Categories
Memories music vinyl

On A Quest For What Sets Me On Fire

Sorry folks. It’s been a long time since my last post. So many things happened in 2020. We all have experienced Covid in some way. I went through that as well as getting a hip replaced. I had my struggles and through music I survived the recovery. 

pile of 45 RPM vinyl records used A pile of 45 RPM vinyl records used and dirty even if in good condition Record - Analog Audio Stock Photo

Taking a trip down memory lane is what I’m currently doing. Specifically I am on a search for two 45s. I collect records so that’s what I am referring to. But these two tiny little records mean a lot to me. When I was a kid I had a fisher price record or something slightly better. I can’t remember. But I did come across many records as a kid. Ones my parents had in their collections and ones I actually bought from a record store with allowance money. 

One of them was by Bruce Springsteen. The single was “I’m on fire.” I played that one many times during my elementary school years. There was just something nostalgic about playing that song over and over again. The other 45 was by Madonna. Her single was “Crazy For You.” I believe the song was featured in the movie VisionQuest. However, that isn’t how I first heard it. Probably was just on the radio. It was either at a Sam goodie or even a Kmart where I came across these two tiny little records. I don’t remember what the B sides were but I’ll look that up and post it in the comments below. 

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SOUTH AFRICA PS SINGLE I'M ON FIRE | eBay

During the course of life things come and go. I have no idea what happened to those records but they vanished from my existence. But those two meant the most to me and now I’m on the hunt to replace them. Sure I could probably go online and purchase them for a lot of money but I would rather just go into various record stores and fish through the 45s until I find them. I love scavenger hunts and the journey itself is the most fun. Sure I can play those songs on my iPhone or go on YouTube or whatever but to have two physical copies in my possession again will be pretty sweet. 

Being 10 years old and hearing those two songs on my little record player just worked its magic into my brain and provided peace and comfort to my ears. 

So I ask my blog readers what their favorite vinyl treasures are. There are lots of them out there. Just curious what everyone else is searching for or holds near and dear to them from their childhood. After all these months this is what I have chosen to write about here at my website. Thanks for reading and always listen to music.

45cat - Madonna - Crazy For You / No More Words - Geffen - USA - 7-29051
Categories
Playlists

My Desert Island Playlist

I did it everyone! I truly picked my desert island songs. I spent days with this. I disciplined myself to only pick 10 songs. I kinda want everyone to listen to these songs in this exact order. Makes me cry actually. It’s the end of the world. I’ve escaped to an island and could only download 10 songs into my brain. These are the songs:

  1. Dark Star by The Grateful Dead (From the Live/Dead album)
  2. Seasons by Chris Cornell (From the Singles soundtrack)
  3. Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd (From Wish You Were Here album)
  4. Right Turn by Alice In Chains (from SAP ep)
  5. A Day In The Life by The Beatles (From Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album)
  6. Starla by The Smashing Pumpkins (From Pisces Iscariot B-Sides album)
  7. Pneuma by Tool (From Fear Inoculum album)
  8. Coney Island Baby by Lou Reed (Title Track)
  9. Into Dust by Mazzy Star (From So Tonight That I Might See album)
  10. Release by Pearl Jam (From Ten album)

These tracks all have special meanings for me. Bands I love and songs I obsess over.

Now I invite you to list your 10 desert island songs below in the comments.

Categories
Uncategorized

Complaints and Grievances Part 1

It goes without saying that MUSIC is my escape and my obsession. When things suck in my life, I turn to music. Lately my stress at work has been elevated. People are grouchy and mean. Everything is NOW NOW NOW! Today was seriously an overwhelming day at work. Social distancing, major construction, repaving the driveways and parking lots, raining/snowing, truck deliveries getting re-routed to outer space and then my department is shorthanded. My supervisor has no compassion or a soul for that matter. I think that’s all. I got a bottle of wine waiting at home. But I also have music by my side.

Then I start worrying about things in my personal life. Do my obsessions take over my life. Am I a good father? Do I live up to the responsibilities of a good husband. Do I pray enough? Perhaps I eat too much junk food? Do I bother people on social media. I think I text too much. What is love? Do I wear my heart on my sleeve too loudly? I believe that I am a good person. My time on this planet is short. I just want to make the most of it.

I need a new playlist. Open to suggestions. This playlist is intended to comfort me in these hours of darkness and melancholy. But I am lost for words and ideas. Uninspired and drifting through my days lately. Laughter has always been a part of my personality. Humor gets me through my days just as much as music does. But I cannot help but just feel sad sometimes. A lot of people don’t appreciate me. Some do. I acknowledge them. They are great.

