Archive for Music

What the hell…why not? Music Friday – A.I. Edition

What the hell…why not? Music Friday – A.I. Edition

Being stuck in the 1970’s like I am has it’s advantages.   One of them is that you can look around at all the “new” things and ideas floating around today and say “that’s just a different version of x, y or z that we did back in the day”.  Case in point:  current topics of discussion today about modern advances in technology that have given rise to research and creation of new machines – specifically robots, or Robots with a capital “R”.  And the creation of said machines begets further conversation, debates, etc over the limits of artificial intelligence or AI.  When does a machine become human? What will happen when AI surpasses human intelligence? What are the repercussions for human society?  I mean the “Rise of The Machines” and the coming robot revolution are what the Kool Kidz are talking about these days.  Except…

BEEN THERE DONE THAT, bitchez!

So how does this become a Music Friday post? As usual, by accident.  Because another of the advantages of being stuck in the 1970’s is being in the habit of listening to 1970’s Progressive Rock music  – like the progressive rock concept album “I Robot” by The Alan Parsons Project.  An album that was released in 1977.  Often in those halcyon days when people gathered to socialize, they listened to music and had discussions, or “talked”.  This is something people did before they had their phones to distract them since cell phones, smart or dumb did not yet exist.  So friends would gather together and listen to albums which were physical objects – vinyl discs which had grooves molded into them.  An album was placed on a turntable where a needle tracked through the groove, reproducing the music.  Rockin’ it old school in the 70’s meant using physical media since there was no internet, streaming, or a “cloud”.  OK, back on track, this concept album was based loosely on stories in a book by Isaac Asimov…wait.  Let me back up again.  A “book” was a physical object…Oh hell, just google it. The book by Isaac Asimov contained stories about robots and  AI. Getting back to the album, the cover inlay read:

“I Robot… The story of the rise of the machine and the decline of man, which paradoxically coincided with his discovery of the wheel… and a warning that his brief dominance of this planet will probably end, because man tried to create robot in his own image.”

And so the discussions revolved around the music, the music revolved around the topic.  And the current debates are merely history repeating itself.  So, been there, done that and I probably even have the T-shirt around here somewhere not that it would still fit.  Wish I still had the hair, but I digress.  All discussions aside, there was the music.  This is some of what we heard:

One song off the album that was released as a single:

And another single from the album:

And, saving the best for last as I am often wont to do:

Could it be? Are you looking into my mind? I warned early readers that they might find themselves walking around inside my head.  Hopefully you’ve wiped your feet.  Don’t bother setting the clock or changing the calendar, I like it here in the 70’s.  And please lock the door on your way out.

Gotta serve somebody

Gotta serve somebody

exquisite gears tumblr_lxcdndkZPS1r0o12to1_500

 

Discuss

This Blog Continues to not be dead

This Blog Continues to not be dead

This blog continues to not be dead.  Undead maybe?  That might be fitting description what with the current zombie craze and proximity to Halloween.  So, yeah I’m still busy, but I haven’t forgotten about you all.  Meanwhile may I suggest you review a few posts from the grooveyard of forgotten favorites?

Why Would You?  Because You Could.  But If You Could, Would You?

Vero dicta inermis ea

Saint Patrick’s Day revisited

Concupiscence

Any Major Dude Will Tell You…

Those are my recommendations for today, but feel free to browse around while you’re here.  I don’t cost nothin’.  Fresh content coming soon.  Stay tuned.

Music Friday – prequel (appetizer) edition

Music Friday – prequel (appetizer) edition

Welcome at long last to another Music Friday!

Today we’re going to drill down to the bedrock that the foundation of my musical tastes are built upon.  You may remember that over the last few months I have been trying to determine my “peak music year” by examining the BillBoard Hot 100 music charts and that based on those charts I had eliminated 1972, ’73 and ’74 as possibilities for consideration.  However, there was much music I liked that occured during those years that did not appear on the charts, much of it by artists like The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald and of course Steely Dan.  There is something – or rather someone – that The Doobies and Steely Dan have in common:  Michael McDonald.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the proof:

Steely Dan with Michael McDonald: Pretzel Logic live

The Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald: Minute by Minute live (note – long intro skip ahead to 2:20)

OK, there’s the appetizer.  Main course right below – scroll down!

