REMINDER: ENGINEER AND MIXER RYAN WILLIAMS ON THE SATURDAY LEBRAIN TRAIN

A friendly reminder that Ryan Williams will be joining us on a Special Saturday Edition of the LeBrain Train…

Mike LeBrain and I will be interviewing a well-respected engineer and mixer in the music business who started out working with one of the biggest producers of all time Brendan O’Brien. Not a bad way to learn the business. Join us why we walk through Ryan’s career and all the great bands he has worked with and some interesting stories about some things that happened along the way. By the way, Ryan is my brother-in-law so I know the deep dark secrets…kidding…or am I?????

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and John Snow

Saturday July 3 – Episode 74 – Ryan Williams

Have you ever had anything with your name on it nominated for a Grammy award?  Ryan Williams has — for his work on Train’s Drops of Jupiter, Velvet Revolver’s Contraband, and Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger.  And we’ll be talking to him about it on Saturday’s LeBrain Train.

Join John Snow and I for this special Saturday episode with a very in-demand engineer.  How much demand?  Well, besides Stone Temple Pilots, he’s either engineered or mixed for Matt Nathanson, 3 Doors Down, Lifehouse, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Staind, Michelle Branch, The Panic Channel, Phil Collen’s Delta Deep, Korn, Static-X, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Biffy Clyro, 10 Years, Atreyu, Mastodon, Billy Idol, P!nk, Sugar Ray, Deftones, Adam Lambert, Coheed & Cambria, The Black Dahlia Murder, Bush, Neon Trees, and Beck.  He even has a co-write on a Kelly Clarkson song.  Is that enough demand for ya?

This is going to be a great chance for us to pick the brain of a guy who has literally worked with the biggest names in modern music.  You do not want to miss this one — catch it live so we can ask Ryan your questions!

Saturday July 3, 1:00 PM E.S.T. on Facebook:  MikeLeBrain and YouTube:  Mike LeBrain.

ENGINEER AND MIXER RYAN WILLIAMS ON THE SATURDAY LEBRAIN TRAIN

Mike LeBrain and I will be interviewing a well-respected engineer and mixer in the music business who started out working with one of the biggest producers of all time Brendan O’Brien. Not a bad way to learn the business. Join us why we walk through Ryan’s career and all the great bands he has worked with and some interesting stories about some things that happened along the way. By the way, Ryan is my brother-in-law so I know the deep dark secrets…kidding…or am I?????

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and John Snow

Saturday July 3 – Episode 74 – Ryan Williams

Have you ever had anything with your name on it nominated for a Grammy award?  Ryan Williams has — for his work on Train’s Drops of Jupiter, Velvet Revolver’s Contraband, and Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger.  And we’ll be talking to him about it on Saturday’s LeBrain Train.

Join John Snow and I for this special Saturday episode with a very in-demand engineer.  How much demand?  Well, besides Stone Temple Pilots, he’s either engineered or mixed for Matt Nathanson, 3 Doors Down, Lifehouse, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Staind, Michelle Branch, The Panic Channel, Phil Collen’s Delta Deep, Korn, Static-X, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Biffy Clyro, 10 Years, Atreyu, Mastodon, Billy Idol, P!nk, Sugar Ray, Deftones, Adam Lambert, Coheed & Cambria, The Black Dahlia Murder, Bush, Neon Trees, and Beck.  He even has a co-write on a Kelly Clarkson song.  Is that enough demand for ya?

This is going to be a great chance for us to pick the brain of a guy who has literally worked with the biggest names in modern music.  You do not want to miss this one — catch it live so we can ask Ryan your questions!

Saturday July 3, 1:00 PM E.S.T. on Facebook:  MikeLeBrain and YouTube:  Mike LeBrain.

April 2021 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs

April was a solid month of purchases and some great finds. I went digging at an antique mall and cleaned up, I found a few things on ebay and discogs I needed for something special and then I found a few things that were especially cool.