I wish I could stop dwelling on the things I don’t have. My impatience takes over me. I get over excited about people and things in my life. I don’t even know the point of this ramble.

So now I’m going to use this time to reflect a little bit and once again look into my past. I miss my family and all of our gatherings. From simple visits to grandma and grandpa’s house to long drives to Florida or to New York. I miss all of the birthday parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I loved watching my cousins grow up and making them all laugh when I danced with Santa Claus. I miss my friends from high school and college.

You know who you are. I thought something like Facebook was going to bring us together forever but life happens no matter what kind of social media comes along because we are not in control of our lives anymore. We have to adapt and we have to go wherever the tide takes us. We can surely make choices and we are entitled to our feelings. But the reality is, things burn and they crumble and rust, whether we want them to or not. Ships sink to the bottom of the ocean.

We enjoy the museums to appreciate the relics of our past. People die. Life is precious and we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Look around you. Look at the sun. Embrace the sky. Take a walk while you still can. It’s important to cherish our lives now while we are living them. New families are created and new friends are formed. I am trying to face myself in the mirror and confront my feelings because I have suffered writers block for sometime now.

Once in a great while a creative bubble forms but I am out of the flow. I have endured a great many obstacles in my life. But of course everybody that I know in my life has also endured a lot of pain and suffering as well. Proving once again that we are not alone in this great universe. And now……in my trembling hands with my head shaking in my parked car while listening to the song “Everybody Wants To Rule the World” by Tears for Fears and looking at the railroad tracks and dead trees behind them, I am speaking to everyone in my life (then and now) and I want to give everyone a big hug but I can’t because we are all under house arrest.

So hopefully we can get back to that before the world turns upside down because otherwise I guess it’s been nice knowing you. However, my faith and sense of humor are both strong and it may take a long long time to rebuild this nation. Maybe something really really scary like this has to happen so that everybody could just wake the fuck up!

Music is healing. The songs in my ears are healing. I am always on a quest searching for more songs to capture my world and encompass my feelings. Maybe someone will read this. Otherwise, I hope to gather a bunch of songs and use them for solace and an escape. Ahhh now I breath.

And now I Drop the Mic 🎤

Categories
music

Social Distancing Brings Music Friends Together

Lately, I have been thinking about the 80’s and 90’s. Well, mix tape songs in general. I have had many types of the Walkman allowing me to hear hundreds of cassette tapes in my life. Music has tagged along with me over the years while riding my bike, delivering newspapers, mowing the lawn, taking walks around the block or driving to the store.

I remember buying albums on cassette tapes. That was a lot of fun. Nothing was as cool as buying blank tapes and recording tunes onto them in order to make your own mix of songs you felt like hearing. I mostly did this for myself. In the middle to late 90’s specifically, I made them for car rides and for friends to check out. I would record songs off the radio (commercials included) and mix it all up for pure fun and enjoyment.

Then there was the dating period of making those “crush” mixes and summer love feelings. “Break up” and “I hate you” mixes would soon follow. But it is amazing how we can be our own DJ’s to express wonderful and sad emotions.

Some of my mixes were themed and others just purely mood driven. Perhaps, this is all just a passing phase but I am in a really good mood right now!!!

I like to put these same songs from the mix tapes onto playlists. Listening to them on my iPhone nowadays bring back some awesome memories that can be surprising! It’s like transporting back in time.

Back in the day, these tapes were a mandatory way to communicate how you felt about others and yourself at the time you compiled these track arrangements.

In this day and age, it’s all about playlists. I have made another hundred playlists for all of the same reasons. But recently, I found myself bored with the process a little bit and wanted to connect with someone and trade music ideas and playlists in a different way.

I casually spoke to some people in the music groups I belonged to on Facebook. They were merely music acquaintances. One of these members just happened to ask a random question one day saying that she wanted to follow others on Apple Music and get inspired. I saw that as an opportunity. We followed each other. I sent her a message. “Do you want to create a playlist with me? I’ll choose the opening track. Then we’ll spin off of it one track at a time per person. Make sense?”

Niki (her name) agreed and loved the idea. She thought it was great! Making a mix together sounded so cool to her. We gradually began to learn so much about one another while collaborating on several playlists. Both of us are good at determining track orders and how they should flow. We created some cool themes and moods. Not always on purpose.

