Alexander shares tales of past recordings
Jay Alexander visited Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week's "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. Along with plenty of chuckles, he shared tons of tales from the soundboard. Those included some great memories from past recordings as well as the promise of new talent on the way up.
Alexander and Carr, both Eisenhower High School alumni, shared a recording of one of, if not "the" first local high school dis-tapes from 1984's "Eagle Rap." It was from those early days that a lot of talent emerged. A musician first, Alexander shared tales of his time in local speed metal bands Orion and The Manifest. Stories of performing at The Hard Roxx and the friendships made with the very young members of Pantera enthralled. That friendship continued after Alexander moved to Dallas and shared practice space with the metal legends.
"Those were crazy and good times," Alexander said.
A music legend who hails from Eisenhower High School also jammed and made friends with Alexander The Flaming Lips' multi-instrumentalist Steve Drozd. Alexander was the metal guy and Drozd was more into the avant garde. Alexander said that to jam they found a happy medium through Led Zeppelin. When Alexander was battling cancer a few years back, Drozd made contact and they talked about working on a project. Alexander said there's a good shot it may happen sometime sooner than later.
Alexander has come a long way in his return home to Lawton and the establishment of Souljourn Entertainment. At first located in a studio building, the imprint put out some quality albums. The producer has since taken advantage of modern technology to make his recording process a mobile affair.
Getting from here to there and back to here has been quite a journey. After graduating from engineering/production school, Alexander went to work at Pachyderm Studios in Minnesota. That led to his being part of the production of an 8 million-selling album, "Throwing Copper" by Live. Produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, the album was a hallmark of the mid-'90s alternative rock era, and the single "Lightning Crashes" became the de facto theme song for Oklahoma City following the Murrah Building bombing. Recorded on the top technology of the time 2-inch-wide tape Alexander said of the experience, "I learned a lot." Although new artists hit him up to try their hand at analog (tape) recording, he said he's a fan of the digital deft of ProTools recording software. With it, you can mimic that old style vibe while having the ease of working with modern technology.
From that opportunity, Alexander said, he was fortunate to meet and work with Prince, although mainly with his proteges in The Revolution and New Power Generation. Of the music legend's home studio at Paisley Park, he said, "It's amazing. It's worth the $60 for the tour now that it's opened to the public."
Alexander said he's a fan of producing artists from all styles of music. Local talents were played on the show as examples: Bobby Dale with "Someone Else's Girl" that covered the country spectrum; Foozy's "Poppin'" that hovers in hip hop; and the junkyard groove of Komatryp's lead single from its 2017 release, "From Nothing" https://youtu.be/CR8i54FgdyA.
The debut of a new song called "I Could Be" from Cache 16-year-old Josh Neace has the producer sensing a rising star. He said he heard his voice and knew Neace had something special to offer. When Neace is ready to erupt, you'll hear and read about him here first.
"I'm very excited," Alexander said. "It's been a really long time since I've been this excited about a new artist."
When you hear the diverse range of artists produced by SoulJourn Entertainment, you can understand the importance of the right ear making the right production decisions about music. If you're ready to record or looking for the right direction with your music, contact Alexander through the SoulJourn Entertainment Facebook page or give him a call, 647-8565.
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Lawton native Eric McDaniel led his Oklahoma City-based band of blues beasts to Memphis last weekend for the International Blues Challenge. Representing the Oklahoma Blues Foundation, Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers did their part to make its mark by making it to the semi-finals and into the top 40, topping most of the more than 260 acts from around the world to compete.
McDaniel said the band wants to thank its friends and families for making the experience possible. He is still floating on a cloud about meeting James Alexander, the bass player from the Bar-Kays, and having a photograph taken with the legend. Alexander is one of the only two people to survive the plane crash that claimed the lives of the Bar-Kays and the legendary Otis Redding. The entire experience was spiritual and the band will return soon, the affable singer said.
"To walk the streets of Memphis was surreal; to think that maybe you were standing on the same ground as Elvis, B.B. King or Howling Wolf gave me power as a performer, like I was channeling that same Delta energy that made my heroes great," McDaniel said. "Now we are baptized in the waters of the Mississippi, and I can feel the blues dripping off my shoes, seeping back into the world that it came from with every step I take."
Check out video of the band performing one of its tastiest originals: nDirty Red & The Soul Shakers "Hard Liquor" https://youtu.be/dhLOZWo5klU.
You can welcome the band back at 9 p.m. Friday when it takes the stage at Mooney's Pub & Grill, 6221 N. Interstate Drive in Norman.
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After 37 years, the mighty Slayer is calling it quits. My favorite among the original "Big 4 of 1980s Thrash Metal" (to also include Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth) is going out in style with one of the fiercest summer tour lineups ever. It will be joined by Testament, Behemoth, Anthrax and heirs apparent, Lamb of God. The closest shows will be June 19 at The Bomb Factory in Dallas and June 20 at the 360 Amphitheater in Austin, Texas.
Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday and the group will be offering VIP packages that include meet-and-greet opportunities and one instance where fans can watch the band from onstage platforms. Tickets and updated information are available via the band's website: https://www.slayer.net/.
Slayer was the band that combined the dual worlds of metal and punk that enthralled me as a kid as they made really cool audible horror movies. Having seen them at least four times over the years, they've never disappointed. I'm sure they won't this time around.
Here's one of the biggest and best songs from the band's classic lineup: nSlayer "Seasons In The Abyss" https://youtu.be/DECp8LKurKs.
I've already got tentative confirmation for photo/press credentials for the Dallas show and am hoping to bring back a cool column to follow. There could be an interview before. That's pretty boss news and almost makes up for the shock from the announcement this week ... almost.
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Jay Alexander's visit to Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Carr and the columnist led to a lot learned about the recording process. If you're a budding musician, I hope you learned a trick or two. Jokey McJokerson dashed in to drop off this week's pointed joke setup. Here's the punch line:
"He wanted to keep it real."
Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 9:25 a.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/.
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