What’s In a Name?

Yeah that’s right.  What’s in a name?  Would Fudruckers still be Fudruckers if it was called Greaseburger?  Would you still be hankering for a Mountain Dew if it was called Nuclear Waste Fizz?  Would you still spend $300 on a dress at JC Penny if it was called PennySaver…hold on, that name really does suck.  Then again, so does Mountain Dew and Fudruckers.  Both sound oddly sexual, but few notice because they have been around so long.  Most of the things we eat, drink, use or shop at are silly names, but we are so used to them that we take them for granted.  Think about it.  You probably try to save money at BJs and don’t give it a second though.  The store is officially called BJ’s Wholesale Club  If you read that name really quick, it seems like a whole different type of club.

Silly Penguin.  At least you can still save money on sardines.

Silly Penguin. At least you can still save money on sardines.

When does the experience or product of the brand outweigh the name good or bad?  And how does that happen?  Wouldn’t someone along the way say “Gee Dick, I love your Sporting Goods Store, but seeing as its really catching on, maybe change it to Rich’s?”  Sure, for every Dick’s Sporting Goods you have at least 10 very safe names like McDonalds and Star Market and over time I guess you just get used to it. This may be true in most cases, but would you want to take a departed loved one here?

Seems that they are catering to a very specific market.

Seems that they are catering to a very specific market.

Ever since I bought this wonderful business in April I’ve been pondering the whole name thing.  Its called Parallel Sound Group and I just never liked it all that much.  I don’t hate it, but then again, it didn’t make me jump up and want to proclaim it the perfect name.  The problem that I had, just like Richard of the Sporting Goods chain fame, was that there was already a fair amount of recognition, value and SEO around the name.  That I did like.  So I thought about it and realized that it wasn’t necessarily the name I didn’t like.  Just the word group.  Group sounds like a consulting company to me.

At our Group, music is our business...oh and accounting and finance.   Well, mostly accounting and finance, but we do listen to music when we do it!

At our Group, music is our business…oh and accounting and finance. Well, mostly accounting and finance, but we do listen to music when we do it!  Oh, and this isn’t us.  Its just a picture of KISS in suits.  

I know Group has a music connotation to it, but in a business format, it screams “team of people here to develop a new paradigm of innovation to take your company to the next generation of business lingo.”

We are here to Rock and/or Roll, but only after we get down with our stand up meeting and talk about some useful metrics to identify hot prospects that could turn into some serious pipeline material.  Total Metal.

We are here to Rock and/or Roll, but only after we get down with our stand up meeting and talk about some useful metrics to identify hot prospects that could turn into some serious pipeline material. Total Metal.

So I don’t like the word Group.  Sue me.  As luck would have it, during this same time of me pondering a name change, I had the opportunity to take over the other half of the space in the building I lease.  I wasn’t initially sure what I was going to do with it, but using it vs. risking a company moving in who doesn’t exactly love very loud rock music starting at 5pm seemed like a safe bet to me!  I eventually came upon the idea of starting a music school and giving lessons to children and adults.  That way I could keep the space separate from the band rehearsal side.  On one side I have lessons enriching the youth and adults of today and on the other side, I have really loud bands cranking out their awesome music.

Its almost like I’m running music in…wait for it…PARALLEL!  With that in mind, I ditched Group and took on Studio.  So for the foreseeable future of my little enterprise, I am going to be calling this establishment Parallel Sound Studio and I even have a nifty, new logo:

PSS_LOGO_LARGENot to mention a spiffy new website at:  www.parallelsoundstudio.com

You can go to the old site and it will just take you over, so if you are not good with change, I’ll do all the work for you!

So that’s it.  A rose by any other name is something not called a rose and but still smells pretty damn sweet!

Best Song You Never Heard – Another Tear Goes Dry


The Oddfathers are pretty cool.  Awesome, in your face drums? Check.  Bithin’ guitar riff that rips of the Stones, but still manages to pull of an original song?  Check.  Insane singer?  Double Check.

I love this song and doubt many have heard it.  Could this be the best song you NEVER heard?  Its possible.  Also possible that its the worst song you ever heard, but you won’t know until you take a listen.

Or something like that.

Or something like that.

This is the first in what will probably be many posts about songs I dig.  I don’t know if it will catch or if anyone will care, but hell, its music and its cool, so why not share it right?  I’ll be adding to a playlist on Spotfiy, so you can all listen along if you want to follow it.  My plan is to showcase songs by lesser known bands and random song by bands you might know.  Along the way, I’ll be sure to include why the song caught my ear.