Music Friday – Deep In The Weeds (Entree) Edition

Music Friday – Deep In The Weeds (Entree) Edition

I said deep in the WEEDS, not deep in the weed.

Here is Donald Fagen, one of the founders of Steely Dan talking about the composition of one of their songs, Chain Lightning.  He goes way, way way into detail.  One of the reasons why Steely Dan is so popular among musicians is that there is really some craft that goes into their “meaningless” songs.  There is some “there” there if you know where to look for it – kind of like an inside joke.  Take a listen:

Now just the song without the lecture.

Oh yeah.  Don’t bother to understand…don’t question the little man…be part of the brotherhood.

Chain Lightnin’…Feels So Good.  How did you like your meat ‘n potatoes?  Dessert’s next.

Music Friday – Existential Question (dessert) Edition

Music Friday – Existential Question (dessert) Edition

How do the fools survive?  Who’s asking?  And just who are those fools?  Like any good dessert, a little sweet and a little tart.  And not too heavy.

“I hand them this life, to do what they will.  They got to make their way from here…”  

Indeed.  We got to make our way.

Oh…and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (who is apparently some kind of genius) on the gee-tar.

Welcome New Readers

Welcome New Readers

If you are a new vistior here, welcome!

Let me give you a couple tips on how to get the maximum out of your time spent here.  Essentially this is my soap box, a forum to express my thoughts through writing.  My secondary goals are to entertain my readers, perhaps even to educate or inspire them as well.  For more background, click on “about” in the upper right hand corner.

The technical stuff:  the articles (or “posts”) are in chronological order – newest at the top and older below.  To the left of each title is the date the post was created.  The main page shows all the posts in all categories – if you want to narrow it down, click on a category in the list on the right and – voila!  Only posts in that category are displayed.  Also on the right hand sidebar are “recent posts” whaich are – you guessed it – the 5 most recent posts; and “popular posts” which are the posts that have received the most views in case you like to follow the crowd.  My recommendation?  Read everything.

Boromir meme

Within each post you will notice some text in red.  These are links to additional information.  Click on the red text and a new tab will open taking you to an article, a wikipedia page, a song or something that supports or relates to the material I am writing about.  Try it – click on this link and see where it takes you.

Most pictures within posts can be enlarged by clicking on them.

And – the blog is interactive.  That’s right!  You can participate by leaving a comment or comments on each post by clicking the “comments” button on the left under the date.  All comments are moderated (that means I have to approve them before they are published) so I will see your comment.  And so will the rest of the world if I approve it.

So – happy reading!  And enjoy!

Music Friday – In Search Of A Theme Edition

Music Friday – In Search Of A Theme Edition

When I do a Music Friday post I usually like to give it some sort of theme.  I had a little trouble this week because as I write this it is 5:10 AM and I am not at my – shall we say – sharpest.  But I have nothing to lose, so here goes.

OK, coffee’s kicking in now.

The whole Music Friday theme itself came about kind of by accident.  I’ve always had a Music category on the blog from day one, but it just so happened that a few weeks in a row when I posted about music it happened on Fridays.  Theme junkie that I am, Music Friday was born and the rest is history.  So where was I?  Oh yeah.  Searching for a theme.  Searching.  Searching.  If only…wait…I have an idea.

Here’s one everybody knows;  Artist: Chicago

Here’s one some of you might know;  Artist:George Benson

Here’s one you should know;  Artist: Average White Band

Finally;  Who the heck is Lasgo?

Whew!  that was close, but I knew I’d find a theme if I searched long enough.  Thanks for watching, listening and reading.  I have to go now in search of a paycheck.  Have a great weekend!

