"I want MY fifteen minutes - NOW !!" "The apple doesn't fall very far from the tree, does it?"
- Paul and Steven
"The apple doesn't fall very far from the tree, does it?"
Lather, Rinse, Repeat...
Since 09/11, there is a lot of uneasiness in everyone's life. We are embroiled in a foreign war, and many of our children are approaching/became prime draft age. Most folks have some very valid concerns about their personal safety. Can some twist of fate come out of the blue and forever change your life?
God, I hope not. Once was enough.
It seems that all kids, upon reaching teen age, decide to give music a try. John got a cheap acoustic guitar - with the implication that there would be more to come if he was serious; he went on to other things. Ronnie wanted a set of drums (fat chance!) - but tried her hand at the guitar before moving on. Katie expended some effort and money to obtain a bass guitar and amplifier; she still practices at it, but really has more important other considerations.
However, around the beginning of the new century, Paul picked up an acoustic guitar and a cheap electric guitar with his own money (always a good sign!) - and started practicing heavily. Soon, Steven took to Katie's old bass, and the two brothers worked together at improving their skills.
In time, I was very pleasantly surprised to hear them doing credible versions of intensely-practiced "Tool" songs (an "industrial" "techno" rock band, very popular among the MTV crowd). With money they earned on weekends (wearing cartoon-character costumes and making baloon animals at little kids' birthday parties for an entertainment company) - they soon upgraded their equipment to more professional-grade gear... and searched around for a "garage band" to join.
Practicing with others, the two brothers hooked up with Jeremy - a gifted, 14-year-old drummer. At this writing, the average age of the group (tentatively named "Aphyd", in a barely-legible, cryptic logo designed by Steven) is 15.6 years - about the same as I had when I started with the Elegant Four. Like me, none of these guys has more than about 18 months experience with their instruments.
There is a big difference, however, between the generations. The boys prefer to play their own music exclusively, rather than be what they call a "cover" band, imitating popular groups. This is good art - but often, it is bad business. Of course, they pay no attention to their Old Man's advice! (Huff, Huff...) BUT... they may be coming around. Ideally, they need a long-legged blond girl singer/lyricist in the group; better if she plays a keyboard to fill in the missing "middle" of their sound.
At left is a frame from a video Jeremy's mother recorded during their first real performance in Raleigh, during something like an "amateur night". While I have a large (11 MB) video clip of the group doing their own music, it is much too large for loading via a dial-up connection.
However, there are two recordings of APHYD available here: Since the boys don't drive (Paul just started - and doesn't own a car yet), getting together for practice was sometimes difficult. They solved this, though, by recording their practice sessions, and burning them into a CD. That way, each of them could practice the songs independently.
Both of these are Paul's compositions - and are maybe only the second time they ever played the songs. (You can tell by the joking around at the beginning...) Neither one has a name, yet - but I've placed some tags on them anyway. NOTE: what these kids miss in instruments is made up in volume... they are LOUD - but I hope you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Though the TYPE of music they play is not one of my favorites, I can recognize some real talent (more than I ever had) in some of the passages.
Teens/young adults will like these more than us "old fogeys" - but I find that they grow on you!
"Dischord" ( 1.33 MB .MP3 music file )
"Changes" ( 3 MB .MP3 music file )
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Photographs and content © 1998,1999,2001 John P. Tomany
Music © 2001 Paul C. Tomany and APHYD