Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Music”

When You Turn Up The Music!

Sometimes you just have to turn up the sound, play rock and roll really loud.

Black Dog

As the Rolling Stones used to say ” Let Your Ya’ Ya’s Out”.

Feels good sometimes.

I know some people out there are not that much into rock…. but I ask you….

What song do your play when you want to turn up the volume knob as far as it can go?

Here’s one of them for me.

  You can do the same….

 

Black Dog- Led Zeppelin

 

 

P.S. Rest In Peace Johnny Winter!

Songs That Remind You Of Summer

It is the middle of SUMMER here in Texas, and like always I reflect on the music that made up my younger years. Summer was special because school was out and the weather was ripe for enjoying time at the beach, or camping or traveling. Just sitting out in the backyard in a lawn chair and when I was older cruising the main-streets ( gas was so much cheaper than, but then the cars only got single digits miles per gallon.

Transistor Radio

Ahh but the songs! My son and I got thinking about those “songs” that made up the memories of summer ( and those that also reminded us of winter). My list was totally different than his (with a few exceptions). But it was fun. I recall listening to the songs on “transistor radios” on the beach blankets, on the AM radio in the car, and later in various Walkman- like things with headphones. But they were indelible and still conjure up those sweet memories.

What are your summer songs?

Here are 6 of mine.

 

1) The Beach Boys: Do It Again

Actually it could be  very many of their songs, this is just one I love. In America these guys are the definition of summer music for a generation or 2! LOVE the outfits in this old video.

 

2) The Kinks: Sunny Afternoon

Ray Davies is very underrated as part of the Brit Invasion and all the great songs beyond. Love this one.  Was and still am a big fan (Waterloo Sunset is another).

 

3) The Rolling Stones: Honky-tonk Woman

First time I heard this was out in my backyard out of one of those little radios, I turned it up so loud it broke it. I went out that day and got the 45 PRM version and played it to death.

 

4) America: Ventura Highway

I was listeing to AM radio on my way to the beach and the windows rolled down. My friends were in the car. We sang the do-do-do’s like we were never going back home (the beach forever dude).

 

5) Steely Dan: Do It Again

We were in the basement of my best friends house. It was a late Friday afternoon. We had opened a 12 pack of Budwiser, we were playing pool and thinking about the weekend coming up when we would be going to the lake up in the woods and fish and eat and drink (not necessarily in that order). We jacked up the stereo and took it all in. Steely Dan is damn cool.

 

6) Blink 182: What’s My Age Again

Okay so I spent 7 years in a row going with my kids to Warped Tour. I got immersed in the music of their generation. I gotta say I love the energy and… sure I was a fan of that same type of music when I was a teen. There is always high-energy teen angst music playing somewhere. Thanks to my kids- spent some crazy summers on hot pavement finding a lot of new bands.  Of course there was some irony on this Blink 182 song …. yeah sure.

 

 

 

 

 

Relax and Take It In

Just take the time to look around, and see what you have found.

Whiskey On The Rocks

 

I have to say it is hard to do. To stop and just appreciate the art of relaxation.

But then our lives are going so fast. For many of us meditation of the day is not on the schedule.

In these days of self-diagnosed ADD and ADHD we have  come to leave it as an excuse then I suppose.

But there are times when it is just good to relax and take it in. I am going to plan on it.

Turn off your mind relax and float downstream.

 

 

Do You Remember Your First Record Album?

There is such an eclectic bunch of music going on in my head these days. I have been reflecting back on those days when I got my first “record player” and then again when I got my first stereo record player.

Favoite Music

When I was a kid, I resorted to using my parent’s HI-fi console, complete with cloth covered speakers and walnut finish…and a spindle turntable with a drop down function that would allow you to play  a number of 33 rpm vinyl records or with the adapter it would accept 45 rpm singles too. The sound was just incredible for its day (nothing like now of course). Once the tubes warmed, up it was a great way to blast the 15 watts of power I’d guess it had.

So I remember firsts with albums based on what it was played on.

On my parents console;  “Introducing the Beatles” on Vee Jay records got worn out by the needle before I got a new copy. It was just the greatest album I had ever heard. Even remember begging my dad to loan me the money (under $4) to buy it at the local department store.