I came across this band through a podcast talking about the music industry and barely gave them a chance when I looked up this song.  Barely a chance turned into many repeated listens of this song.  Its ballsy, its got swagger and rocks.

The lead singer was being interviewed and he is certifiable but in a good way.  He was being interviewed about marketing a band in the digital age.  He has some interesting ideas and showed how old school techniques can get results, mainly due to the novelty of them.  If anything, this guy is about novelty.

Brynn Arens now

Brynn Arens now

Brynn in the 90s.  Bit of a different look.

Brynn in the 90s. Bit of a different look.

His name is Brynn Arens and he is in a band called The Oddfathers.  He was really out there in the 90s.  He had a band called Flipp.  They were different, but interesting.  The best thing I can say about that band was their big hit Freak, was appealing to me because the riff sounded like Bohemian Life You by The Dandy Warhols, which sounds like Brown Sugar.  Must be The Stones.  But I do remember the band, just barely, which is why I listened to the interview in the first place.  They all had their little personas like KISS, even a fair amount of grease paint and complete willingness to sell out, just not the fame.

Do I remember this band? Umm, yeah, they make an impression!

Do I remember this band? Umm, yeah, they make an impression!

The Oddfathers are bit more rocking.  As I get older, I admire the ability for someone to morph from the band pictured above to the band pictured below.


Sure they have a bit of a gimmick still, but I can’t fault them for playing the music game.  They even had a great gimmick for their first album.  They only had 4 songs, so instead of calling it an EP and having it thrown in the EP heap, they cut the songs on vinyl.  But not just on a record, which would have been cool enough.  No, they took it to the next level.  They put the songs on 45RPM records and released their record as a double album!   For those of you that don’t remember, singles used to be released as 45s.  They would have the hit song on one side and another on the back.  So 4 songs = 2 45RPM records.


How ballsy is that?  Pretty ballsy, I say.  The whole interview made me chuckle and out of courtesy and curiosity, I decided to give their songs a spin.  I heard Another Tear Goes Dry first and it really struck a chord with me.  I’m a sucker for a drum intro with swagger and a crunchy guitar part.  Plus, its filled with hooks left and right.

Listen up and let me know what you think.  Feel free to tell me if it rocks, tell me if it sucks.  Forward me songs you like.  Your song could be the next Best Song You Never Heard…but wait, you would have heard it, so the you would have to be someone else.   Or YOU could be everyone else but you and when I say thank you to you for the song that you suggested, the rest of the yous won’t be the you but YOU with be the YOU and the song you never heard was really a song they never heard.  Get it?

I don't get it either.

I don’t get it either.


3 Odd Inspirations For Classic Songs

VIve Libre...and pretty, pretty girl deodorant manufactured by a huge corporate conglomerate.

Edison said “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”  Great words indeed, but given the songs we are about to look at, clearly, it does not take a genius to write a song!  Song writing inspiration can come from anywhere.  A loved one, a lusted one, a lost one, politics, religion, funny statements, drunken nights out, coffee runs, drug binges, food poisoning, sun rises, sun sets, forests, deserts, desserts, and the list goes on and on and on.

As a song writer, you are only limited by your imagination. Sometimes that can take you in odd directions or leave you with something that makes you seem a bit more clever that you deserve credit for.  The next three songs are just that type.  For years, people have heaped praise upon them for various reasons and I’m here to tell you to slow your roll.  They are not all that and a bag of potato chips.  Well, they are, but they come from some really silly things inspiration-wise.

Green River

This kind of takes a bit of the mystery away from the swamp rock that is CCR.  I grew up thinking that these guys were pretty much raised on fan boats hunting alligators every day and drinking moon shine in a shack every night.  All of that is true provided you you see Bakersfield, California as the bayou and take the rest of that to is logical conclusion.


Yeah, these guys grew up in the suburbs, not the swamp. So all that “Born on the Bayou”, “Proud Mary” and “Green River” stuff was made up to be matched with John Fogerty’s raspy vocals to sell records.  It was a good angle.  Seemed to work out well for a while, at least until John got tired of the band and gave away all the publishing to all those million dollar hits just to get out of his record contract.  That was smart move.  Not like he couldn’t write another 10 hits in his sleep.  Well, he couldn’t, but he could get sued for plagiarizing himself.