Our themes have included songs you can drive fast to, songs about youth and spirituality, punks, cheerleaders, rebels, Gothic worlds, storms, wolves, ghosts and the list goes on and on. The two of us are friends now. Thanks to music, our lives got better the day we met during this scary time in the world. With social distancing going on, it feels like I am far away from all of my friends and family members. However, when you share something passionate with someone and can connect on another level, that distance can really bring you so much closer to that person.

Both Niki and I have suffered traumatic brain injuries. She learned about my brain surgery, my struggles with ADHD and my hip issues. I learned about her stroke, her challenge with severe memory loss and how she struggles to still paint and draw (among other works of art). We simply were destined to be friends and it literally came out of the clear blue.

NIKI

As I mentioned earlier, we found one another in a Tool (music group) site on Facebook. Which was so weird because I only joined that group to talk about their new album. Unfortunately, the group failed to impress me and I felt out of place. I almost quit the group. Niki, a fellow Gemini, was the only one who stood out from everyone because she was positive, inspirational and had uplifting energy.

The appreciation of friendship is shared. This musical experience has made us both happy. Being able to send songs to each other without judgement is a good feeling. Nothing is weird or inappropriate. It’s wonderful to be able to relate to someone where kindness prevails.

In the end, I realized how good we have it in life. Each day is a blessing. These playlists and our conversations allowed me to reflect on life. Music is a universal language and clearly can bring people together. In these troubled times, its great to connect and share a bond.

I invite others to do the same. Take your passion and reach out. Connect to people. Don’t let this quarantine situation scare or depress you. Trust your instincts. There are folks out there looking for a friend like you. If you have stories similar to this one, I invite you to share them in the comments below. Peace, Love and Music. Thanks.

Categories
music podcast

Getting to know Lucy Lux of Apocalypstick! #music #punk #DJ #Podcast #obscure #soundcloud

This girl is a genius

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Over 12 years ago I was surfing the net and stumbled upon a website called GaragePunk.com. Fascinating stuff, let me tell you. A lot of podcast links were all over the place with a lot of cool comic artwork and interviews as well. The purpose of the site was to find ways of exposing great stuff to innocent listeners who have never heard of this sort of obscure music. They’re the hidden gems of creativity. A lot of folks do not seek this kind of stuff out. So what kind of stuff you might ask?

Stripped down guitars and drums providing an escape from the troubles of the real world. I like my music rough and loud but I also like it silly and unpredictable.

The show I want to discuss is called Apocalypstick! Lucy Lux is your radio hostess! She “spits out greasy, sleazy, cheesy rock n roll trash that’ll make all of your fantasy dreams come true!” So let’s get on with the exciting news here! She has a sultry voice that seduces you and sucks you right into her crazy world of love potion music and sexploitation sound bites. There are samples from bizarre commercials, tv shows and grindhouse flicks from the 1970’s. But the music and her spiels are truly dynamite.

It’s more than just a podcast. It’s a custom made radio program special. Each episode has that pizazz to it that makes you want to cuddle up by the fireplace with your warm blanket and maybe pour a glass of wine and experience something nostalgic and special like you would back in the old time radio days. It’s a delicious novelty!

I thought that her show permanently came to an end since 2010. For the last 9 years I could no longer find it in my iTunes library. That is until……I suddenly heard from her

Lucy Lux (real name….Maya Luz) happens to be a fashion designer who once appeared on the series Project Runway. I recently interviewed her about that, her show and other interests. She actually approached me one day out of the clear blue.

Here is how it went down!

Maya: “Hi Chris! I logged into my Etsy after not looking at it for years and saw a message from you on there looking for Apocalypstick! If you still would like to find the archive episodes, there are all here on Soundcloud.com Hope you enjoy! I still produce them so be on the listen for new ones!”  https://soundcloud.com/apocalypstick_lucylux

Chris: “That’s so awesome! I don’t even remember when I left you a message on Etsy. Must’ve been a long time ago. Ha ha. I always loved your show, music and the way you mixed in scenes from old commercials and movies. You have a natural radio voice.”

Maya: “Ha yea i haven’t logged in there for a long time but i think it was like in 2016. Yes, it [podcasting] is such a fun hobby. Always collecting bits for it, and it’s just a matter of stringing it together. It’s so fun.”

C: So I meant to ask, how did the Project Runway show work out?

M: Yea I mean it was a very interesting experience and helped in a lot of ways. I was also just a baby. That was 10 years ago too, amazingly.

