Personal Highlight Cuts from “Good Times Never Fade”

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A LOT OF SELF PROMOTION, SO READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED……….

 

While making Good Times Never Fade, there were a few concerns that I had about the recording process:

Will they sound great?

Will they match the mood that I’m trying to convey?

And so on and so on. A lot of these worries that I had were mostly about trying to perfect the songs in the best way possible. So, looking back on the time spent, I couldn’t be happier about the final product! Yes, the process was stressful at times, but all in all, I find myself having no complaints.

With that being said, I want to talk some of my personal favorite songs from the album. Seeing that there’s 10 songs on there, I’m  going to limit the choices to 3.

Track #4, How You See It All

Vocally, this was my favorite song to sing, because it’s very straightforward and to the point. The song is currently being played on 22 radio stations across the nation, and I’m really not surprised. I’m not having a huge ego or anything, but the song tends to be stuck in my head a lot, it’s an awesome ear worm!

The song is about appreciating the little things in life and not letting any of the stress around you get you down. I wish I could say more, but that’s really all I was thinking about during the writing process, especially on the “I’m standing on cloud nine” part. Overall, I’m really proud of this song, and if you haven’t heard it already, check it out!

Track #2, Meet You There

I wrote this song while thinking about my girlfriend, Ciera. It has a special place in my heart because I wrote it right after we went on a hiking trip. We ended up near the top of a waterfall, and the view was amazing. I was feeling nothing but adventurous and loving vibes on that day, so I wanted to write a song for her.

The thing that surprised me the most was how big the song was able to sound. Like a lot of the songs on the album, it was originally written by just me playing an acoustic guitar, but we all were able to enhance it to make it one of my favorite love songs I have ever wrote. Not to mention that Bryan Ewald plays an amazing guitar solo on this!

Track #9, My Love Is Waiting

Like “How You See It All”, this song was a lot of fun to sing! Here’s a little bit of interesting trivia: I originally wrote this over a year ago, and it started off as a slower, finger-pick style in the helm of a Lindsey Buckingham or a Led Zeppelin song. It stayed that way until one day that I was getting ready to do a little scratch recording, and that’s when I decided to completely change the pace and tone of the song.

Originally it was called “Someone’s Waiting For You”, but while working on tweaking the lyrics with Shane Gamble, we bounced titles around until one of us said ” My Love Is Waiting”, so the name stuck.

The reasons why I love this song comes in the different tone changes that it has. There’s a smooth verse, a powerful chorus, and a subdued bridge that really captures the various moods that I wanted to give off.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
“Savior (Live)”: Track 5: This was written as an acoustic song and it stayed that way, I’m proud of how the take turned out, I always smile when I listen to this cut.
“Good Times Never Fade”: Track 1: Definitely a song I’m proud of, my highlight is how the backing vocals turned out in the choruses.
“Losing My Soul on a Saturday Night”: Track 3: I loved writing this song with a mysterious story, and I also love the fact that I managed to incorporate a lot of influences on this.

Thanks for reading! My album Good Times Never Fade is available on iTunes, CDBaby, and Amazon now, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, go do so! Also check out marshallstonemusic.com for more show updates, media, news, and more!

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/good-times-never-fade/id900933145

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Times-Never-Marshall-Stone/dp/B00LYB02B6

CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marshallstone

Favorite Albums I’m Currently Listening To

Ok, let’s cut to the chase…..

I LOVE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I guess that statement’s a bit obvious with me, but who can really blame me? There’s a lot of music to discover, whether it’s in the form of bands, solo acts, songwriters in general, or even going back to influential periods of classical music or other roots.

We all have our own favorites, nostalgic classics, and even guilty pleasures at times, but when it comes to actual favorites of all time…….. it’s hard to decide. But when in doubt, just listen to some pirate metal!

(Yes, I’m dead serious, there is actually such a thing as pirate metal. Look it up on youtube, it’s actually pretty hilarious, charming, and awesome for pirate lovers!)

In terms of all-time favorites, there are too many for me to list. But I think I can pull off something close…..

I know that a lot of people have playlists on Pandora, Spotify, and other internet sites, but I have that with albums! So, even though I can’t narrow down all-time favorites, let’s dive into some of my favorite albums that I’m currently listening to!