Hey, he wrote Centerfield.

And as long as there are baseball games, he will make money in some way shape or form.

OK Jay, bring it back into focus.  You are really drifting from the main topic here. Right, Green River.  So now we know that they didn’t grow up wearing overalls and playing in a jug band.  They didn’t even grow up in trying circumstances.  They went on vacations to near Winters, California, which is where John supposedly got most of his inspiration for the lyrics to these swampy songs.  Not sure what a central California town has regarding swampy areas, but lets say I still think its a baloney. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0A47NkRI3U Oscar Meyer baloney, but still baloney baby.  First and last. John really did paint a picture with his lyrics.  Regardless of where they came from, you felt like you were walking along with by Green River.

But, wither come Green River?  There is no Green River in California and not even one in Louisiana.  Turns out, the River that ain’t easy being Green isn’t even an actual river. No, its a soft drink. In a 1993 Rolling Stone interview, Fogerty revealed: “You used to be able to go into a soda fountain, and they had these bottles of flavored syrup. My flavor was called Green River. It was green, lime flavored, and they would empty some out over some ice and pour some of that soda water on it, and you had yourself a Green River.” So, yeah, that kinda ruins Green River for me.  Love the song, but I’m only going to see it as a Mountain Dew commercial now, which I am assuming is the spiritual soda heir to Green River. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH9A-XYX3Rw If you don’t want to find that rope swing and that river after seeing that commercial, then I feel sorry for you.  That is, unless you are worried about the state of the rope after 30 years and numerous teens swinging from it.  Maybe I should just do it, to it, Mountain Dew it and be done.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Does anyone need a refresher on this one?  I seriously doubt it.  Its the song that defined Generation X and was the kiss of death to hair metal and pretty much anything 1980’s rock and roll-wise.   Its a rallying cry, a bullet from the blue, a real once in a lifetime type of song that inspired an entire generation to slack off, wear flannel and say “whatever” a lot.

Whatever Ethan.

Whatever Ethan.

Its also a hilarious disappointment as a a “statement” song. Lets start with the song structure.  Kurt admitted that he was just ripping off the Pixies, a personal favorite band of his, with the soft, soft, LOUD dynamic.   As for the chorus, Kurt would always snidely announce “Here we are now, entertain us” when walking into parties, because he was a smart ass when he wasn’t miserable and probably also when he was. But what about the title Jay?  I’m getting to it.  You probably knew it was based on Teen Spirit the deodorant made byyyyyy Mennen.   Well, if you did know it, you were one up on Mr. Cobain, who though it was some cool arcane anti-establishment motto.

VIve Libre...and pretty, pretty girl deodorant manufactured by a huge corporate conglomerate.

VIve Libre…and pretty, pretty girl deodorant manufactured by a huge corporate conglomerate.

The quote was conceived of by Katherine Hanna, the lead singer of Bikini Kill.  Her bandmate, Tobi Vail dated Kurt back in the day.  They were young, they were in lust and they were constantly in each other’s pants.  Ms. Vail was a fan of the aforementioned Teen Spirit deodorant byyyyyyy Mennen and to be sure, there must be a position in the Karma Sutra where armpits are smeared all over each other’s bodies, because old Kurt would end up smelling like a pretty teenage girl and I imagine like a lot of sex as well.  Must have been quite a combo.  Kurt’s pretty smell was an inside joke with Hanna and she thought it quite funny.

Girl, you smell hot.  You are like In Bloom.  You have me in a Heart Shaped Box.  What do you call it?  Lithium?

Girl, you smell hot. You are like In Bloom. You have me in a Heart Shaped Box. What do you call it? Lithium?

One night, after a great deal of partying, drugs and whatnot, Cobain and Vail passed out on top of each other at Kurt’s apartment.  Hanna found them there and decided it would be funny to write “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” over his bed in permanent marker.  When Kurt came to, he thought it was a compliment on his passion for life and rebellious nature from the singer.  He thought for sure that Hanna was celebrating Kurt’s very being with a slogan for the kids to get behind.  Bikini Kill was pretty much anti-mainstream American society, so Kurt thought it was a seditious catch phrase. Turns out the joke was on old Kurt and he found out way too late.   When it became clear to him, it was well past the song being released and he was very upset.   At least I think he was upset at that, he always seemed upset at something.

Damn you song about deodorant that made me famous and a millionaire many times over.