C: That puts your life in perspective. Life is a learning experience.

M: It totally is and very fun. At least I try to make it so!

C: For my readers who have never heard your podcast, please explain your style in 5 words:

M: Silly -Bombastic -Obscure -Sassy -Throwback

C: If I was to turn on your ipod or iphone right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

M: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard -The Lijadu Sisters – Witch -Dr. John ‘I Walk on Gilded Splinters’ -The Real Kids ‘Common At Noon’

C: If you could go to a club or concert hall to see any artist on tour right now who would it be?

M: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard -Sheer Mag -Jeffrey Lewis and The Voltage

C: So, what’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?

M: Designing bags and accessories for women and sketching/making things. Visiting galleries and museums and seeing art and designs up close and personal. I also love to watch arthouse films and thrillers and getting in the zone of a director. Definitely one of those people that likes getting a pizza after the movie to talk about the script!

C: Ok one more question. You write your own shows right? Where do you draw inspiration from when you gather your clips and bits and pieces from and what’s your favorite part about the proccess?

M: I write, edit and produce all shows; inspiration can come from anywhere, something I hear someone say, a frank statement from a film that catches my ear, or an old saying from English history that sounds funny. Sometimes holidays are a good place to draw from, to turn a hallmark moment into a parody and have fun with it. The idea is to bring into light amazing tracks that might be missed otherwise. My favorite part is engineering the pieces together like one big collage to make a story of sort, with little hidden messages along the way, only to be discovered by a keen ear!

I thanked her for her time letting me ask these questions and putting this blog entry together. We are still in touch as friends on facebook messenger. She’s always sending me updates on new episodes. Below is a link to one of my personal favs.

Peace out!

Categories
Album Reviews music

The Year of Tool

This is my one and only Tool post: I have been a hard core fan of the band for 26 years. I absolutely love all of their recordings. I saw them live 4 times. I’ve worn their t shirts and hung up posters. Pink Floyd is my favorite band of all time. But Tool is a close second.

Am I biased? Hell yes! 😂 However, as much as I would like to complain and whine about their newest record after 13 years and say it was a disappointment, I cannot do that whatsoever because it’s an absolute masterpiece!!!

It really is! It’s their most mature album yet. It’s complicated and intense. The drumming is out of this world! Danny really shines! Justin’s bass and Adam’s guitar both are technically so genius and precisely amazing and exactly perfect. It surpassed my expectations by miles.

Maynard’s vocals were added later after the music was laid down. His approach is astonishing. As always his contribution is the icing on the cake or the cherry on top. He has matured so much over the years.

This album pays homage to all their previous works and is so current and relevant today. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: this album is a 5 star classic and could very well be their greatest album ever and is not only their crowning achievement but might actually be their swan song. What a way to please us die hard fans. Wow!!!⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Categories
Album Reviews artists Battle podcast

Time to get the HEAVY METAL out!!!

 

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Hello Metalheads!!!

I have a group page called Music Obsessed on Facebook. I am working on an upcoming tournament bracket that will be featuring Heavy Metal as it’s sole subject.

I did a lot of research on this subject. Perhaps too much research. Anyways, during the first week of February I plan to unveil this painstaking but amazing tournament. A battle of the bands and their fine albums. A challenge to the death! But you can only participate at my group page.

PLEASE JOIN HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1107470339429595/?ref=share

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Be warned! I am going to be fair and honest with my criteria. I will cover as many sub-genres as I can that are related to the progression of the sound. 

My criteria will include only one album per artist and it will move forward from the late 1960’s and well into the 2000’s.

I gathered research from chart standings, various podcasts and artists popularity over the years as well as various critic reviews and my own experience & knowledge. I’m hoping it will be an awesome experience. 

This will begin during the first full week of February. I will post the individual charts here as well as on my Facebook page. 

Stay Tuned

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Categories
One Hit Wonders

A Bracket Tournament To Kick Off The New Year

Searching for the greatest one hit wonder from the 90’s is my quest.

I assembled a 64 song bracket tournament for all of you “music of the 90’s” fans out there!