My first record player was all plastic, all in one portable player with 2 speakers ( but mono I think). When I got it I was certainly special to me. I shudder to think that anything would last long with the wear and tear the turntable would have likely induced. “The Monkees” first LP was introduced to my new portable plastic dream!

My first stereo was actually a hand-me down from my brother, but certainly welcomed as it was very “stereophonic” set, entrenched in my own room. A Zenith brand all in one system with separate speakers that fired upward with a cone-shaped thing above them to distribute the sound. The important thing with that was that was also the first time I owned “headphones” (take that Beats). The White Album by the Beatles became a favorite that Christmas season and I fondly remember the headphones making  semi-permanent marks in my skull.

When I finally had a job of my own I invested in my first “real” stereo system, after shopping carefully and deciding I was never going to be able to actually afford the McIntosh equipment I fell in love with at the Hi-Fi Fo Fum, I did get my JVC amplifier and tuner and a great turntable from Technics (I wish I had- it was totally manual with a weighted platter- just what the DJ’s use today). The EPI bass reflex speakers helped to make “Pink Floyd” Dark Side of the Moon one of the frequent players. That system ended up fueling many house parties in the future before its retirement.

So I do remember my first record album, but I also recall the equipment that made it such.

Technically my first album I owned was probably a Perry Como album. But later in life, with 1000′s of LPs later, I fondly remember the music and the times.

What is your first recollection?

Music: The Next 15 Favorite Albums of All Time

Dog is ChillinOkay, Loved the comments and additions. Maybe there are some others out there that have a list of favorite albums. Not talking songs, but complete albums.

On vinyl, on CD or just digital if you have to – but what are your 10 …or 20?

My last MUSIC post was my top 10 →  Music: Favorite Albums of All Time

Here is my other 15… you have an opinion- chime in….

11 Chicago Transit Authority: In high school, I was in a rock band that had a horn section. This was as good as anything we knew for white boys and with a horn section. And we played a lot of it when we gigged. We were entranced with the Introduction song- and The Beginning. Just art in a great way. The band was never that good again after the first albums. BTW: Check out Terry Kath’s guitar, it is very good.

12 Bob Marley:  Rastaman Vibration Nothing was ever, ever, ever the same after I heard this album. Nothing. This was epiphany for a part of music that became the rhythm of life, then the rhythm of a nation, then a rhythm of a movement which has never died. I still stop to listen to this album. I stop. I smile. Gave  2 of my kids a copy of the Legend CD. I think from time to time they listen to it, and feel what it says. I bought every other album he and the Wailers had.  Exodus- okay that could be in the list.

13 Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers: It would be too hard to pick one, but I picked one that has so many memories for me that I can’t shake it. From the actual zipper on the Warhol cover- to the magic of Keith’s guitar on “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin” or Mick’s voice on “Wild Horses”. I know, I know- Exile on Main Street. Let It Bleed could be there too- this just captured it for me.

14 Police: Synchronicity: For me, it just captured everything that was that “time”. Music was getting more sophisticated and more stupid at the same time. This was proof that intelligent music could be made, with songs that had musicians playing that knew what made a song a solid song end-to-end. I was pleased to have seen them at the beginning and then again many years later during their reunion.

15 Led Zeppelin II: For me –I had listened to Led Zep 1, I loved it and wondered what would be next. I bought LZ2 right around the same time that I had to buy my Blind Faith album for the second time (because some guy had puked on my first copy at one of my parties). LZ 2 was so tight – so dynamic- blues, rock, Robert’s voice, Jimmy’s guitar and a drum line that was one of Bonham’s best. Just my fave. I know LZ fanatics would probably argue. But this was the most influential for me in my musical career and as a “rock” album.

16 The Doors – their first album. This album just screwed me out of listening to the Beatles for a while. It was just that different; I was listening to After Bathing At Baxter’s from Jefferson Airplane at the time. I caught “The End” on an FM radio station while was taking a break from it … I ran out and got the album. I didn’t think that it would do what it did to me. LA Woman was like that too, this was just first.

