certain album by a certain pair of artists is the most surprising, astonishing and inspiring one of 2016. In my opinion, of course.

This is a personal choice for me. I was going to do my usual countdown of top 10 favorite albums of the year but when a series of songs feel good on my ears and brings me to a place of overwhelming joy and sadness and can make me cry because I am suddenly appreciating everything around me, then I know this is the one to gravitate towards as my favorite album of the year. So let me get right to it.

The artist is Phantogram. They are an American music duo from New York. Josh Carter does vocals and guitars while Sarah Barthel provides vocals and keyboards. Both of them are unbelievable at what they do.




You could define their music in a number of ways. Lets just say they fall under four major categories. Dream pop, trip hop, electronica and “Shoe gaze”could aptly describe them. I love their awesome rhythms, guitars that swirl, keyboards that transport me to outer space, voices that echo and vibrate and lyrics that move through me.

Their October 7th release of the record, simply titled Three, is something that I can’t seem to play enough of. The songs spin around in my head and they won’t let go of me. I have surrendered to their addictive sounds.

This album, ironically, received mediocre reviews from several online sources. I am not one of them. I can’t explain why there are so many negative and poor reviews but that just doesn’t seem to matter. Perhaps I am sentimental when it comes to heartbreaking songs about losing someone close and dear to you.

I have experienced much tragedy this year. I took group fitness instructor courses and attempted to pass a certification test TWICE and FAILED both times. I lost 2 of my grandmothers within the same week, believe it or not. My wife and I had a miscarriage earlier last summer, which was a deep and personal tragedy. I had several battles with depression as well. So maybe this record speaks to me in a really strong way. Sadness, melancholy and panic attacks surround my soul even as i go through the process of healing.

My niece and I connect in a really special way. We are like kindred spirits when it comes to words, poetry and music and I really believe that she will love this album. Its an engaging listen for the ears and the brain. I think the songs punch pretty hard right into the heart. They help someone like me cope with loss and failure. The songs reassure me that I am not alone trying to sort out my sensitive feelings in this world of opinions, hatred and jealousy. I reflect on the beauty that is all over me when I play these songs.

How can I put this? Its one of the best bands you never heard of. They aren’t quite mainstream but that is just fine with me. The mood of this record is deep, raw and real. I won’t go into great details anymore. I can only provide you with a video and trust that faith and hope will take you on this fantastic musical journey.

I highly recommend you listen to (and watch) this:



interests Uncategorized

The Song That Changed My Life Forever



For most people, this is a difficult thing to truly know. I mean, think about how many songs are out there. How can you possibly narrow it down to that ONE song that altered your perception, changed your fate, opened up your mind? Woke you up to a new world forever? It depends on a significant event perhaps. Or maybe it was repeated exposure to a song on the radio. Was it at a concert? Maybe during a music class lesson? For me it always seems to relate to my father and I listening to classic rock on the radio in one of his pickup trucks while I was growing up.

Whether we were driving to a ball game, camping trip, vacation or just around the corner to the store; classic rock was playing either through a cassette tape, cd player or simply on the radio. At home on the stereo pumping through vintage Allegro speakers, he would crank out records and cds of various artists. Most of these consisted of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, CCR, The Cars, ZZ Top and finally Pink Floyd. Something about the latter struck me the most.

I remember being about 5 or 6 years old in the back seat of my  mom’s Plymouth Horizon. One of her many errands she would run during the day while I am intently listening to the radio. Usually it was WLS in Chicago AM radio. This disco sounding, rock jam song would play every now and then. It was actually Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd. At that age, this song sounded really strange and yet quite interesting even though my young brain couldn’t quite understand its meaning. Then in 1987 another song by the Floyd was on MTV and the radio again. This one was entitled Learning To Fly. Another bizarre and artistic song by this enigmatic band that I did not know much about.

At age 11, I still was not collecting music really other than occasionally trading tapes with neighborhood friends or hearing what my dad played. It wasn’t until the late 80’s and early 90’s that I started feeling that “change” within me. This occurred in 2 stages. Stage one was when I was in his truck one day (I can’t remember the specific year but I guess I would have been in my early teens) probably when I was 13 or 14 and he played Dark Side of The Moon. This album blew my mind. Clocks ticking and then erupting into this loud chaos followed by these percussions keeping a steady beat with wailing guitars and these deep prophetic lyrics about “Time” and life & death. My dad played that album a lot and that song Time really spoke to me the most. Slide guitars and great vocals were enough to sell me on the band finally.