I have decided to spread the top 64 songs into four groups

 

I have paired the seeds. Now you pick your favorites. The deadline is every Friday night starting January 11th. To participate, please join my facebook group. See below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1107470339429595/

GROUP ONE

1 Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve

VS

16 Macarena, Los del Rio

 

8 Stay, Lisa Loeb

VS

9 She’s So High, Tal Bachman

 

5 What’s Up, 4 Non Blondes

VS

12 Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…),Lou Bega

 

4 All I Want, Toad The Wet Sprocket

VS

13 Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinéad O’Connor

 

3 One Of Us, Joan Osborne

VS

14 Bad Boys, Inner Circle 

 

6 LoveFool, Cardigans

VS

11 Torn, Natalie Imbruglia

 

7 Humpty Dance, Digital 

Underground

VS

10 Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik 

 

2 Right Here, Right Now, Jesus Jones

VS

15 Life Is A Highway, Tom Cochrane

GROUP TWO

 

 

1 Groove Is In The Heart, Deee-Lite

VS

16 Cotton Eye Joe, Rednex

 

8 My Own Worst Enemy, Lit

VS

9 Sucked Out, Superdrag

 

5 Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-A-Lot

VS

12 I Touch Myself, Divinyls

 

4 Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice

VS

13 Your Woman, White Town

 

3 Jump Around, House of Pain

VS

14 Blue (Da Ba Dee), Eiffel 65

 

6 Save Tonight, Eagle-Eye Cherry

VS

11 How Bizarre, OMC

 

7 Bound For The Floor, Local H

VS

10 Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),

 

2 In The Meantime, Spacehog

VS

15 What Is Love, Haddaway

GROUP THREE

1 No Rain, Blind Melon

VS

16 Unbelievable, EMF

 

8 Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, Crash Test Dummies

VS

9 MMMBop, Hanson

 

5 Good, Better Than Ezra

VS

12 Closer To Free, BoDeans

 

4 Cannonball, The Breeders

VS

13 Steal My Sunshine, Len

 

3 You Get What You Give, New Radicals

VS

14 Bitch, Meredith Brooks

 

6 Laid, James

VS

11 Connection, Elastica

 

7 Sunny Came Home, Shawn Colvin

VS

10 All For You, Sister Hazel

 

2 The Way, Fastball

VS

15 Closing Time, Semisonic

GROUP FOUR

 

1 Counting Blue Cars, Dishwalla

VS

16 Barbie Girl, Aqua

 

8 Criminal, Fiona Apple

VS

9 Flagpole Sitta, Harvey Danger

 

5 Sex And Candy, Marcy Playground

VS

12 I’m gonna be (500 miles), The Proclaimers

 

4 Walking in Memphis, Mark Cohn

VS

13 The Freshmen, The Verve Pipe

 

3 Black Velvet, Alannah Miles

VS

14 Insane In The Brain, Cypress Hill

 

6 Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Deep Blue Something

VS

11 Tubthumping, Chumbawumba

 

7 Fade Into You, Mazzy Star

VS

10 Inside Out, Eve 6

 

2 Possum Kingdom, Toadies

VS

15 I’m Too Sexy, Right Said Fred

Happy voting.

Remember to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1107470339429595/

 

 

Categories
Concerts Uncategorized

A Large Slice of My Favorite Pumpkin Pie

                                                              “Shiny and Oh So Bright

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This type of imagery occurred a lot on stage

On Monday, August 13 my friend and I went to see the rock band, The Smashing Pumpkins at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. They were touring this year in celebration of their 30th anniversary as a band. There has been so much personal drama surrounding this music group ever since the mid-1990s.

 

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Taken in the early 1990’s with D’arcy on the far left

The drummer (Chamberlain) gets fired from them in 1996 because of involvement with drugs and the death of a former keyboard player but then later returns. Their bass player (D’Arcy) is fired and permanently replaced in 2000. But I know one thing is for sure, the music sounds great in the studio and live.

I think Smashing Pumpkins were one of the greatest rock bands of the 1990’s, easily.

Billy Corgan has been one of my favorite guitarists. His work on the studio albums Gish, Siamese Dream and even Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) is brilliant, layering guitar upon guitar with brilliant riffs and awesome solos.

His lyrics are often depressed and angry, but they show hope and beauty too. Lyrics aren’t usually as important to me as music, but Billy Corgan writes good ones, in my opinion. For a rock star, he surprises me with that kind of songwriting talent.

When I first got into the Pumpkins back in 1991, I didn’t like Billy Corgan’s voice that much, but I grew to really appreciate it. The wall of sound created by Billy Corgan’s guitars combined with his original voice and songwriting is also backed up by the experienced drumming of Jimmy Chamberlain. He used to be in a jazz band apparently, and the guy definitely knows what he’s doing.

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James Iha and D’arcy are respectively great rhythm and bass guitarists as well but they are unfortunately known more for their live contributions because Billy tended to prefer taking over in the studio. This was always the one controversial fact about the pumpkins.