Damn you song about deodorant that made me famous and a millionaire many times over.

So the song that was the rallying cry of generation, the song that won over every slacker from Boise to Boston was a direct reference to a deodorant marketed exclusively to teenage girls.  I don’t think it hurt Kurt in the long run.  Only Kurt hurt Kurt, but the song made him and his estate millions.   I Am The Walrus  “Let the fuckers figure that one out” – John Lennon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap6kSV_U45o That quote says it all.  Lennon being Lennon for sure here.  He was notoriously surly and had a biting sarcasm that came through in songs like this. Legend has it that Lennon received a fan letter from a student at Quarry Bank High in good old Quarry Bank.  He mentioned that his class was analyzing Beatles’ lyrics as part of their English curriculum.   So John being John wasn’t touched, he was inspired.  He took a couple of songs he only had parts of and combined them with the most complete jibberish he could think of just to fuck with this one English class in Quarry Bank.  Really an amazing show of disdain for just one little letter asking for insight.

Wanker kids and their "questions" about my "art"

Wanker kids and their “questions” about my “art”

Whiles its now considered to be a minor miracle of pop surrealism, lets call this what it is, lazy.  Lennon could be pretty lazy in his song writing.  He just opened the paper for A Day In The Life.  Pick an article, write a verse.  That is pretty lazy.  Great result, wonderful melody, fantastic middle 8 by Paul with actual lyrics, but not exactly a mental workout.  I’m sure that letter was the perfect excuse for him to just say, “fuck it” and write a bunch of gobbley gook and make it appear like an artistic statement.  It was a statement and that statement said “Fuck You Quarry Bank High School”. Still, its a pretty ballsy song even to this day.

Who doesn’t like saying:


I still do.

Can You Just Steal A Paul McCartney Song?

download (1)

I hear a lot of interesting music here at Parallel Sound Group.  We have 4 fully equipped practice rooms that we rent out by the hour and  they are usually full of bands playing all sorts of songs.  Originals, covers, instrumentals, mash ups, noise, you name it, I hear it.  The other day a band was playing Hair of the Dog by Nazareth and later covered by Guns N’ Roses.  Over the years, I’ve heard that song hundreds of times in both forms and it was good way to end the night on a high note both literally and figuratively.

After the band left, I was straightening up and still humming the song because it was the last thing I heard.  But it turns out I was actually humming Day Tripper by The Beatles.   It wasn’t a dead ringer, but I Goggled it anyway and it turns out I’m not the first person to make this connection.  Online there are plenty of Beatles fans up in arms for the crime against the Day Tripper.  You can hear them overlaid on this video.

Not a huge revelation and really its close, but not really a rip off.  But still, people have sued for less, far less.  I’ll be happy to highlight successful lawsuits in the future, but this article is about he seeming easy it is to rip off a Beatles song.  Day Tripper was written by Lennon and McCartney and thanks a typical 60’s era recording industry screw job, they didn’t and still don’t own the rights to their own songs.


Who does you might ask?  Well Michael Jackson does, or at least his estate.  MJ isn’t up to owning much these days and its probably for the best.

The King of Pop and Sir Paul were buddies during the 80’s and wrote a couple hits together.  Michael once asked Paul about good investments and Paul told him about owning music rights to songs.  MJ thought this was such a great idea that when Paul finally had the chance to buy his own music back after his shitty deal expired, Michael AssHat Jackson out bid him!


Can you imagine waiting 20 years to finally get the chance to own your own songs and lose out to someone you GAVE the idea to?  Must have been a banner time at the McCartney house that night.

No I will not calm down and have a cup of tea.  I am cheesed off!

No I will not calm down and have a cup of tea. I am cheesed off!

I’m super digressing here.  Back to Nazareth.  I have no clue why Nazareth didn’t get sued given how close Hair of the Dog is to Day Tripper.  Maybe it was as different time back in 1975, a simpler time where artists weren’t pissing all over each other over a melody that sounds like one they already had a hit with.  Oh snap, that can’t be true because Paul’s old band mate George Harrison got sued a year later for subconsciously plagiarizing He’s So Fine by the Chiffons for his hit My Sweet Lord.  So it can’t be that.  Maybe it was because it wasn’t a dead ringer.  That could be.  My Sweet Lord was a dead ringer for He’s So Fine, so I guess we will let Nazareth off the hook, because Love Hurts in these Changing Times.  

Not by a long shot my lad.