(Disclaimer: This is a list that is generated from my opinion, everyone likes different things, and that is awesome! But these are the ones that I like. ON WITH THE SHOWWWWWWWWWWW)

Scorpions- Humanity Hour 1 (2007)

I went through a bit of a phase when I was younger. I had a fascination of only buying albums from classic rock artists that I grew up listening to, and I’m happy to say that this album is one of my proudest purchases in that regard.

I still don’t know THAT many Scorpions songs, but most of the material that I have listened to sounds great! This is a concept album that was based on an end of the world story by producer Desmond Child and futurist Liam Carl, and I’m not going to lie, the story is not really that interesting.

When I listened to this album, the actual songs were what I paid attention to the most. These songs are beautifully crafted, performed, and sung. Particular favorites of mine include “Hour 1″, “Love Will Keep Us Alive”, “Love Is War” and “Humanity”. All of these songs showcase some of the finest crafting that I have ever heard in music, and the songs I listed are definitely worth checking out by themselves! As a whole album, Humanity: Hour 1 still really good, but I would recommend that you listen to the Scorpions material from the 80′s before you check out this album. It’s headbanging quality goodness!

Jimmy Buffett: Live in Anguilla (2007)

Behold the album that changed my perception of Jimmy Buffett completely.

Stop me if this sounds weird: a year ago I started listening to Jimmy Buffett by purchasing one of his greatest hits CDs, I thought it was rather solid, so then I decided to check out one of his live CDs a few months later.

I was not prepared for how amazing the live CD was.

I actually started to hate the greatest hits CD because of that, THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE!!! I guess all I can say is that I think Jimmy Buffett is at his best live.

The Coral Reefer Band is full of amazing musicians, and they, along with Buffett, shine on this album! The setlist is full of the best of his self-proclaimed “gulf & western” material, containing hits, fan favorites, old album cuts, and plenty of variety that is very refreshing to hear! I still have it in my car, the performance is a pleasure to listen to.

It’s hard for me to say who to recommend it to because Buffett’s style of music isn’t for everybody, but if you love relaxed, fun songs encompassing elements of soft rock, country, singer-songwriter and more, definitely check out Live In Anguilla!

Lindsey Buckingham: Out of the Cradle (1992)

THIS ALBUM IS AWESOME, THE END. FIN.  I HOPE YOU ALL LIKED THIS LI-Ok, ok, I’ll explain.

Lindsey Buckingham, like Buffett, is not for everyone, but in terms of the former, he caters to more of the artsy, experimental side of songwriting with occasional crossovers to commercial music. To me, this is the album where this formula works the best.

There is a healthy balance of high energy and low-key songs on here that present an emotional roller coaster ride through Buckingham’s psyche. Sometimes you’ll question a choice or two on this album, but it’s a delight!

The mood on Out of the Cradle is Nicolas Cage-like: stellar performances, but sometimes diving into the absolutely insane, especially the tribal-like vocal projections that are put into some songs. Either way, I love this album, I consider it a hidden gem that more people should check out!

 

I wish that I had more entries, but I honestly haven’t been listening to a lot of music lately, so I will get to a part 2 or an updated version at some point in November, but right now I have to leave it at this. Thank you all for reading this entry, and next week I will talk about my favorite songs from my album Good Times Never Fade. In the meantime, have a great day, and keep being awesome!

Behind the Scenes of “Good Times Never Fade”

At the end of November 2013, I began my trek toward Chicken Coop studios in Frederick, MD to record my first album, Good Times Never Fade. What happened over the period of the next few months was a culmination of fun, stress, work, and productivity………… AND WILD AND CRAZY PARTIES!!!!! RAVES, ROCK AND ROLL RODEOS WITH BULLS RIDING  RAPTORS, AND THE BEST—-oh I wish, but it was still an awesome time!!

While I’m not going to go too in-depth into the studio process, I’m still going to present a bit of a reflection piece about the whole process. If I tried for an in-depth take, I could probably write a 350 page novel, and I’m not going to turn this into an e-book draft.

Instead, I’m going to specify my favorite and least favorite moment from working on this album. The whole process was an experience that I’ll always treasure forever, but it’s these key moments that stood out for me while making it.