17 Copeland: Beneath the Medicine Tree: Okay one from this last  decade (2004 I think).  Not classic rock. This is a VERY personal choice. Only no one else will care than me. There is a set of songs that are so perfect that I can’t believe that they are from some emo band from Florida. But they are so good. There is a song: “Sing with your head up, with your eyes closed, not because you love the song, because you love to sing. “ Or “Paula Sparks”. Aaron Marsh is the band leader- the guitar riffs are wonderful. It is pop to some extent, just well constructed. Took a break, but they have a new album coming out in October. Been together for 25 years? Wow.

18 Joni Mitchell: Hejira – I could have put Court and Spark, or Blue… but I think this choice was just because of the time of my life, the way the songs sowed together in a jazz, blues, folk sort of way. It just worked for me at the time, and her voice is one of a kind. Nothing like it –nothing since. And her standing on the ice in Madison Wi on the cover. (my home state) Its all good. I just listened to it again the other day.

19 Sly Stone: Everyday People- the funk that lead me to Tower of Power, Prince and so much more. As a friend of mine said at the time “unlock the rock box and expand your head to new things” or something like that… over 60% of my high school was black, and I had so much of this music and the other stuff it spawned- G Clinton, Funkadelics, all of the Philadelphia sounds that went above the hit factory of what I knew to be Motown. It was party music, it was dance music, it was soul music, and it was date music. It just fit.

20 Santana Abraxsas: I was listening to a lot of jazz at the time, there was this radio station in San Francisco that was syndicated and played through a Chicago station on the weekends. It played a lot of really good jazz. Then somewhere in the middle, it played some of the songs from Abraxsas. Damn. I had the first album, but somehow this trumped that. Back in the day of this music renaissance, a lot of bands had 2nd albums that evolved from their first ones- I think that is what made them long term classics, it wasn’t about the one hit album- it was a body of work.

21 Frank Zappa: One Size Fits All: I had owned several Frank Zappa albums before I heard this one for the first time. This great DJ and I were sitting listening to “Florentine Pogen” in the college radio studio late one night on his shift. I was the station manager and did on-air stuff, but he was just into this stuff.  Everything I had heard had been great. This was outstanding. I can still play the guy loud and get a certain state of mind that you can’t get with most other artist. A fantastic guitar player, self-taught, incredible musician and someone who, even as productive as he had been was lost too soon in the music world. He died of prostate cancer, which I am personally fighting myself. It makes a difference.

22 Black Sabbath: Listening to their first album just made me wonder how I missed this kind of music before. My parents hated it. They didn’t understand it. Then I realized that there really wasn’t anything else like it. It was where metal would go that would end up being copy-cats… but this is the original.

23 Blonde on Blonde: It started when my older brother had given me a copy of Bob Dylan’s “FreeWheelin’” when I was really young. I started listening to music when I was 6 or 7, and I just couldn’t understand some of the kids around me that were listening to Herman’s Hermits and told me that Bob Dylan was not that good cause he couldn’t sing like Peter Noone. Okay- I liked pop. But I loved this album.

24 Yes: Roundabout: “In and around the lake- mountains come out of the sky and they stand there.” Damn- this record was great. It was prog. rock, art rock- it was whatever you want to classify it as- but it is just the combination of sounds that were unique musically. Man- then Close to the Edge. Incredible- prog rock often didn’t get the credit it deserved. Still doesn’t.  (ELO- how bout that?)

25 Abbey Road: I could have listed the White Album or Revolver. Whenever the newest release would come out from the Beatles I had to get it the first day. I think I played this album all weekend over and over again when I bought it. It was just the way that it was constructed and the whole suite of songs to the swan song of “In The End….”. I was going out with a girl in Jr. High who was a huge fan of the Beatles too. She and I spent the next weekend listening to it over and over. A year later she died of leukemia and I listen to the album differently still to this day. It’s like a dinner with all the ingredients – nothing missing.

Could I list 20 more? For sure. I missed some gems. Then there is jazz. Whoa.

Also there are very many complete  albums  by artists my millennial kids have introduced me to that actually could make this list too. Still some very good music to hear out there…Thanks specially to Andrew McMahon, Chris Carrabba, Anthony Green and Leighton Antelman (Lydia) – some great  pop artist in an alternative world.

What is your list like? Personal I am sure- but List it. Go ahead it won’t hurt.

 

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 436 other followers

%d bloggers like this: