Category Archives: Rock music

Feb 3 “Geometrically in Perfect Touch”

Success!!  I’ve now finished all of the rhythm guitar for the Chris Cates & the Master Plan “Follow the Feeling” album.  It’s been tough working it in with the song a day thing and my other projects.   It’s kind of wierd spending lots of time on a song, like I need to do with the Master Plan album, after doing these one a days as fast as I can.   That album is for the big market so it has to be perfect.   These songs can be a little loose and can also be any sound I want.

I’ve fallen in love with this way of writing and recording because I’m not held back by normal conventions.

Anyway, “Geometrically in Perfect Touch” let me play a little bit of the Euro beat on the drums and it turned out to sound a little bit like The Sea and Cake, a band I really like a lot.  The words build on a parallel between love and mathematics (a subject through school I didn’t pay much attention to).

This song is one of my favorites that I’ve ever done.    Thanks for listening!!

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Jan 31st “Snowy Mix of Memories”

I have made it a month!  31 songs in 31 days.   It’s interesting to see the trends I’ve had.

I wrote songs in 17 different major and minor keys

9 out of 31 of the songs were slow.   In the first few weeks I wrote a bunch of slow songs before getting into dance mode in the late part of the month.

There’s three or four stinkers in there I’ll admit, but I look at each song at least as a learning experience.

There’s actually about 8 or 9 really good ones which is encouraging.  “Snow Day”, “Sunday Afternoon Blues”, “Scratches in the Woodgrain”, “Glass Pack Mufflers & Overhead Cams” (super huge), “Heavy Metal Nice Guy”, “Hot Cold & Out of Control”, “Country Boy Funk in the City” are some of the best.

Although my personal favorite is still “The Sweetest Thing is Everything”.  What can I say, I love those french horns.

“Snowy Mix of Memories” is a reflection on January and trying to make time move a little slower.

Thanks for listening, 11 months to go!!!!

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Jan 30th “Country Boy Funk in the City”

I took it back to that old school slow funk jam on this one.   I am absolutely loving playing drums every day, even though it’s just for five minutes.   My drum parts are finally getting done in one take.  They’re not perfect, but I can’t really be perfect in my recordings for this format;  because I have to squeeze the song in each day on top all of my normal life.

I’m a country boy but I love the big city vibe.  Places like Vegas, or Chicago or New York are great just because there is lots of people and energy.  And house music.  A good beat keeps everybody happy and it’s not used in that way enough.  I guess that’s what “Country Boy Funk in the City” is about.

I’m also kind of giving my own song “Country Funk” a shout out.   If you haven’t heard “Country Funk” (featuring my old friend P-Noid)  Search:  Parakeet Nelson “Risky Biscuits” and give it a spin.  It’s also pretty funky.

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Chris Cates Vol. 1 and 2 on sale
365 Songs for 2010 Vol. 1 & 2

Click Here to buy 365 Songs Greatest Hits for only $5

Jan 26 “Chalk it Up to Acting Like a Fool”

This song is starting to grow on me a bit.    It’s about remembering old times of acting crazy growing up.

Maybe recycling in my old Oak Hill Bulldog territory brought this one out of me today.  Congratulations to my classmate Leon Johnson for his Burke County Hall of Fame honors in a few weeks.  He killed it at Carolina and was a great pro too.   With the Jets was my favorite part of his NFL career.

Anyway, “Chalk it Up to Acting Like a Fool” can be put into any adolescent context you want (or any adult for that matter).  It’s about how we always thought we were indestructible too, which led to lots of air time for our respective vehicles and landings that as long as you kept a firm grip on the wheel, you could land it with minimal damage to adjacent shrubbery.    Frank Zappa cassette intact.       Thanks for listening!!

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Jan 23 “Heavy Metal Nice Guy”

Well back to the heavy metal comedy songs again I guess.  As soon as I heard this riff with the drums and the synth I thought “I try to be a gangsta but I’m a heavy metal nice guy”.

That’s how it was born.  I speak from experience on this one as well.  I used to be a heavy metal guy through my teens and even had hair down to my waist for a while.  However, my tastes for music have always been all over the place.  Which led me to be a rap producer in Athens, Georgia for about five years.

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Read the lyrics @ chriscates.com/jan23.html

Jan 21 “Glass Pack Mufflers and Overhead Cams”

What a day.  I worked on a hilarious rap song for a new cartoon that’s going to be on Fox.  My Damn! Show friends are the one’s doing the show and they ask me for some music every now and then, usually when it involves rap beats.  I actually got to rap the lyrics today for the demo so that their actor can get an idea.

That’s what inspired “Glass Pack Mufflers”.  I’m kind of half rapping this.   My rap voice is not my forte which is why I generally refrain from it.

The chorus makes up for my raps because it is the old school funky jam.   I got my drums set back up so I figured I better make with the funk.  Adair lent some vocals to the mix as well.

The lyrics are about speed demons with loud mufflers and a proclivity to be the annoying guy at the light .  I can make fun because I used to be a little like them in my younger days.  I’m a gas conserver now because I drive a lot.

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Jan 16th “Married in the 3rd Grade”

Today is a joyous day, Jason Peeler came up and finished all of the drums on our new album “Follow the Feeling”.   Now I’ve just got to do my work on guitars, vocals and keyboards and get Chris Singleton and John Kell here to do their parts and we’ll have it done.

Hopefully we can release it by March!

Today’s song takes me back to my elementary school days at Forest Hill.  I still think about playing outside and down in the woods.  I think I did actually marry a lucky girl in the 2nd grade, luckily we signed a pre-nup.

Read the lyrics @ chriscates.com/jan16.html

Jan 15th “Walking In Molasses”

Playing catch up with the songs again.   Time limitations from my gig yesterday (and golf outings I must admit) have put me behind.  However, I did get to take my house guest (Rob from Chicago) to play at Mimosa Hills which is his and my favorite course in the area.

Tomorrow will be my big workday to catch up and to record drums for the new Chris Cates & the Master Plan album with Jason Peeler.

“Walking in Molasses” is another heavy metal jammer.  It seems to be what was in my head this morning after a raucous jamfest last night at Bourbon Street in Hickory.  The words are about getting (or not getting) stuck in a rut.  I’m trying to go out more this year and not let work make me tired and homebodylike.

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Chris Cates Vol. 1 and 2 on sale
365 Songs for 2010 Vol. 1 & 2

Click Here to buy 365 Songs Greatest Hits for only $5

Jan 13th “Party on a Wednesday Night”

Our first day with a decent temperature in a while was quite a treat.    My college buddy Rob from Chicago just got to town and my other college buddy and Morganton friend Plemplum came to town for the afternoon reunion.   We played an awesome 9 holes at Asheville Municipal Golf Course and then had some sushi with a few more good friends.

Then I retired to the studio around 10pm to write and record this song while my friends walked to Chili’s to watch the end of the Carolina game (debacle).

They got home just in time to add some color to the background of tonight’s song.    They definitely had a great time doing it and it shows.

Thanks for listening!!

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Jan 11 “Dumpster Diving”

Leave it to the recycling to bring out the absurd in my lyrics.    I thought about dumpster diving today as I was digging in some of the big recycling totes at Morganton Trading Co.

I guess that spurred this song because I distinctly remember thinking ‘they should put dumpster diving in the olympics’.

I love the words to the chorus “all forms of love are accepted here”.

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