Freaky things about Disney  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

1. Ever notice that, no matter which angle Mickey's face is, you always get a full-frontal view of his ears, never a side view? Check it out.

2. There's something freakish about the fact that Goofy (who walks, talks, sings, drives a car, wears clothes, plays instruments, etc.) and Pluto (who is basically a dumb, slobbering beast) are BOTH just dogs. Something went terribly awry in the species. (And how does Goofy feel about his best friend Mickey "owning" a dog?)

3. Donald Duck is nude from the waist down.

Hope this doesn't keep you up at night.

7:04am-My view from the couch #2  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

6:43am-My view from the couch.  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

My daughter, Ansel Adams  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

This is my daughter's first photo. You may want to keep a copy in case she becomes a famous photographer later.

Leaving an impression  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

I just returned from a gig playing keyboards for David Pack. David was the lead singer for the 70s supergroup Ambrosia, whose hits include "You're The Biggest Part Of Me" "How Much I Feel" "You're The Only Woman" - you've heard him. I was struck by how cool it is to be able to touch people's lives without ever meeting them. His songs have been part of people's lives for decades now and they trigger memories for so many.

These days, anyone with a computer can have influence around the world. Even my own little lame blog is being read everyday by people from several different countries (I know this thanks to Google Analytics). People sitting around their bedroom in their underwear can cause shockwaves with just a few choice words and the click of a mouse. Musicians can network online and get their music - good or bad - heard by thousands.

But back then, someone like David had to really be at the top of his game and actually, literally "rise to the top" over everyone else who was trying to be heard. Not only did he do it, but his music has stood the test of time. I must say, aside from playing with great musicians (which I always love), I particularly enjoyed watching strangers singing every word to songs David wrote some 30 years ago...maybe sitting around his room in his underwear.

When it comes down to it, I believe that probably everyone at some time dreams about leaving a lasting legacy behind - something that goes beyond their daily sphere of influence (like family and friends) and actually touches people you'll never meet. Certainly, all artists share this dream.

Anyway, kudos David. Nice way to leave a mark.

(The photo is of the band before the show.)
Click the links below to see some vintage David Pack/Ambrosia footage:
"You're The Biggest Part Of Me"
"How Much I Feel"

Prepare to be rocked...or jazzed...or countried  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

Okay, "countried" isn't a word.

If you haven't heard of these music sites, you're going to love them. Two great ways to listen to music online.
(Click on their names below and you'll be directed there)

First, my fave:

At this site, you can:
1. Pick your style of music (jazz, rock, country, pop, classical, etc)
2. Then you pick the mood you want (calm, positive, energetic, dark). You can combine moods, too, like "energetic & positive"
3. You can also pick tempos, and decade eras (50's, 70's, etc)

Then, this cool interface appears with some molecular-looking grid of songs you are about to hear that fit your criteria. If you like something you are hearing, you can instantly get artist info, link to itunes to buy it, and more.

Second, a product of the Music Genome Project:

All you do here is pick a favorite artist, like, John Denver or C+C Music Factory, and it will instantly create a radio station that plays only songs that sound like that artist. You can set up several stations and have more personal preferences as well.

Both are free! Thanks, Web!

New CD  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

I have a new CD called "Apasionado" coming out May 20 on Native Language Records.
Its a collection of new original jazz music that reflects my latin/brazilian influences.
I've uploaded two songs from the project to my myspace page for you to check out.

Click HERE

(I'll let you know when it hits the stores/itunes)

What's the deal...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

So, I'm one of the least violent guys you'll ever meet. Why, then, am I riveted to shows and movies about crime, jail and the mob? Maybe we're just naturally attracted to lives far removed from our own. Maybe I'm vicariously living some tough-guy fantasy out. I know that if any of those scenarios played out in my real life, I'd probably run like a girl (sorry, girls) into a closet and cry like a baby (sorry, babies).

But, man, those old-style mob guys sure know how to dress. Suits and hats. Cool.

Song follow-up...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

Several posts ago I mentioned a song I'd co-written that had been picked up by the Hallmark Channel for a station promo. It was written as a church worship song, and because of its recent inclusion on the SongDiscovery project, tens of thousands of worship leaders have heard it and it is starting to be sung in churches around the country.

Hallmark has used an edited version of it and themed their entire promo campaign around it. I think its funny to think of all the people who will hear it on TV, then hear it in church and think, "Wait a minute...isn't that the song...", or all the people who will sing it at church on Sunday then hear it watching a movie that night.

I've posted it online so you can check out both the original version of the song, as churches are doing it, and then see the Hallmark commercial.

Just click HERE.

Happy 115th Birthday to you!  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

Edna Parker is 115 years old, the oldest living person today.
She was born in 1893, and I'm trying to wrap my head around that.

- President Grover Cleveland was in office the year she was born
- She can remember New Years 1899-1900
- She can remember the Titanic sinking
- She can remember the San Francisco earthquake of 1906
- She was almost 30 when WWI started.
- She turned 50 during WWII
- She's been a widow since 1938!
- She watched man discover flight and get to the moon
- She is older than jazz
- She was already around 60 when Rock n Roll was born

…and the list of historical markers and things she predates gets more staggering.

If I lived to be her age, it would be the year 2081.

Happy birthday, Edna.


Posted by Tony Guerrero

Call me shallow, but I don't think I could live again in a world without instant gourmet coffee.

Cultural Lesson #2  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

In an effort to avoid my blog becoming all about my kids (things are going great with little Nico!), here's my latest cultural lesson - my attempt to share some things I love that you may not have seen or known before.

So, what do Satchmo and Snoop have in common? Read on, McDuff.

The problem with changing music styles over the years hasn't been the actual change - I'm 41 and love a lot of contemporary music - but that young fans of new music often have no concept of what came before, or, more importantly, how what they love is connected to the past.

