Archive for the ‘Music’ category

Too Much Too Soon

January 13th, 2011

This is for Maria – as it always is when the Slugs play this song.

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As performed live at the Abbey Pub in Chicago January 22, 2010.

Springing Forward

March 14th, 2010

Johnny L. CD Friend cover artHonoring the return of Daylight Savings Time, I give you “Spring Forward“, a track recorded by The Slugs (Dag, Gregg, Mike and Johnny) for Johnny L.‘s brand new CD entitled “Friend“.  Enjoy this preview, and get your copy of Friend from Amazon – it’s a great record full of wonderful songs and collaborations from Johnny L.!

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The Slugs with John Entwistle

June 17th, 2009

I was talking with an old friend recently about a memorable show the Slugs played in July 1988. We opened for John Entwistle, bass player for The Who.  The Slugs most prominent musical inspiration at the time was The Who and getting this gig was a very big deal to us.

The Slugs with John EntwistleWe played the Riviera in Chicago, an old movie palace that is now owned by Jam Productions, the leading concert promoter in the Midwest. Aside from meeting our hero Entwistle, is was also memorable to meet the Who’s sound engineer since 1968, Bobby Pridden.

Fifteen years later or so, Dag, Gregg and I were joined by guest vocalist Michael Dorff to pay homage to the Who during a Halloween show at Tommy Nevin’s in Evanston. We played about 5 or 6 Who songs with all the loving cacophony we could muster. 

Hear The Real Me from that show: 

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The Stamina of Rock Dummers

October 9th, 2008

An article run by the BBC claims that tests show that playing drums for a rock band requires similar stamina to that of a professional athlete.

Blondie drummer Clem Burke was tested during a 90 minute drum session (the length of an average Blondie set), where his heart rate reached up to 190 beats per minute, or BPM, as we say in the industry. That’s getting into Slayer territory — and this is Blondie. We’ll say that the average Blondie song is a moderate rock tempo — 120 BPM. This means that Slayer (whose songs often reach a skull-mashing 240 BPM) drummer Dave Lombardo’s heart can attain almost 400 BPM.

Dr. Marcus Smith from Chichester University (sounds made up, but surprisingly it isn’t!) claims that drumming in concert burns between 40 and 600 calories an hour. Drummer Clem Burke took part in this eight-year study, and the results are promising for outreach programs for overweight children looking for an option outside of sports.

The study, conducted by the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Chichester measured Burke’s heart rate, oxygen uptake and lactic acid levels. As a result, the Gloucester campus will be seeing the world’s first “drumming laboratory” in the near future, and they plan on continuing tests on other professional drummers.


I swear it wasn’t me.

July 1st, 2008

Way back in the good ol’ days of releasing our first record, when records were made of vinyl and releasing one took considerable effort, a fledgling rock band might be asked for an autograph. Who are we to reject such a request?!

Now of course it looks quite dated and egoistic. But I tell ya, at the time… well, I guess you had to be there.

Slugs to go

May 16th, 2008

Amazon.com is offering Slugs music via MP3 downloads. You can choose from all songs on our past two records (Junior & Fort Fun) as well as the track we contributed to Aadam Jacob’s Urbs in Horto complilation.  The song is “Honey Rose” as recorded live at the Taste of Lincoln Avenue festival in Chicago back in 2000. Mix and match as you choose as you can select your favorite tracks and download to your iPod, iPhone, iCantgoanywherewithoutagadget or some such telephone/camera/email/texting device that runs MP3 music.  You can share with your friends too as these files are “DRM Free” meaning you can email or copy them as much as you like.  Doesn’t really matter to us anyway as we haven’t seen a cent in CD sales revenue since Clinton (Bill) was in office.  Enjoy…

The video for Margaret

April 11th, 2008

The first track on the Junior CD is “Margaret”.  Here is the video (created by Gregg) now finally posted on YouTube for the world to see for eternity:

Happy birthday, Junior

April 1st, 2008

“Junior,” the Slugs last (or most recent?) album was released officially on April 1, 2000, a fitting date to be sure.  In support of the Junior CD, we played more than 40 shows between March-August of that year, all but one (Iowa City) in Northern Illinois. Being the ageing rockers we were/are, touring was out of the question at that time. We played many memorable shows including House of Blues in Chicago, Borders Books on State Street, Taste of Chicago, and many clubs, festivals, etc. We did radio performances on various stations including WCKG, WGN Radio (Christmas special end of 2000), and a full one-hour of Slugs on WXRT with Richard Milne. On Halloween of 2000, we played live on the WGN Morning News – in a studio where Dag & Gregg visited their dad at work many times in their youth. Songs from this record were subsequently used in the television series “Felicity”, which of course is always a thrill to hear our music on TV!

If you don’t already have this record, you can preview/download from Amazon by clicking the cover art:

Junior, by The Slugs

Recording Session

March 26th, 2008

Last night I went into a recording session for the first time in about 9 years! I had the good fortune to be invited to play drums on a track for the forthcoming Johnny L album. We layed down the rythym beds (drums & bass) for his song “Spring Forward” which the Slugs have played live many times. Fellow former-Slug Gregg Juhlin played bass and we hope his brother in life and Slugs, Dag, will play some guitar too when he returns from his tour with Poi Dog Pondering in support of their new CD, 7.  Naturally, Johnny L played guitar and vocals for this hair-under-two-minute-long pop gem.

There was an unexpected treat in the engineer Johnny is working with is Don “Griff” Griffin, a veteran guitarist and producer from the oldschool of Chicago rock.  He shared stories of touring with Foghat & Judas Priest, and a brief period when our paths crossed in the early 80’s.  A nice guy and very good engineer – the sound we got was exceptional!

Here is the clock hanging in the VMR Recording Studio in scenic Brookfield, IL…

Guitar clock