Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Personal Soundtrack”

The Music of Our Children

Thanks to all who were able to join me on the Internet radio show “How I Met Your Music” on Friday August 1st @ 90FM.org.

It was hard to cover over 50 years of music in just 3 hours, but hopefully I was able to tell the story of how I went from the music I first heard on the little radio above my mom’s Hotpoint refrigerator to the music my children have introduced to me these past years.

There is a lot in-between Frank Sinatra and Frank Zappa, between the Ed Sullivan show introduction of the Beatles and You Tube independent music of Foxygen.

But it has been a journey for me and probably for a lot of other parents who grew up on rock and roll, R&B and Jazz influences and their children are still welcome fresh music to fill that need today. Mine will very appreciative of our “old” music, and even to this day keep showing me fantastic and talented new music.

So here are the last few songs I finished my show with. The music my children had a lot to do with when they were finding their own music.

The final song below was the song 3 of them co-wrote together recently. Just coming full circle from my beginnings with the British Invasion to this…..

Dashboard Confessional: Ghost of a Good Thing   (Thanks to my son Adam) Maybe we can sing along some day.

Anthony Green: Anytime   ( Thanks to my son Greg) Rockin’ music always on the horizon: Circa Survive all the way!

Lydia: The Exit  (Thanks to my son Ryan)  So many bands, so little time to know them all.

Copeland: You Love to Sing  (Thanks to my daughter Jennifer)  You sing like an angel, because you love to sing. 

And finally, ” I Can Sleep Again”. The song Ryan, Greg and Jennifer ( our children) wrote for my wife and I in December 2013.

CLICK BELOW… its a great song.

Listen To Me On Internet Radio

An invitation listen for a special 3 hour radio program.  This Friday August 1st @4 pm Central Time (US)  I will be presenting  “How I Met Your Music”. It will map a personal journey of music from the 1960’s to the music my children have introduced to me this year.

If you are a baby boomer with millennial kids who are all about music, you will know that there are a lot of things playing over the air today that sound quite like songs of decades ago.

FM Radio Dial

Time for the 2nd Annual Alumni Radio weekend. The evening of July 30th through Sunday August 3rd, and myself and my college compatriots from late 70’s and early 80’s are coming back to take over the college radio station.

Over the past decades I have grown to like a lot of the music that my kids have introduced to me. Maybe part of it was because I spent seven years joining them at the annual sabbatical of the Van’s Warped Tour. The Warped Tour features over 7 stages lining up live music from 40 musicians and bands that are working hard to make it in the indie/punk/alternative world of music.

Or perhaps it was because there is [and was always was] music playing in our house as they grew up. They heard The Beatles, The Who and Queen and so much more as they started their lives and decided to search for their own music. As they would find their way, they would share it with me. “Hey dad listen to this one“.

So all these years later, I am going to present to my kids and anyone willing to listen ….”How I Met Your Music”.

August 1st for three hours starting with the first song I ever heard on my parents radio over the refrigerator in our kitchen and going through the decades that led up to my children creating their own music.

Does it sound like “How I Met Your Mother” the American TV show? Yeah – yup… sort of like that.

If you have time! Tune in if you can on the Internet at one of the following:

Tune IN: http://tunein.com/radio/90-FM-899-s23865/

Or Find  Windows and I Tunes Links here:   http://www.uwsp.edu/wwsp/Pages/default.aspx

There will be a whole weekend of our old radio station team from the 70’s and 80’s playing just about anything! It will be electric, progressive, and a wild ride! So if you feel like steaming – I promise a fun time ( the evening of 7/30 through 8/3).

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.

 

Take the Time To Sing

“With your head up, with your eyes closed. Not because you love the song, but you love to sing” – Aaron Marsh

I realize I will forever be tied to music.

MGert Concert Picture

MGert Concert Picture

Many of my past family ancestors were artists, many of my relatives today are artists, painters, writers. Creators of the “arts”.

My passion has always been to sing. From elementary school choir to high school musicals. In rock bands that were such great fun in school to working to make it a profession by touring around with a bus ( not successfully by the way). Just jamming in garages or making sounds in basements made for revitalizing enjoyment.  Even today I get to sing at church from time to time with the band ( yup, not a “choir” but a great bunch of musicians).

When I get in the car I put on music, when I am relaxing I put on the playlists, when I am working on things I put on music rotations. Parties? Without music? No way.

Concerts are an event, and more often the better. My kids taught me how to experience the music today. I have tens of thousands of songs on my hard drive, own one thousand vinyl records I can’t seem to let go of (even though I don’t have my turntable connected). Songs from every genre, rock music from the beginning, eclectic, progressive, jazz, soul, R&B, even disco ( but not too much :))

So like so many others I around me –  I sing. Never going to win any trophies or competitions. But I love to sing.

What about you…? Like to sing?  So SING. Not because you love the song- but you love to sing.

COPELAND: You Love to Sing

The Day The Music Died

For those of us who love music… we likely all have music heroes.

Imagine

There are those musicians who perform and write music that hits our psyche, those who make a certain time in our lives more than special. There are those musicians who have been present in our lives for a long-span of it, and continue to be part of the soundtrack of our lives over the rest of it.

Music is a thread for me that has been present in one way or another for as long as I can remember.  I had music at my fingertips since I was old enough to play those yellow plastic 78 rpm records and 45 rpm records with the big hole in the middle on a little record player I had in my bedroom. I remember when my brother gave me his old “transistor radio” that actually allowed me to travel with music everywhere I went. It was the beginning of a discovery of the variety of music in the world. Easy listening, classical, country – you name it. In particular rock and roll was in its infancy stages when I was quite young. I was enamored with the same hits that all older teens were listening to, and wanted to play it every waking hour.

I learned about The Beatles there. In 1963 I had in my hand a $3.99 LP that my dad helped me buy from the local department store called “Introducing the Beatles”.  A brown almost old fashioned themed cover on an odd label (V Jay) with 4 guys  pictured on it that if they had shorter hair could have been the 4 Freshman, but they weren’t- they were significantly different.

From that moment on I was willing to consume all of the British invasion – take in every nuance of reference to the Merseybeat, to the mods and sods of English ruffians. But no matter what – the Beatles were my central soundtrack. Through the 60’s as I was growing up, they were growing up too. They were moving the culture of a generation of music, others were following. Even in the initial times of the late 60’s rock renaissance explosion, the Beatles were the royalty of the rock music that had become so diverse in such a short time.

So I here I am. Fifty years later. Still the fan of a group that has long since passed as music is depicted today. No wrecking ball, no electronic drums, no voice boxes.

What I miss terribly are all the years that we lost when John Lennon was assassinated so early in his life. Like many before him and many since, there was a lot of music to consume in such a short time. But imagine what it would be if he had survived to be the senior musician his famous writing partner has become. What would we have experienced?

That day in December 1980 will be indelibly in my mind. I was actually broadcasting on a local small town college radio station at the time. I spent the entire night with listeners who called in with disbelief as we listened to his music and remembered the day that made the music live for us. The music died that day. I still will remember it, hope many others do too.

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