The best part about working on Good Times Never Fade was the fact that I got to work with all of these amazing musicians such as Rami Jaffee, the keyboardist of the Foo Fighters, Shane Gamble (up-incoming CMT artist and Maryland native), Bryan Ewald (Hard-working multi-instrumentalist from Maryland), and Mike Dawson (Editor of Modern Drummer).

While I never got to meet Rami, it was still really cool of him to be able to provide keyboard tracks for me. He was constantly busy on tour with the Foo Fighters and in one week, he was playing with Ringo Starr at the Grammys, so I thought it was really awesome that he could balance out his schedule enough for me.

I knew Bryan because he was one of the heads of the Baltimore School of Rock for a while when I was a student down there, so I already know how unbelievably talented at guitar he is. I met Shane over the summer and we both worked on songwriting for this album, and not only was he a musician on it, but he also produced it. Let me say this, Shane did a great job on the production. It was very polished and dynamic when it needed to be, and it really helped the album flow the way that I wanted it to.

The only musician that I got to meet through the process was Mike Dawson. He was able to fly in from New Jersey, and I’m glad that he was able to. He’s really nice, a great drummer, and his presence in the studio provided a nice, relaxing feeling.

The thing that I hated about this process was this: Blizzards.

This happened a lot, so let me set up this scenario for you.

Reaction to the first time snow canceled a session:
Ok, we’ll try again tomorrow.

Second: Really?? Ok, fine, let’s do it again tomorrow.

Third: This is getting really annoying…

Fourth and so on: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, that wasn’t fun. It delayed the process quite a bit, and I was extremely happy when nobody had to worry about snow getting in the way of a session. It provided nothing but dread, and once it settled, I was so ecstatic that I wanted to throw a massive kegger.

Now I want to take the time to thank everyone who took part in the album. I really appreciate all of your hard work, and now that we produced a quality product, I couldn’t be happier!

Next post, I’ll be talking about some of my favorite albums that I’ve been listening to lately, so until then, let’s hope that this winter won’t be as crazy as last year……. oh wait, they say it will be.

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

B-Movies: The Good and The Unbearable

Picture this, I’m looking out at my window right now.

The sun is shining, birds are in the air, and the weather is perfectly crisp and wonderful!

You know what this calls for?

That’s right, A SHARK MOVIE MARATHON!!!!

Over the last year, I’ve recently become a bit of a movie buff, so I’ve seen my share of really good, really interesting, and movies that should have never existed. But there’s one type of movie that I find really fascinating: The B-Movie.

Is it the level of cheesiness they can emulate? It it the charm and effort put into them? Whatever it is, when they work, they really work! But then you get the ones that have neither of those aspects.

So, today, I’m doing two top 3 lists, my top 3 b-movies that “work”, and top 3 that don’t work in the slightest.  Keep in mind, these are movies that I have seen, so if you don’t find one that you can think of, I most likely have not seen it.  Let’s get started with the good.

3. Puppet Master IV (1993)
I had a really hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to put this movie on the list, because I’ve seen the first four Puppet Master movies and I thought that they were pretty decent, but if I had to think of one that emulated the B-Movie the most, it would be Puppet Master IV.
The premise of objects coming to life isn’t anything new in the slightest, but when it involves objects you can care about, being these puppets, it really helps engage you! It really helps escalate this movie in general in every aspect. Granted the story is kind of stupid and the characters are your usual horror movie tropes: the geek inventor, the jock, and  hot chicks #1 and #2. Like I said, the puppets are really engaging when they’re on screen, using some of the best stop-motion I have ever seen, and the climax is a lot of fun! This is a good time if you want to see something completely different, yet kind of awesome.

2. Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of The Crust (2008)

……As painful as that title is……. and yes, it is. Every time that I say it, I feel a little headache come on.

Anyway, as painful as that title is, the movie is a really nice guilty pleasure. The set takes place in a mock B-Movie studio that tries to cater to every audience, which I think is great satire on the part of Full Moon Features (the makers of this movie). Anyway, if you haven’t seen the first Gingerdead Man movie, you aren’t missing much. Aside from seeing Gary Busey playing a sentient Gingerbread Man, you don’t really get anything of substance from that movie. THIS MOVIE, HOWEVER, is the ultimate definition of a fun riff movie. There are so many charming, disgusting, funny, and painful moments, that if you watch this with a group, you’re going to have a lot of fun!

