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A song for these times December 19, 2016

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Music, NJ, SoundCloud.
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Don't want to be a pest...but I still need your vote!I wrote “Get Back Into Line” in 2013 and quickly recorded a demo-grade version of it in GarageBand on my MacBook. I hadn’t written anything politically or socially charged in ages, but I was angry about what was going on with Congress at the time and this came together fairly quickly (and includes a couple of choice “adult” words). Musically, it was inspired by Midge Ure (of Ultravox and Band Aid fame), who I had seen live in Philly in January 2013. The sparse intro was influenced by the Ultravox classic “Vienna,” as is the buildup toward the middle of the song. There’s also some art/prog-rock touches thrown in.

Anyway…here, now, at the end of 2016, not only has a certain group of people not found the passion to care for all of its constituents and the world in general, but they have found a new leader who amplifies, endorses and empowers all the worst elements of this nation.

As the Electoral College casts its votes today to send this nation into a very dark chapter, I felt it was appropriate to share this song again. I recently started to reimagine it a bit, focusing more on the piano, so maybe I’ll record a new version of this soon.

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Five Years Later: Revisiting My Musical Tribute to Harry Kalas April 13, 2014

Posted by Brian in baseball, Brian Kelley, Harry Kalas, links, Music, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies, SoundCloud, sports.
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On this date five years ago, longtime Hall of Fame Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed away after suffering a heart attack while preparing for a 3 p.m. ET Phillies-Nationals game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

I wrote my immediate thoughts on Harry’s passing in this blog post published later that awful afternoon. Five days later, l attended an emotional memorial service for Harry that was held at Citizens Bank Park. In another post thanking the Phillies organization for allowing fans to say goodbye to Harry and putting together such a touching ceremony under such difficult circumstances, I included a song called “Sound of Summer Silenced (for Harry the K)” that I had written and recorded in the days following Harry’s passing. Unfortunately, where that song file existed online no longer exists.

Realizing the five-year anniversary of Harry’s death was approaching, I recently re-recorded some aspects of the song and re-posted it online, this time using SoundCloud. It includes some audio clips of Harry Kalas radio calls throughout the years, and I’m sure they are not covered by fair use. I’ll remove them if requested to do so, but I feel they are appropriate and add something to the song, which you can listen to in the player below.

“Sound of Summer Silenced (for Harry the K)”

Time Takes Over…25 years later October 24, 2013

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Christian Beach, links, Music, New Jersey, NJ, SoundCloud, TMC, video, YouTube.
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When I was a teenager in the late 1980s and still had dreams of becoming a professional songwriter/musician, I wrote and recorded a song I called “Time Takes Over” in October 1988.  It was probably the first complete song (with words and music) I ever wrote.

The subject matter was based on sentiments expressed by a former co-worker of mine who was describing how he visited a girl at college after having a summer fling with her. He thought it was more than that, but she didn’t see it that way. Anyway, that was the basis of the lyrics, which—for the first time in my musical life—flowed out practically simultaneously with the music.

The original 1988 version below, written when I was 17, does not include the vocals, but you will hear them later on in this post in other forms. Please note that I transferred this from an old cassette tape so that accounts for the audio artifacts.

In 1989/1990, I was in an ill-fated techno-rap outfit called TMC+The New Generation and—after a few arrangement tweaks by my friend and then-bandmate Christian Beach—we performed “Time Takes Over” during a very poorly structured live show at the ol’ Green Parrot Rock Club in Neptune, N.J., which you can see below.

Finally, a few years ago, I recorded an updated version in GarageBand on my MacBook that includes vocals. In 2012, I re-recorded the vocals and made some additional tweaks. That is the version you can hear below. Enjoy.

Revisiting my musical past…”How I Want to Embrace You” January 7, 2013

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Christian Beach, links, Music, SoundCloud.
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I’ve gone ahead and updated another song from my old band days in the late 1980s/early 1990s. But this is a bit different because I didn’t write the music for “How I Want to Embrace You”…that was composed by my longtime friend/former bandmate/singer-songwriter Christian Beach. I only wrote the lyrics and I seem to recall playing the bass part into the sequencer. Actually, after I had written the words, Christian had a lyrical idea for the first chorus so that was swapped out. As usual, we managed to make a very rough cassette recording of the song, but that was about it. And since I never played any of the piano/keyboard parts, I basically had to do my best to reconstruct it all. This is about as close as I’ll get and I don’t really have the time to really go any further with it.

A little bit about the song itself…this was written somewhat in the early days of the techno/rap combo Christian and I were in with Asbury Park, NJ-based rapper TMC (Tariq Muhammad). Just prior to meeting Tariq, Christian and I had been working together on some electronic, instrumental music influenced by the so-called “new age” music of the time as well as progressive artists like Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. Even though we were now working with a rapper, we still tried to work some ballads into our set. This actually wasn’t a good idea when you’re playing New Jersey bars like the greatly missed Green Parrot in Neptune, but we did it anyway because we were teenagers who didn’t know any better. It got even worse when we started adding elements of industrial music to our set…while still also performing ballads. That was just weird.

Anyway, I never really asked Christian about it, but I always thought of this as a pop song infused with some ideas he had from our new age/progressive days…and I always liked that about this song.

I also liked the idea for the harmonies we had back then and did my best to replicate those. I’m not the strongest vocalist in the world, but I do what I can.

So without further ado…here’s the 2013 version of “How I Want to Embrace You”

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