It'll be no surprise to most of you that I love Louis Armstrong. But you may be surprised to know that whenever a person in a band takes the front of the stage for an improvised instrumental solo (like Jimi Hendrix, or Eddie Van Halen), they owe a direct debt to Louis. He is widely considered to have introduced the idea of a "soloist" to 20th century popular music. Until him, bands played more as an arranged unit, with each part holding relatively equal prominence. His ability as a horn player was such that it would have been impossible for him not to stand out (he was even so loud that he had to play from the far corner of early recording studios, away from the other musicians and the microphones) and he eventually created music that consistently featured 'soloists' instead of the arranged band.

More to the point however is how music styles have always grown out of each other. Consider the old Muddy Waters quote, "The blues had a baby and they called it rock'n'roll." Even today's hip-hop and rap had its origin in music that most 'kids' today would consider corny. The attached video is not an actual "hip hop rap" from Louis Armstrong, but someone's attempt at putting a modern beat behind an old clip of Louis from the 1930's, showing just how connected his rhythms and pacing were to the rhythm and pacing of today's contemporary music. Someday, what is "hip" on the radio today will be considered "corny", but it won't necessarily have disappeared - it will simply be hidden inside whatever evolved from its influence.

Enjoy the clip.

(If all you see is black space, click in the space
and it will take you to the clip on YouTube)

He's here!  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

Nico arrived yesterday...

Nicolas Anthony Guerrero
April 14, 2008
21", 8lbs9oz

More info later...!

And the answer is...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

Well, yes, Julie is brilliant. In mere moments, she came up with the same basic answer that took me years to think of (I first head the phrase in Junior High and didn't think of an answer until sometime in adulthood). Sorry I don't have any prizes to give. But I recently read this explanation of the phrase and was deflated. Not only did it cancel out all the hard philosophical thinking work of my youth but it actually makes more sense.

ACTUAL MEANING: In the 1700s, pickles were commonly used as appetizers, as they on occasion are used today. The phrase could also be written as “Hunger is the best appetizer.” An appetizer is something which creates or whets an appetite, so essentially Franklin is saying, “Hunger is the best enhancement to your meal.”

Oh, well, I'm sure I have other positive attributes. I can't be brilliant at everything.

Dilly of a pickle  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

It took me years to figure out the following quote from Benjamin Franklin's 'Poor Richard's Almanac':


I'm curious - what do YOU think it means?
And please, no Googling it.
Just tell me what it means at face value.
I'll post its actual meaning later.

Good moments...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

I am working from home for a while today, and it just happens that Candice has a coffee date with a friend, and she took Ella. So, 9:00am, and the house is peaceful, quiet and all mine. Temporarily.

Soon, it will be fuller than ever, because aside from the two adults who live here (one of whom makes a lot of noise!) and a toddler (who's sole job is to make noise), we'll have a newborn (who somehow comes into the world with more noise-making skill than any of us).

When the house is full, even though I love it, I find myself wanting quiet. But when the house is quiet, even though I love it, I find myself wanting noise. I guess the trick is learning to enjoy the moment as it presents itself - noisy kid(s) running around playing, laughing, crying, or extreme stillness and quiet, save for the occasional bird chirping in the yard.

Both such great moments that, no matter which moment you're in, you tend to miss the moment that's not there.

Things change  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

As we await the pending arrival of our son (not sure what he's waiting for!), it is really hitting us that our daughter Ella, who is too young to really understand what's going on, is going to go to sleep one night this week, and the sun will have set on her last day as an only child. Her whole short life has been led as the only child, getting all the attention, having run of the place - the only happy little life she's known. It has made us kinda sad, although we know she also gains a brother, a playmate, a bigger family, etc. But really, any moment now could be the end of her only-childness...tick-tock, tick-tock.

Nothing stays the same in life...a lesson we begin learning long before we can understand it.

Cultural Lesson #1  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

I recently showed this video to a friend. Its simply one of the best musical moments ever and features some of the great legends of jazz (primarily the amazing singer Billie Holiday, who would die from drug abuse less than two years after this footage) in a one-time only impromptu jam session televised in 1957. I don't have room to tell you each musician's story, but each of these people led storied lives. This music is ripe with their life experiences, their sufferings, their joys. As Louis Armstrong said, “You blows who you is."

Cool things to watch for:
1. Billie's facial reaction to Lester Young's sax solo at 2:55
2. Roy Eldridge's screaming trumpet at 7:05
3. Note how each musician has their own unique "voice" - for instance, the first two sax players are on the same instrument, but sound vastly different.

Kick back and let it draw you in for a few moments.
You'll be richer for it.
Let me know what you thought...

(If all you see is black space, click in the space
and it will take you to the clip on YouTube)

My son, the hipster...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

Our son, Nico (Nicolas Anthony) is due any minute. I've often commented that any son of mine is going to struggle to be raised with any sense of, um, male-ness...? After all, I don't watch sports, I don't drive big trucks, I'm not into pirates or any of the typical "guy" stuff (although I did just buy a bunch of power tools and haven't severed any limbs yet). Me - I would rather cook or shop than watch the big game. Poor kid is doomed.

The real problem is that this typical guy-dom fare is pretty much all you see on any of the little boy clothes - sports, trucks, dinosaurs, planes. And how do we decorate a little boy's room without baseball, ships or T-Rex?

We've solved both problems. We're forcing jazz on him. Jazz is cool and manly, right?

Of course, you can't buy a lot of "jazz" clothes for babies. So, I've designed my own by clicking here:

Voila, a Louis Armstrong Onesie!

And his bedroom? A Jazz Crib! Check out pictures by clicking here: Nico's Jazz Crib

I hope he doesn't get beat up a lot at school...