This is a little tribute to the late James Horner who passed away June 22, 2015. One of my favourite melodies from one of my favourite childhood films, “If We Hold Together” was featured on the Land Before Time soundtrack. It resonated with me all the way to adulthood, both musically and lyrically (thanks to James’ collaboration with Will Jennings in 1988), beautifully sung by Diana Ross. Arranged, produced, recorded and mixed by me, here in Thunder Bay, ON.
My version is based on the sound of a child’s music box, slowly winding down…
“If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
As high as souls can fly
The clouds roll by
For you and I”
With the recent news that The X-Files are coming back to television, I was not only excited to start believing again, but also to do a cover of one of my favourite theme songs of all time.
I remember watching the X-Files for the first time in the nineties, and it scared the shit out of me! I was hooked, and soon I had my mom helping me pick out which episodes to rent from the video store. In fact, whenever we’d sing the theme song to one of our dogs, “Flower” would start freaking out and jump up on the face of whoever was singing. Then, I would eventually relay the frightening details of each episode to my younger sister Megan who to this day cannot hear the theme song because it scares her! Fast forward many years, and my close friends Conrad, David and I would watch through (most of) the seasons of the show while giving our pancreas’ a tough time with a treat called a “flying saucer”. It was 3 scoops of mint chocolate ice cream covered in syrup, squished between to waffles, and I eventually taught my nephews the way, and it became a celebrated, yet painful treat for them too.
I was always a big fan of the musical score of the series, as well as the soundtracks. Not only did I find out about some great bands (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Foo Fighters, Filter, and so many more), but there was also the main theme by Mark Snow, as well as different remixes of the main titles.
You can either watch the video I put together on YouTube, or stream the audio on Soundcloud:
In the spirit of those remixes, here’s my newest offering, a medley of three songs that I’ve called “The Sex Files.” I started with David Duchovny’s other TV sensation, “Californication” and used that as the basis of the piece. The opening titles of Californication were written by Tree Adams and Tyler Adams and can be heard at the beginning and end, framing the song and becoming the swinging groove which was perfect to overlay Mark Snow’s X-Files theme. I even managed to squeeze in the guitar riff from Foo Fighters‘ “Walking After You”, which was included on the first X-Files feature film “Fight the Future” soundtrack. That chord progression then managed to work for one of the other melodies from the X-Files theme, leading back into the Californication intro before ending with the eery triplet motif fading into the ether. If you listen closely, you can hear no less than 4 different melodies and progressions from the original X-Files theme, but redone to suit the sultry garage-band vibe of the Californication theme. I would’ve included something from Gillian Anderson’s newest show, but it doesn’t have any theme music!
Here are the original three songs, see if you can hear all the different parts!
What happens when you do a Christmas song with The Seaside Villains? You end up with a super fun punk/ska/reggae version of Feliz Navidad. Odd fact: this is the longest Xmas song we’ve done so far, yet it contains the least lyrics. How does that happen? Serious guitar solos, that’s how. This is part of Dining Room Studios and I’s annual project to record a holiday song with a featured guest.
Enjoy the free download and Happy Holidays from Jean-Paul, The Seaside Villains, and Dave at Dining Room Studios!
Originally written by Jose Feliciano
Produced by Jean-Paul De Roover and Dave Angell
Arranged by Jean-Paul De Roover
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Dave Angell at Dining Room Studios
Jean-Paul De Roover: Vocals, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Organ, Aux Percussion
Eric Westelaken: Vocals, Electric Guitar
Dave Angell: Bass Guitar
Josh Hogan: Drums
Paula DiGiuseppe: Vocals
Justin Sillman: Electric Guitar
Deidra Ferguson: Trumpet
Back on the road! The ‘Year of the Loop’ tour has begun, and it’s already filled with old friends and new ones. I spent the night with the Pyette’s in Sault Ste Marie after playing at Loplop’s – invited back by popular demand (?) – to a bunch of appreciative listeners. We were hoping for some international hockey players from the massive tournament being held that week, but we didn’t notice any. Trust me, I think we’d notice if Team Russia walked into a bar.
The next night I played in Parry Sound for the first time ever. Started with some light dinner music, then moved my gear over to their blossoming pub night. There was a drum workshop/performance next door and we had some really great performers come in the door. Almost had them joining in, but either way, became friends on Soundcloud with some of the staff who were totally drooling over some of my gear – they’re heavy into electronica, and stoked to have me back anytime! Great start to the tour, for sure.
I’ve been meaning to record a Christmas song for quite some time now. Finally, I’ve gotten around to it! This is one of my favourites; O Holy Night. I loved singing it with the Thunder Bay Barbershop Chorus, and there are some very powerful versions. However, I changed it up substantially. I started with samples from an a cappella bassline that I time-stretched (originally from some of the “Pitch Pipes” demos), added some salsa/latin/reggae flavour to it, and then laid down the vocals. I kept it to only the first two verses though. I also did what I think was a nifty little solo!
The whole thing was recorded at home, with all the instruments and vocals by me, except for my sister, chiming in on the 2nd verse.