The second stage occurred a few years later. In the summer of 1994, my dad surprised me and bought 2 tickets for us to go see Pink Floyd live. It was my first concert ever. I was 18 years old. I was so pumped. The band takes the stage. I am among a crowd of 50,000 people with my dad screaming and shouting. They open up with this cosmic sounding, very British and aggressively massive sounding pop song. It was really rocking! I never heard it before. I was actually so turned on by this song! I kept thinking,”what was that?” While the concert was great, that song was festering in my brain. My dad and I did some research later on that week. Then one day I am in my bedroom and over hear that familiar song pumping through those Allegro speakers and I immediately ran into the living room and inquired about it. My dad was holding a disc in his hands. It was entitled “Piper At The Gates of Dawn” by Pink Floyd, featuring original singer, guitarist and song writer-Syd Barrett.


I learned of Syd Barrett in that moment. I never knew about him or the amazing body of work he contributed to that band. The song that I fell in love with is called Astronomy Domine. Totally spacey and cosmic and psychedelic! That song changed my life forever because I knew there was more Pink Floyd music out there that I never even knew existed before. I started to realize that every band has its beginnings before they become popular. Before they reach stardom, they have a starting point. Something that inspired them to make music to begin with. That night at the concert while standing in front of my chair gazing up at the stage I experienced something like never before. At age 18 that summer, I became educated that there’s this amazing story behind the band Pink Floyd. That it all began with a man named Syd. Syd Barrett’s experiments with sights and sounds and his eventual madness is what created albums like Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. Without his genius and absurdness, Pink Floyd would never have become as great as they did.


That single song, Astronomy Domine, shaped my life because I learned how to embrace all sides of life and music. There’s more than meets the eye and ears. I learned to go deeper than the surface. To explore beyond the obvious. I began to embrace the deep cuts and the hidden treasures of my own life each and every day.

40 Years of Noe Uncategorized

#1996 #Tool #Aenima



I have been listening to Tool constantly since I first heard the Sober video and watched the twisted geniuses at work that created such a short film. Since then, as I grow and learn, the lyrics, which I used to study for each song and read over every once in a while hit me on new levels upon each reading. Their lyrics during my first reading leave the impression that this group supports all things “evil.” However, as the depth of reading and interpretation grows and evolves, the true meaning and genius of the lyrics is revealed.

This album to me is the epitome of the genius of Tool. I was sitting in my car one day and heard the song “Eulogy” start up. I listened closely for the first time to the introduction where each instrument comes individually. When I truly listened to it, I was in awe of the fluidity that the song works. Each instrument fades in individually, the strumming of the guitar is incredible, the drums, solemnly beating in the background are again splendid.

I cannot begin to describe my admiration for this band. Reading the interviews that Maynard has given and reading a small biography of him gave me so much respect for his vast intellect and his well read nature. He quotes Carl Jung during shows. From day one, their music has struck me as essentially what I would consider flawless vocalists of the human state and nature. The drums are splendid and so incredibly complex. The way that Tool uses the Bass guitar is incredibly impressive. Usually bands use the bass as a background instrument, but Tool brings it to the front to further drive their message into the soul. The lead guitars are amazing.

I cant begin to even describe how good Maynard is. He is truly a singer. Ozzy Osbourne (for example) is excellent in terms of being a rock singer, but Maynard has bridged the gap. He is truly a vocalist. He could just as easily be singing opera or jazz or whatever form of music you can think of. Maybe someday, people will be worshiping their music and his lyrics.
If anyone reading this commentary/review has never payed attention to Tool before, start now. This is the embodiment of all music that I have ever heard. It rivals in perfection in vocal music as what Amadeus Mozart did for instrumental music. That is all i’m going to say, and I doubt that anyone has read this far.

If so, please comment. Thank You

artists debates interests Uncategorized

What’s The Best American Band Of Our Generation? #generationx #music #debate #nirvana #mixtape



I am bringing back something that a friend of mine mentioned two years ago: What’s the best American Band of our Generation? But I want to clarify….Speaking on behalf of Generation X and Y (Millennial’s too)…what band has defined this place in time occurring from 1980-2010. A band that began in the 80’s and is still relevant. Longevity and sales play a key roll. It needs to define us!!! So FRANK brought up Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I will add to that Green Day and Nine Inch Nails…..Let’s Debate Folks!!!

The following conversation has been edited for focus and clarity: 



FRANK:I view Nirvana like The Doors. Amazingly influential but too short lived.


PAULI agree with the “short-lived” thing.