First up, we will go with the especially cool things. I am a big fan of the Train album ‘Drops of Jupiter’ for many reasons. One, it is a really great album! Two, my brother-in-law was the engineer on that album. So when the 20th Anniversary Edition popped up online, I had to grab as I don’t think it had ever been issued on vinyl prior which means I didn’t have it. It is a beauty…

The next was a Michael Sweet album. Stryper released an album years ago called ‘Reborn’ which was the band’s comeback album. The album was originally done as a Michael Sweet solo album, but it was decided to redo it for the band. Well, now we get the original Michael Sweet solo album the way it was intended. This one is called “Reborn Again” and is on a fiery red vinyl and is autographed (on the back) by Michael Sweet…SWEET!!!

Continue reading “April 2021 Purchases – Vinyl & CDs”

My Top 10 Concerts of All Time

It has been over a year now since I have seen a live show and it could be another year before I get to see another one. I started thinking back on all the shows I have seen and the memories came flooding back. Now back some time last year, the LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or Less did a live stream on the Nigel Tufnel Top 10 Favorite Live Shows of all time. Each guests gave a list of their 11 favorite shows and I had a list for the show. I thought why not spell it out here for everyone to read in all its glory and add some pictures and extra information, if I have any. I hope you enjoy.

11. Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls Tour (1987):

November 22, 1987 at the Omni in Atlanta, GA.  The opening act was Guns N Roses.  The lineup alone makes it a favorite but what happened at the show is why it is on the list. It was not a good show at all which is why it is down at 11.  It is only on the list for what happened at the show. During GNR’s set, Axl jumps off stage at about the 2nd song to grab a security guard who pushed his friend.  Axl is held backstage while the band plays a couple songs (“Communication Breakdown” and “Honky Tonk Women”) with one of their roadies and that was all got from them.  Motley delayed coming on and then put in a half-ass show and left early in protest of Axl’s arrest (at least this is the rumor we heard).  It pissed me off so much I stopped listening to both bands for awhile. Ticket prices at the time were only $17.50.

Continue reading “My Top 10 Concerts of All Time”

Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review

With working at home during the Covid-19 lockdowns, I have pulled out a lot of my vinyl and gave it a spin.  This was one I hadn’t listened to in a couple years and when I did, I remembered that this was the last great album Train had done.  At this point, Train was down to only 3 members, Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood.  My wife and I had met them a couple years earlier on the ‘Save Me, San Francisco’ Tour and they were super nice and they are kind of “our” band.  They were anyway, now it is the Pat Monahan show as he is the only original member left, but that is another story for another day.

What we loved about the band is really the songs.  Lyrically, Pat is a master at slipping in pop culture references in to the lyrics and the band can write some hooks and pretty damn catchy choruses.  It is wonderful, pop music.  And this album, the band outdid themselves with all of the above.  They did bring in some outside writers, but Pat was still the driving force behind them as they are usually very personal songs to him.  He spent three years writing the album while on tour for the previous items and they all reflect pieces of his life in some way or fashion.

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The album is called “California 37” which is a State Highway in Northern San Francisco which the band seems to call home.  The road was often used to get to gigs and they even broke down on it and what band hasn’t done that on the way to a gig.  The album has this light, California vibe to it and it makes you feel good as you listen.  From the opening track, “This’ll Be My Year” you know you are in for a treat. The song travels through his years in life and is a bio of his life and completely filled with Pop Culture references so you can put the year’s in to perspective.  It is brilliant.  It has the classic line…”I stopped believing, although Journey told me don’t”. Continue reading “Train – ‘California 37’ – Album Review”

Friday New Releases – November 9th

Wow!! The new releases are coming in droves. Another extensive list of releases this week just like last.  There has to be something for everyone as the artist here cover the gamut of genres.  There are a handful I am interested in streaming at least, not sure about buying…yet.  I will test the waters first.  Those are highlighted in Blue.  What do you see that you like?  Let me know and let me know what releases are missing from the list.  I hope you find something.  Have a great weekend!!

  • 71z5r6SxinL._SL1200_.jpg  Stephen Pearcy – View to a Thrill – (Frontiers Records):  The lead singer of Ratt (or some version of it) is back with another solo effort.  I am becoming very skeptical of this release with all the antics going on with him from the latest Ratt tour…not a pretty picture. The tracks I have heard so far are so, so…but after his last one was pretty decent, I will give this one a try.  We will see.