1. Sharknado (2013)

It’s a tornado of sharks…… what else can I say? This movie’s meant to be stupid, and it’s filled with enough action, horrific CGI, and laughable dialogue to make this a fun time, as long as you’re not going into this expecting Oscar material. The title promises and it delivers, it’s Sharknado, and it’s a delightfully awful movie!

 

Now let’s get to the ones that I can’t stand……… the B-Movies that just…. suck………

3. Rubber (2010) (Warning, I have to spoil some things about this movie)

I found this while searching on Netflix for movies. I went into this film completely blind except for the fact that I knew it was about a sentient tire. I thought it was going to be cheesy and delightfully bad, and through the first 35 minutes, I got that. There were decent characters, a trippy atmosphere, and enough funny kills from the tire that had me want to keep going to see what would happen next.

Until the second act……

There is a scene where some of the local residents nearby a sleazy motel are investigating some gruesome deaths they discovered. By the time the cops show up and discover the tire (motionless for once), they don’t believe that the tire could have possibly done the crimes, and then ONE COP……….. decided to say this:
“We can all go home now.”
He then proceeded to say that the movie was not real and that everything that has happened is fake. Which would be totally fine if the writer actually knew how to write a story……. We go back and forth in this movie between the cast watching a movie about the tire and then scenes with the tire in action…. and then…… it’s really stupid. The horrible acting, the sluggish pacing and the story kill any chance for this movie to have any enjoyment. Please do not watch this movie, it’s not worth it, even if it is on Netflix.

2. Metal Man (2008)

Hmmm….. what does this movie remind you of?
I can’t place my finger on it myself….. let’s see, we have a red and yellow costume on the cover, but darkly shaded, energy coming out of the mask and arms-yeah, it’s an Iron Man ripoff, same year as the real movie too!!

Is there ANY enjoyment from this movie? Well, you have to really dig deep. The only positive that I can give is that it’s not ripping off Iron Man’s origin story. With that said, let’s play a game called “LIST EVERYTHING THAT’S WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE!!!”
1. Nobody knows how to act.
2. Nobody knows how to do CGI effects that look good.
3.  This film has no boom microphone and yet they film outdoors, indoors, and with wind.  So you can barely even here any dialogue at times.
4. The Metal Man helmet has a full stealth mode, but apparently it can be seen by thermal-vision goggles.
5. The Metal Man suit looks horrifically cheap and has paint constantly peeling and flaking in a lot of shots.
6.  The ending makes no sense whatsoever.
7. This movie had a million dollar budget, yet looks almost as cheap as Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Yes. I went there.

There are too many more things left to list, this movie is a slap in the face and I’m glad that I never have to watch it again.

1. Sasquatch Hunters (2004)

Me and my friends saw this movie yesterday. I did not think it would be this bad…..

When your director, writer, and producer is a guy that helped with the special effects of Titanic (1997), you would think that this movie would get something right. I thought there would be some level of genuine enjoyment, but this movie squanders it really fast, and by the time it tries to get you back into it, it’s too late.

Honestly, when I bought this movie, I thought the sasquatches would be the best part. To this film’s credit, I did get my wish. However, they’re only on screen for a combined 8 minutes in an 88 minute movie. So what happens because of that? We’re stuck with lifeless, boring characters, another sluggishly painful story,  and some of the worst CGI I have ever seen in a movie.

What makes a movie enjoyable is if it has charm, if it looks like there’s an effort put into it. I feel like Sasquatch Hunters had none of that. The only enjoyment was the fact that when the Sasquatches killed people, there was so much blur on some shots that it made the people look like crash test dummies. The problem is that if there is so little screen time with these things, and we’re stuck with the story that’s an equivalent of an 80′s live action nature special with bad language. This movie had potential, and it was completely wasted.

So there you go, those are my top 3 best and worst b-movies I have ever seen. I hope you all have enjoyed this list, and next time, I’ll go a little in-depth about the recording process for Good Times Never Fade!