 

Music Friday – All Cats Edition

Music Friday – All Cats Edition

It’s Friday and you know what that means.  That’s right.  Songs with “Cat” in the title.  What?   You were expecting BillBoard Hot 100 1976 through…?

According to Alaska Jim this is the list of songs with cat (or some form of “cat” i.e. lion or tiger) in the title.  And, no, I have no idea who Alaska Jim is other than the fact he has a list of cat titles on a website that I found by googling “songs about cats”.  But anyway, thanks Jim.

Some of these you’d know if you gave it a minute’s thought.  Others you have never heard of.

Let the fun begin!

I’ll start off with the obvious choice – the song and the name of the group both have “cat” in the title:

Here’s another you’ve heard many times:

Here’s a fun one from a movie with the same title:

Now let’s get a little obscure (unless you are a Lovin’ Spoonful fan):

Finally, a song that is seared into my memory due to the fact that it played in heavy rotation on KRAK radio in 1965:

Tiger by the tail indeed.  Dedicated to cat lovers everywhere.  Some more than others.  Welp, time to go to work.  Hope you enjoyed these.  Have a great weekend!

My “Peak Music Year” Project – Conclusion

My “Peak Music Year” Project – Conclusion

Regular readers of this blog know that some months ago I undertook a project to determine my “peak music year”.  I arbitrarily and capriciously devised a method that I would use to make this determination.  I decided to examine the BillBoard Hot 100 chart for the years 1965 through 1975, determine a “winner” for each year and then pick a favorite from the winners and declare the year that my favorite won to be my “Peak Music Year”.  Now I have finished that process and it’s time to reveal my conclusion and declare my Peak Music Year.

Here are the “winners” of the BillBoard Hot 100 for the relevant years (you can click on the year to read my post summarizing the chart for that year and how I declared the winner):

1965:  The Beatles (five #1 songs)

1966:  The Beatles (two #1 songs)

1967:  The Beatles (three #1 songs)

1968:  The Beatles (two songs, a total of eleven weeks at #1)

1969:  The Beatles (two songs, a total of six weeks at #1)

1970:  The Jackson 5 (Four #1 songs)

1971:  Three Dog Night (Six weeks at #1)

1972:  Disqualified – I declared No Winner

1973:  Disqualified – I declared No Winner

1974:  Disqualified – I declared No Winner

1975:  Elton John (three #1 songs)

So…my favorite among the winners?  Duh.  The Beatles.  That makes my peak music year…what….the 1960’s?  Crap.  OK, while the Beatles are my favorite group among these “winners”, they are not my favorite group of all time.  So there was obviously a flaw in my format.  In reviewing my summaries I would have to say that the year I was most enthusiastic about was 1969, even though the two Beatles tunes that earned them their “win” that year are not even my favorite Beatles songs.  On the other hand, of the seventeen songs that reached #1 that year, I liked (and still like) fifteen of them.  So is 1969 my peak music year?  It is true that there was a lot of great music that year, and I liked and still like a lot of it.

But I also listened to a lot of music  in 1972, ’73 and ’74, years that I disqualified as my peak music year because the BillBoard Hot 100 chart yielded no winner for me.  A lot of the progressive music I listened to during those years was anti commercial and the artists probably would have been insulted if their songs charted on the Hot 100.  Groups like Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and The Alan Parsons Project.  And even though the band that is most likely my favorite of all time, Steely Dan, was (is?) not an alternative group, and they did have significant commercial success, their successes came later than 1975.  I can only conclude that the BillBoard Hot 100 was not the appropriate database to use for purposes of determining my peak music year.  Also the only conclusion I can draw from my little exercise is that 1969 was my Peak BillBoard Hot 100 music year, and a good music year overall for me.

After having reached this wishy washy conclusion to the project, I present two songs related to the year 1969:

First, The Beatles (featuring honorary 5th Beatle, Billy Preston) with one of their #1’s from that year, Get Back:

Next, Steely Dan with a song that was written in 1969, The Caves Of Altamira:

Thanks for reading and sticking with it.  This, however, will not be my final word on my Peak Music Year.

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