MARY: Definitely WuTang is in the running. Very influential in both music and life.
PAUL: If I were to ask 10 random people our age who Wu Tang is….would they know? I’m not saying I don’t like them or think they are good but are they at the top of the list?
MARY: I think so. Look at the rapper that came out of Wu-Tang. Ghostface killah, method man and old dirty bastard. Ghostface and Method are still relevant.
FRANK: For sure. They influenced multiple cultures. Not just one culture like most of the bands we have listed. For sure more than Green Day. Just saying.
PAUL: The only thing is, their longevity doesn’t trace back to the 80’s.Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was a great album but beyond that release, I’m not convinced that it “defined” our generation. IMHO
MARY: Wu-Tang is one of the most influential hip hop artist. That stupid pharmaceutical guy bought the ONLY copy of their latest album. So they are still relevant enough to garner that type of interest. They also started a clothing line and soon many rappers like puff daddy would follow suit. ODB was the original Kanye, interrupting the Grammys when Puff Daddy won best Rap Album and Shawn Colvin when she won Song of the Year.
BOB: My only vote would be for Nirvana. I know they don’t qualify based on the parameters, but their influence and effect rippled across the ENTIRE music industry in the early 90s. All at once, Hair Metal (your Warrants and Wingers of the world) were done. Grunge was the new sound for better or worse. Even thrash metal bands like Metallica and Anthrax were affected; if you listen to 90s records (post-Nirvana) from these bands versus 80s records (pre-Nirvana) you can hear the change. I can’t go with the Pumpkins (even though I am a huge fan) because they weren’t CONSISTENTLY good. Same thing with Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
PAUL: You make a good point Sir.
JOEHa! Me and Geff have a long standing debate on this. Green Day vs Metallica. I say Metallica, he says Green Day. Ironically I’m in a band that plays lots of Green Day. So….Can of worms opened. I contend that without the Black album paving the way for heavier music in popular music there is no grunge or 90s metal.No nirvana, Pearl jam, Alice in chains, tool, Korn, or green day. Ergo Metallica had the most effect on the music of our generation. You must look back to what was on the radio and mtv before Aug 12 1991. It was a huge shift when they started playing a lot of heavy stuff on the radio and more kids at school liked Metallica than didn’t like that bunch of satan worshipping burn outs as they were previously referred to.
BOB:It’s very interesting to note that both the Black Album and Nevermind were released within weeks of each other in 1991. You could argue that the Black Album was one of the first grunge album, though that album did piss off a LOT of their hardcore fans due to the sound change from the first few records. I still think the music scene’s overall “sound” changed more as a result of Nirvana than the Black Album. Also, I still view the Black Album as the “buffer” album between Justice and the Load period. Therefore, I don’t hold it up as much; though there are some great tunes on that record.
JOE: Metal had to rise so it could die and grunge could rise up. I still maintain. If not that then yes Nirvana changed the world.
PAUL: Nirvana’s Bleach came out in 1989 and so did NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine so…
BOB: True, but in fairness, Bleach didn’t have anywhere near the impact that Nevermind did. I doubt Metallica was influenced by Bleach that much.


PAUL: probably not…..I just disagree with Joe on this one. Plus Mudhoney arrived in 1988 using” grunge” to define their style.

PAUL:The Gen X soundtrack is a mixtape. It consists of dance. punk, pop, glam rock, new wave, alternative and rap. At the heart of it all is the music that erupted from Seattle in the early 1990s.
FRANK: Agree 100%. But still, need to add the East Coast and West Coast Hip Hop scene. They paved the way for what I’d consider to be the dominant form of American music today. I have been contemplating this and I still have Green Day as a tier 2 in this debate. I don’t think they were very original. They might have influenced the cheapening of punk. Sort of how Metallica made metal mainstream by watering it down. Which makes them successful in pop culture and also eligible for a “greatest” list. Given a choice, I’ll take Slayer and Fugazi over Metallica and Green Day but that’s a different list and different discussion.
PAUL: I tend to gravitate towards Green Day! Dookie went 10 x Platinuum and it was basically considered a Diamond record as opposed to a Gold record!
FRANK:I’ll stick to Metallica and RHCP as the greatest American bands of my generation.
PAUL: Perhaps we are the “mixtape” generation.
BOB:I’m a fan of Green Day, but they have put out a couple stinkers. The Warning album was godawful. It should have been titled Warning: This Record Sucks.Though I think Green Day’s first three records, 39 Smooth, Kerplunk and Dookie were all amazing! The follow-up to Dookie was underrated too. Insomniac, I think? I can’t remember.
PAUL: A good band/artist puts out stinkers! Even David Bowie managed to release some duds. He put out 27 albums but not ALL of them were Golden! 
BOB: That is true, but if we’re talking about generation defining artists, I like to keep the stinkage to a minimum.

PAUL:I suppose Nirvana wasn’t around long enough to stink too much. I still believe that longevity and sales play key factors.