Not by a long shot my lad.

Fast forward to the 90’s and Sublime has an international super hit with What I Got…right after their lead singer died of  herion overdose.  It was everywhere that summer.  The Call Me Maybe of  1996.

Trippy little diddy with a very catchy verse structure.  So catchy in fact, it brought to mind another Beatles song…Lady Madonna.

But  wait, let’s check out the writer’s credits before jumping to conclusions.  Bud Gaugh/Bradley Nowell/Half Pint/Eric Wilson.  Hmmm…unless Paul McCartney went as Half Pint in the 90’s, I”m gonna say he wasn’t listed for a song that sounds a great deal like a Beatles song.

Fun fact Kanye.  My street name is Half Pint!

Fun fact Kanye. My street name is Half Pint!

Pretty freakin’ close if you ask me.  Close enough to sue.  So should I call the Law Offices of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe yet?  No?  Not close enough you say?  Lets be cool you say?  The lead singer had just died of a heroin overdose you say?  Jeez, what does it take to admit some wrong doing around here?

OK, alright, maybe stealing a verse structure isn’t gangster enough for Half Pint to get mad at.  I have better or worse as the case may be.  Why steal a riff or a verse when you can steal the whole darn song?  Moving on to the worst offender in the bunch.  Why Don’t You Get a Job by The Offspring.

I don’t know what can be said in this song’s defense.  It rips off OB-La-Di, Ob-La-Da directly.  Its like a bad cover of the song with different lyrics.  In fact, I always assumed that to be the case.  This is as obvious a lifting of another as it gets.  I mean at least most bands, when they steal directly, they steal from relatively unknown bands.   Led Zeppelin was famous for stealing from everyone and not giving a shit about credits until forced to do so by the great Willie Dixon via a very expensive law suit.

Yeah we did it.  What your tone or we will steal your song and rape you with a mud shark.

Yeah we did it. What your tone or we will steal your song and rape you with a mud shark.

The difference is they never really denied it.  They had piles of shits that did not give over stealing songs.  When they got caught, they paid up and continued to make money hand over fist and decided maybe it was best to write their own songs about hobbits, vikings and hot dogs.

The Wikipedia entry for Why Don’t You Get A Job comically states that “the main tune of the song was inspired by Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”.  That’s like saying the US version of The Office was “inspired” by the UK version.


It wasn’t, it was a direct remake that they paid the creators for.   This song is ridiculous for how heavily it steals from the original.  Offspring even added the nonsensical “Na na” to get the lyrics to fit the original melody of the Beatles tune.

And it begs the question…why haven’t they been sued or at least settled out of court and given Lennon/McCartney a song writing credit?    Dexter Holland is the only guy mentioned as a writer of the song.   When finally cornered with the cold, hard reality that his song is direct rip off of a Beatles classic, he was quoted as saying  “It was just one of those things where we were subconsciously influenced by that song and wrote it into the music.”  Right.  So you should do what George Harrison did and consciously give song writing credit and cough up the back royalties you twit!

Why, oh why did Offspring decide to steal from the writers of some of the most iconic music of the 20th century?  Maybe because they saw that they could.  Perhaps they rolled the dice and decided they would face a lawsuit if it appeared and it never did.  So they end up with a single that sold 2 million copies.  How are these bands just ripping off Sir Paul’s legacy and getting away with it?  My theory is because Michael Jackson couldn’t be bothered to sue them.  I can’t see another reason.  Just take a look at how The Verve got raped by ABKCO Records, the company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones material of the 1960s.  Not only did Jagger and Richards get a song writing credit for a song that had a sample of a string arrangement of their song, but they got all the money!  It seemed pretty easy for them to do that and their case was shaky at best.  Not like ABKCO Records really needed the money, but the Verve most assuredly does.

Which brings me to a great point of maybe Michael didn’t want to sue because he didn’t think the return would be worth the lawsuit.  He was on the receiving end of several high profile law suits in the 90’s and 00’s and maybe he couldn’t afford to defend the copywrite because of his famous overspending.  That makes some sense.  Or maybe he was high on Jesus Juice and just didn’t care.  Either way, he and his publishing company Sony/ATV Music Company did not and have not done anything about those songs as far as I can tell.

Because I am probably not going to sue you for it.

Because I am probably not going to sue you for it.