  • 51WFlCQ79xL._AC_US436_QL65_  Red Dragon Cartel – Patina – (Frontiers Record):  Jake E. Lee isback with Red Dragon Cartel’s 2nd album.  I get the impression this is a real band now and so the songs should be solid and consistent.  I am digging what I have heard and have higher expectations for this one over the last.  I can’t wait to crank this one up.

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 9th”

Train – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Train started way back around 1993/1994 in San Francisco, California.  Their first album didn’t arrive until 1998 and I remember hearing their first hit on the radio for “Meet Virginia”.  However, it wasn’t until the song and the album “Drops of Jupiter” came out until I became a fan.  I met my wife around that same time and Train became “our band”.  We have seen them many, many times together and even met the band several years later.  Now my wife had met them before as my Brother-in-low worked with the band back around the Drops of Jupiter era.

Train has seen many line-up changes and their sound has changed over time. They have gone from a pure alternative rock band and are now kind of like a Vegas act (and I don’t mean that in a good way).  The lead singer, Pat Monahan, is the only original member left and Train doesn’t feel like Train anymore.  Now, that doesn’t take away from the fact the band has had some fantastic albums.  And with that, let us explore the band’s catalog.  We are looking at 12 albums which even includes Pat’s only solo album, a live album and even their Christmas album.  If you are ready, sit back and let us get started.  If you are not ready, take your time and go at your own pace.

THE WORST – ‘Christmas in Tahoe’ (2015):

Continue reading “Train – The Albums Ranked Worst to First”

T-Shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts #2 – A Family Affair

Welcome back to T-Shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts.  I didn’t expect to do another post so soon, but the Rock T-Shirt collection has taken a little twist.  It has become a family affair.  Not only have I been buying, but now my kids have to have band T-Shirts as well.

My oldest daughter is the worst.  Almost as bad as I am.  She has some concert T’s and now she has quite a few band shirts as well.  Here are her concert shirts for Ed Sheeran, James Bay and Tori Kelly…

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Continue reading “T-Shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts #2 – A Family Affair”

Father’s Day – The Vinyl Gifts

I hate holidays…I don’t know why, but i just do.  Ok, I hate the ones where I have to buy gifts…I feel so much pressure.  The holidays I do like are the ones where I actually get gifts.  The old adage “it is better to give than to receive” is crap.  That person never received vinyl records as a gift obviously.

For Father’s Day this year, my wife and daughters gave me some nice gifts.  Not only did I receive some great cards and some candy, but I got some nice shirts for work as well.  Which I needed.  They also got me some really cool, crazy socks.  One was blue with some pineapples (don’t know why, but I love them) and the other was some gray socks with guitars on them (I understand that one and love them as well).

But what I loved most of all was some vinyl.  I love to go buy vinyl, but I generally only buy used records from the 70’s & 80’s and if I am lucky…early 90’s.  The brand new copies I generally don’t buy…too expensive.  So I always ask for those as gifts.

Continue reading “Father’s Day – The Vinyl Gifts”

Train – A Girl A Bottle A Boat – Album Review

Train has found a niche in the pop world.  They bring a fun, summer song feel to their albums and are firmly fitted in the Adult Contemporary world.  They have found their formula and they are sticking to it.  However, they are starting to show signs of a disease called BonJovitis.  What is BonJovitis?  Well here is the clinical definition:

BonJovitis – a disease caused by repeating the same song formula without ever changing anything other than the words. It causes dull, lifeless and completely uninspiring albums and puts your fans and listeners to sleep.  Ultimately the disease will cause your album sales to drop and fans to leave and search elsewhere for music.  (See Bon Jovi as a perfect example).

All their albums are starting to sound the same, but it isn’t as bad for me as how Bon Jovi does it.  If you are a regular reader of my site, you know Train holds a special place in my families heart.  That is the only reason they don’t have full blown BonJovitis in my eyes…YET!!!

All joking aside, Train has delivered another solid album.  I even think the album cover is actually quite beautiful.  It has the ocean, a beautiful girl, a boat and the American flag.  I don’t see a bottle though.

Continue reading “Train – A Girl A Bottle A Boat – Album Review”