BOB:Eh, I’m not so keen on sales. People buy a lot of crap. I’d be interested to know, which is the WEAKEST Nirvana album in your opinion?
PAUL: I guess none of them. you got me stumped. But I will say, does it define our generation? Or is this a mission impossible?I’m willing to bet that its a “mixtape” generation.
BOB: I think Nirvana defined the generation best with the lyrics to Teen Spirit: Here We Are, Now Entertain Us! If that isn’t the slacker Gen X anthem, well, I challenge you to top it!
PAUL: Actually, Beck, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and Radiohead all presented “anthems” for our generation too: Beck’s Loser? Sonic Youth’s Teenage Riot? Radiohead’s Creep?
BOB: I like “Here We Are, Now Entertain Us” better than “I’m a Loser, Baby, so Why Don’t You Kill Me?”Not a huge Radiohead fan, but I like Creep. Love Sonic Youth, especially Daydream Nation. Love it. But I think it more defined the Hipster generation, which I don’t consider myself a part of.
BOB: You could also make an argument that Dinosaur Jr. was making grunge records way before Nirvana. Listen to You’re Living All Over Me; if that ain’t grunge, I don’t know what is…
Nirvana, “Nevermind”
Pearl Jam, “Ten”
Dr. Dre, “The Chronic”
Radiohead, “OK Computer”
Rage Against the Machine, “The Battle of Los Angeles”
Sublime, “Sublime”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”
No Doubt, “Tragic Kingdom”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Siamese Dream”
REM, “Out of Time”
Depeche Mode, “Violator”
Jane’s Addiction, “Ritual de Lo Habitual”
Alanis Morissette, “Jagged Little Pill”
Soundgarden, “Superunknown”
Green Day, “Dookie”
Beastie Boys, “Ill Communication”
U2, “Achtung Baby”
BOB: I forgot about REM. Perhaps they should be in the conversation as well? They had a gift for reinvention that was unique. Monster is one of my favorite 90s records.
PAUL: Losing My Religion really spoke to me
BOB: That’s definitely an anthem for a lot of us.
PAUL: So perhaps R.E.M. vs Nirvana?
FRANK: REM for sure. They were around 30 years – not comparable with Nirvana.
PAUL: Would you say REM is more relevant?
BOB: REM probably is more impressive in that they were so good for so long. I loved all their records until like, the late 90s. No obvious stinkers.
STEVE: While mother love bone birthed grunge music, nirvana definitely defined it. In a pop dominated era, rem defied the boundaries along with bands like the cure. However, I cannot find any band to compare to the boys from Ireland (U2). Imo, they’re on an island all their own.
PAUL: I think I’m convinced that it’s not Metallica or red hot chili peppers because there were too many stinkers and I don’t feel they spoke to everybody or at least the majority but what do I know?
FRANK: As for the Metallica and RHCP stinkers – that is due to longevity. I don’t think it discounts them. But to each his own. As long as we all love music and the great (or sad) memories it evokes, the world is right. Now go watch the AIC Would video, put on some docs and a flannel and transport yourself back to the 90s. And share it with a millennial. Poor saps. Sap. Good album.
Maybe we’ll never know for sure. Let’s ask the blog followers to participate. What’s your opinion on this matter? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section. 
interests Uncategorized

At a loss

I am overstimulated with music

Seems difficult for me to stay focused

I want to press the reset button

There’s too many choices


It’s funny how my attention drifts

all over the place


drinking coffee  from my kitchen


a band named Girlpool plays on the stereo

Cleo and Harmony are from Los Angeles

I like their voices playing in harmony

no drummer

bass and guitar

kinda folky and punky

it’s coffeehouse music

or really just a rainy day album

its called “Before The World Was Big”


a bird chirps next to me

just got text

i am eating eggs and toast with cheese and bacon

for now this is my moment with music




Music Therapy Vol. 1


The word “HAPPY” is totally overused as a word, an emotion and state of mind that we all must grab and never let go of.

It’s ok to be sad……to grieve

that’s why there’s music

I listen to the music that validates my mood

I will not ignore my pain and sadness

We all have it

Or avoid looking at the suffering in the world

I can embrace what is happy and sad

It’s all about making good choices

Knowing how our brain works

But, truth be told, an organ (like the brain) is NOT a choice

So music for me is therapy

It brings out the love and passion for life

It awakens me from the little storm cloud that hovers over me

Music is a three dimensional experience unlike anything else

in the world we live in

It transports me into another place

that is spiritual and other-worldy

So much can be said about music and therapy

Consider this post as volume 1 (an introduction to my unofficial course of music therapy)