I say all of this to say that I think its odd that these songs slipped through.  I am by no means concerned about MJ’s estate or Paul McCartney’s financial well being.   At last check Sir Paul is worth an estimated 1.1 billion dollars.  That’s a billion with a B.

IF you are considering stealing a Paul McCartney song, you have limited time to do it, so start writing Hey Dude, Internet Writer, Yesteryear, Penny Avenue or whatever rip off comes to mind.  Sir Paul is due to get the rights back to his songs free of charge in about 5 years thanks to the 1976 US Copyright Act.  The Act states that songs written prior to 1978 turn into the property of the songwriter after 56 years.  So who knows, maybe old Paul has been stewing away for decades and is going to come out swinging once he gets his songs back.  

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1 Billion is cool, but do you know what is cooler? 2 Billion!

Or maybe he will have a more enlightened view on it and just let those bands earn a bit of money off of his legacy.  Live and Let Die.  Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da Life Goes On.  

Video of the Week – Alive and Kicking


The other night at Parallel Sound Group‘s band rehearsal studios, an amp wasn’t working.  I got to work and it was just a tube that needed replacing, but when it powered back up, the singer got on mic and started belting away “Alive and Kicking!” to celebrate the resurrection of the amp and thus their ability to practice.  It was an amusing moment and it made me want to zip back to the office to listen to the song.  I don’t have my music there, so I just looked it up on YouTube for instant gratification.

Some things can seem so clear in your mind, but in reality, they are foggy memories that are often not even close to the truth.  Much like a long night out with your friends.  Sometimes you remember it like this:

But in reality, it was a bit more like this:

I had the same situation with the video for Alive in Kicking by Simple Minds.  I happen to love this song and still listen to it on the regular.  When I do listen to it, I am taken right back to the video.  Some songs do that to me.  I spent most of the 80’s with my eyes glued to MTV so as not to miss an important video and I saw this beauty a ton.  So I hear the song and I see the video in my brain.  Not the video in reality, but the video as I remember it.  As I recall, it starts off with them singing on a dark Scottish moor.  They are a Scottish band, so that makes sense.  Then they end up playing by a waterfall where someone is about to fall off.  Drum break down through the woods and they end up playing out the song on a mountain top.

While all of that is sorta accurate, when I watched the video, I found it also to be pretty wrong on several points and the video itself to be hilarious.  Watching this gem also opened me up to all sorts of questions that probably don’t need to be answered or even asked, however, I’ve got time and it seems you do too, because you are still reading.  Lets dig deeper shall we?


So far, so good.  We open on a very 80’s shot.  Aerial shot of band on the ground, on their back.  Artsy and fartsy.

Then into the dramatic shot on the Scottish moor.

Only, its not a Scottish moor, its upstate New York.  What a disappointment in my mind and for no real reason.  Just because they are Scottish, doesn’t mean they have to film everything in Scotland.  U2 managed to film plenty of videos outside of the Emerald Isle and the Dutch band Golden Earring probably didn’t film everything in wooden shoes, though I have no proof.  Some bands are always associated with their country of origin.  Men At Work and Midnight Oil are Australian, The Beatles and Stones are British, U2 is Irish, Barenaked Ladies are Canadian, The Scorpions are German and lets not forget that Gorky Park is Russian.

Future Video of the Week

Yet, in my childhood brain, I knew that Simple Minds were Scottish, so I knew, in my head at least, that this was a Scottish moor.  Oh well, childhood lost I suppose.

So then the sun rises.  Very cool.  Night to morning.  But hold on, I know this is the 80’s, but WTF is Jim Kerr wearing?

Thigh high, leather boots, riding pants and a lapel-less jacket to cover up his all too exposed junk?  He looks like he should be a mod in London in the 60’s and a woman, but that is 80’s fashion for you.  Somehow David Lee Roth wearing a pink thong over orange tiger striped spandex made more sense to me then.

Much more manly.  Wait, what?

Much more manly. Wait, what?

There are plenty of closeups of Jim Kerr and in most of them he is in full on Jesus Christ pose mode.  He loves that move.  He is all spins, arms outstretched and smiles.  But all I can think about when I look at him is he is a coked up Rick Moranis.

Are you the Key Master?
No mate, I’m the Gate Keeper and I’m wasted!

Moving On

The sun rises over a beautiful Scottish, no New York waterfall and then POW!

Hello Sailor.  Can I interest you in some haggis with some neeps and tatties?

