Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chris Chaney - Aguilar Artist Interview

Chris Chaney
Studio to stage and back again  
If your resume indicates that you have worked with artists like Alanis Morissette, Slash, Shakira, Celine Dion and Jane’s Addiction – you are completely off the charts on the diversity scale!

For bassist Chris Chaney, being well-rounded is paramount to success as a musician. In 2013 alone he has appeared on albums from Cher, Josh Groban, Tegan & Sara, Joe Satriani and the raucous Live in NYC from his full-time gig with Jane’s Addiction.

“I sort of pride myself in being diverse. Being adaptable is one of the keys to staying busy and working in this crazy music industry! In every genre of music there is greatness, so you have to do your history and dig into those styles and be prepared. I’ve barely scratched the surface on what’s out there but I’m a ‘lifer’ here - you can’t fill my head with enough!”

We caught up with Chris this past summer at Jane’s Addictions’ tour stop in Indianapolis to talk about the gear he brings to sessions, working on film dates and the value of reading music.

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Popjunkie rants - Charlie Brown, Starbucks and Deluxe Editions?

I dislike Starbucks. A lot.

They sell coffee. And yet they brand it as selling you a lifestyle. C’mon, aside from agida how much of a lifestyle change will a cup of their brew offer? It’s still just coffee – really burnt tasting, horrible coffee. And I love coffee – just not from Starbucks.

But let me get to my story - I do my good deed the other day and ask a co-worker if he would like anything from the deli I was running to for lunch. His reply? A beverage from Starbucks - which was near the deli I was going to. Sigh…

I walk into the ‘Bucks and I have to say, it was beautiful. As such, the line was treacherous. So I begin my wait, finally making it to the counter and place my order. As I am paying, I look down to one of the numerous counter displays hawking CDs and scones and that’s where my trouble begins.

I see A Charlie Brown Christmas Special and feel compelled to pick it up after seeing that which always gets me into trouble - the dreaded yellow sticker on the package declaring that I am lucky enough to be holding a “Deluxe Edition”. Does that have the same effect on anyone else? I think it’s a guy thing. Seriously, how many times have I re-purchased the same music or movie because of a reissue which proclaimed, “Limited Edition”, “Special Edition”, “You’re a dumb-ass, so go ahead and buy it again Edition”.

The clincher? This holiday double-pack of fun contains a DVD and the soundtrack CD! For only $12.95 – what can be bad about that?

Until I walk out and head back to work when I start to think – “wait, don’t I already own the soundtrack?” Of course I do. But I justify the re-purchase as my CD collection is stashed at a storage space up in the Bronx and since I never added the disc to my iTunes collection when I had the chance, I can now listen to Vince Guaraldi’s classic score once again.

But then then pure terror grips me right on Broadway – I just bought a DVD! Excuse me? I only watch Blu-ray discs! Why don’t I hang a bed sheet on the wall and break out the 8mm projector? Maybe even find the Betamax tapes? DVD – my last possible resort. It makes me nauseous to type out the words “standard definition”. Break out the Pepto Bismol!  

A Charlie Brown Christmas Special is now available on Blu-ray disc and the soundtrack has been remastered. Did Concord Music Group just dump these two old discs into one combo pack to get rid of them to unsuspecting coffee addicts! I got duped. Dear lord – what kind of abomination is this – an entertainment graveyard?

It’s been a week and I still haven’t watched this. I haven’t even opened it. I guess I could return it but I didn’t get a receipt because, why would I need one? Of course, if I returned it, I would have had no reason to write this and then would have wasted both time AND money! Alright, it was only $12.95 but you get the picture.

At the very least, I will open it and watch the show – hopefully with a minimum of discomfort. I know that the soundtrack is fantastic, but I have one that was probably pressed in 1915!

So screw you Snoopy – I hope Woodstock takes a dump in your stocking! Or gives you a bag of Starbucks home brew coffee.

And Starbucks… your coffee still sucks!

Look at it, just sitting there mocking me. Deluxe Edition my eye!