But to see them live again for the first time since the fall of 96 was absolutely mind-blowing. This show lasted way past 3 hours but contained about 31 songs that spanned highlights from all of their studio albums. There were montage videos (D’arcy was unfortunately edited from some of the classic videos), bright and shiny lasers and colored spotlights that enhanced the already intense amplified sounds of guitars and drums just charging at you like a rocket!

I was quite satisfied seeing them again. This show was way better than the one I saw over 20 years ago. Much cleaner, tighter and I finally got to hear Jimmy’s fantastic and spot-on drumming since the last time I saw them, he was temporarily replaced by the drummer from the alternative band Filter. Yes there was no D’arcy but I’ll settle for 75% of the band.

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Recent photo of the band. Obviously no signs of D’arcy but instead we have Jack Bates on the far right

Even on a Monday night with a wife and kid back at home and with my impending daily job still waiting for me at 8:00 am the next day, the wild and crazy concert was worth it.

Categories
Album Reviews Concerts Poetry

A Poem Followed by a “CD/TAPE” Choice

deadhead

THE DAY AFTER THE DEAD SHOW

madness, i was submerged in it
buses, vans
dancing girls in long brown dresses
starry eyed folks selling shirts
books, shrooms
“fungus?” they’d say
“want some brownies?” he yelled
“Got any blow?” she wandered

Volkswagen vans
tents and balloons
music won’t start for awhile
“the stage collapsed, there was a storm!”
i guess, they said Jerry’s spirit was truly alive!
venue after venue
grill to grill
in the open field

port-a-johns and water bottles
i found the experience
seeing the magic in everyone’s eyes
lots of walking and talking
you’re cool on top of the hill
listening to Robert Hunter off in the distance
reading his poetic words
talking to strangers

it’s the world’s biggest tailgate party
before the show even starts
Dylan packs a punch…he delivers
his raw but honest voice
roaring    piano    guitars
“Hard Rain Gonna Fall”
“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”
twisted a bit and thrown out with an edge

powerful sound    truly great

break

time for lemonade and pretzels
mustard and a t shirt purchase

they come out
crowd roars afoot
jamming right into it
as if 30 years never went by
“Let The Good Times Roll”
it begins
jams galore!
“St Stephen…Dark Star…Not Fade Away
The Other Ones”

new and old
two sets
thousands of balloons
crazy drums
“Sugaree” (a big hit)

i left early to beat the crowds
bought a copy of the show later on my computer
it was a soundboard recording of The Dead

then I listened to it
…one more time

 

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LIVE “CD/TAPE” CHOICE

I own several of the Grateful Dead Dick’s Picks series, and I must say with most certainty that Volume 8 is my favorite. It was recorded at a little known college in New York in 1970, when they had their best lineup, IMHO. Pigpen was still there in his prime. He was one of their best keyboardists.

This gig opens up with an awesome acoustic set featuring exquisite versions of some Dead classics that you don’t hear much. (“Don’t Ease Me In”, “I Know You Rider”, “Dire Wolf”, “Black Peter”, and “Deep Elem Blues” are some real treasures here.

For the folks only familiar with popular Dead songs, cool versions of “Friend of the Devil” and “Uncle John’s Band” are included in this fine show. This first set is almost flawless – rarely will you hear the Dead this on-target and synchronized.

There is some tuning issues and bantering but i like it raw. But that’s not all, they come back on the second disc with almost 40 minutes of Cryptical Envelopment which starts off with St. Stephen, some Drums and of course, The Other One and finally concludes with Cosmic Charlie.

They follow that little marathon with the most supreme version of Casey Jones that I have ever heard before. On the third and best disc, Pigpen steals the show with his nice blues-version of a James Brown hit, “It’s A Man’s World.” It goes on for almost ten minutes. A really groovy version of “Morning Dew” follows (but I don’t think I have ever heard a bad version of this song)

The spotlight of this disc and the whole show is the glistening “Viola Lee Blues” that rises to not one, not two, but three peaks in an acid rush sense. Then eases down with a rather lengthy version of “We Bid You Goodnight” – most likely because the crowd just won’t let them leave. But after hearing this show, you’ll understand why.

If you even kinda like the Dead, then I totally suggest you hear this live show. I own lots of Dead, but this one gets played more than any of them. It shows them at their absolute most versatile. This is some of the best music you’ll ever dig. But of course it’s only my opinion.

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