So many questions.  Where did she come from?  She wasn’t on the moor last night or this morning.  What’s up with the Mike Tyson gap?  What’s up with that fade?  What’s up with those earrings that could double as a suit of gold chainmail?  Again, this goes back to the 12 year old me that assumed all bands create music based on their core members.  I couldn’t figure out when she joined the band.  She wasn’t there at the beginning, but here she was singing.  It always confused me in the same way that keyboard solos for a band that had no keyboardist.  I was always thrown off kilter like seeing a beautiful woman with an adams apple.  Something ain’t right!

For those who don’t know and want to, she was and I’m pretty sure still is Robin Clark, lead singer from Chic, who brought you such hits in the 70’s as Le Freak and Good Times.  She sang all over the album this song was off of so if you like this call and response stuff, there is a whole album’s worth on Once Upon A Time.

Moving on, not a ton happens, but we do get this shot that permanently scared my brain.

Good God man, take a step back, you are making me nervous!  NO, not back, maybe to the side…your left side!

The bassist, John Giblin is inches away from falling off a cliff and he is cool as a cucumber.  I would not be as cool in that situation.  As a matter of fact, I would probably look like this:

Really should have avoided gas station sushi from Upstate New York

Poor Mel Gaynor, he looks concerned.  Maybe he is worried that John is going to fall over the cliff, maybe he thinks he has to look directly at any camera pointed at him in a staring contest he can never win.  My theory is he was on a location shoot in the middle of nowhere and had a bad breakfast burrito.  He doesn’t just look worried, he looks to be in a bit of pain as well.  I think we see a man in a moral quandary, not wanting to use the woods for this deed and the port-o-potty is probably not going to cut it either.  So what does he do?  He sits there, plays as best as he can and stares at that fucking camera blinking out “Help me, I really need to drop a deuce” in Morris Code.  

Speaking of staring at the camera, lets move on to the keyboardist Mick MacNeil.  There is no other way of saying it, this guy is just eye fucking the camera.  Every time it pans across him, he is trying to tell the ladies, or the gents, who knows, that he is single and looking to mingle.

Slam, Bam thank you Van Damme.  Oh, never mind, its just Mick eye fucking the camera again.

Those two are a hoot.  Just looking into the viewer’s soul.  Not a ton to say about the guitarist, Charlie Burchill, he doesn’t stick out, but he doesn’t embarrass himself either.  Plus, he is wearing a sweet fringe jacket.  

I have no time for your camera antics, eye fuck my fringe

Things continue on.  They even do a couple extra death defying shots.  One with water.

Then back to the well, with good old John dancing with danger again, but the rest of the band seems safe.

Seriously, keep John away from the edge, he has a hard-core danger boner.

After that its a piano breakdown, more eye fucking from that dirty dog Mick and then long zoom through the woods with band members stepping out and good old Jim jumping out because, hey, cocaine!

Then they close out the video with the sun setting.  Cool to take them through a whole day in the video.  I never noticed that as a kid.  I also thought it ended on a mountain top with Jim’s arms out and him smiling and spinning around like he was raised on a diet of lead paint as a child.  Jim is still doing that, but the video ends on an island at night.

Not sure why any of that matters, but I guess its just odd that I was so off.  Oh well, at least I know the truth now.  The truth is Simple Minds was an awesome band and there is no video like an 80’s video

Are we done here?  Please tell me we are done! 

Eyebrow Raising Time

Who is Sam Hill?

I’ve had a fair amount of people raise an eyebrow at my new business venture here at Parallel Sound Group.   Not in a “what in the name of Sam Hill were you thinking” way.

Who is Sam Hill?

Who is Sam Hill?


Also, not in a “Wow, that his  a horrible idea” sort of way either.


I’m not going to say anything, but my eyes are telling you that you really screwed the pooch on this on mister.

The simple reality is, that not many people know about band practice rooms that rent by the hour.

Your new business is raising my eyebrows...in a good way!

Your new business is raising my eyebrows…in a good way!

We have a space that contains 4 sound proofed rooms, each containing a full drum set, 2 guitar amps, a bass amp and a PA system with microphones.  The rooms are new, clean and accommodate bands of all shapes and sizes.

Studio B at Parallel Sound Group

Studio B at Parallel Sound Group

All you have to do is reserve your space online at www.parallelsoundgroup.com and bring your drum sticks and guitars.  We even have stools, music stands and mic stands.


Renting by the hour has a bit of a negative stereo type due to seedy motels, but it can also be a positive for bands that want to save money on a monthly space and are driving their families and neighbors crazy by playing in the basement.


Its a no brainer if you are looking to rent a monthly space, which can be expensive.  I guess its not a can be, they just are.  There are advantages to having your stuff there and being able to practice anytime at the drop of a hat.  I did it back in the day.  It was a cool idea and I remember some late night jam sessions/parties, but once the thrill wore off, we just showed up and practiced at a consistent time because everybody was busy.  I also remember my stuff not being there after it got stolen from the space.  Not a fun day for me or the band!

Plus, when its gig time, having all your stuff there works against you.  You have to drive out to the practice space to load up your car.  Maybe not a huge deal, but that is probably because you never tried getting your stuff on the freight elevator on a Friday night with about 20 other gigging bands.  It can be a hassle.

Yeah, we have a lot of amps and stuff and we are not fast.  Hope you aren't playing first tonight!

Yeah, we have a lot of amps and stuff and we are not fast. Hope you aren’t playing first tonight!

My band was looking for space 7  years ago when I first found out about practice rooms that rented by the hour.  I jumped at the chance because we weren’t making enough as a band to afford $800 a month for rental space and if we were making that, we didn’t want to throw it at rent.  The math was simple for us.  Even at 2 hours twice a week, which was our max, we were paying $320 a month.  A normal month for us and most bands ends up at more like $160.  Add in the fact that they had clean rooms, brand name equipment, recording capabilities, free off street parking in a safe area and I was in.


If it raises eyebrows initially, it makes sense in a sentence or two and anyone in business can appreciate the value of a succinct elevator pitch.  My band and many other bands have enjoyed the experience at Parallel Sound Group.  When the option came to me to purchase the business, it seemed to be a solid fit.  After some investigating and some long talks with family, I could see that it was going to work.  Its only been a week, but its been a wonderful experience meeting all the bands and settling into my new role as a studio owner.  I listen to a lot of music on my iPod like most and I tend to read into things even if they aren’t there.  When I decided to purchase the business there were 2 songs that came on my iPod back to back that day from the same Diamond David Lee Roth album Skyscraper.  The first was Perfect Timing.

Perfect Timing it was indeed.  I was in a place where I could commit to working nights at the studio, it is located around the corner from our house and it is a bit of a dream to work in an industry that I have a passion for.  I was feeling good until the next song came on…2 Fools Born a Minute!

Well, I was taken aback at what could have been signs for me and time will tell whether I am a fool or the recipient of good timing.  One thing is for sure, its a great space, cool concept and though renting by the hour might not have the most positive of connotations, our rules are quite clear!



Under New Managmentent


ImageParallel Sound Group would like to thank Olga and Vitaly for their 5 years of hard work and dedication in building up such a successful business and giving Boston musicians a great place to practice and meet. Best of luck with your next big challenge which will be considerably trickier than start up a band practice space, recording studio and video production company!

With Olga and Vitaly moving on, Jay Ryan has taken over the business.  I guess that’s me, so I don’t need to refer to myself in the third person!  Nothing is going to change as far as day to day operations and room rates.  Plenty will change over time in appearance and equipment, but only for the better.  I have been coming here for 5 years and have really enjoyed the space and the experience.  When Olga and Vitaly told me they were looking to sell the place, I jumped at the opportunity and can’t wait to see what this grows into.  If you are a band looking for space to practice, book a room or give me a call.  Its very easy.  We have clean rooms, new brand name equipment and affordable rates charged by the hour.

Check us out, compare us to other companies and locations and I think you will agree that Parallel Sound Group is the clear choice for musicians in the Boston area!

Boston’s “Little Caruso” recorded at Parallel Sound!

Clark Rubinshtein - CD

Please welcome Boston’s “Little Caruso”! His name is Clark Rubinshtein. He is only 11 years old, but his voice is amazing! It was a pleasure for us to record such a talented performer.

Check out his website – http://www.clarkrubinshtein.com

Clark Rubinshtein - CD

Clark Rubinshtein – CD

New Video Production from Parallel Sound!

Igor Stern Live at Parallel Sound
Igor Stern Live at Parallel Sound

Igor Stern Live at Parallel Sound

Here is the new video production from Parallel Sound. Please welcome Igor Stern performing Technical Difficulties by Paul Gilbert. Recorded live at Parallel Sound.

Please contact us to schedule your live performance recording.