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.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Pat Kenneavy and Chris Noe, people smiling

Categories
Album Reviews Concerts Poetry

A Poem Followed by a “CD/TAPE” Choice

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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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Categories
Album Reviews Concerts Uncategorized

The Beating Pulse of Music

The Story of My Pulse With Pink Floyd

Well I don’t know where to begin with the babble on Pink Floyd. I absolutely love this band. Ever since I was a kid in the 80’s, I was exposed to them. My dad played the records and I was awakened from whatever slumber I was trapped inside when I listened to their music. I just want to thank my father for opening up my mind to great music. We didn’t always have a lot of common ground but it was the notes coming from David Gilmour’s Fender Stratocaster that could potentially bring us both to tears. Any time the two of us took a drive in his pickup truck, it was almost a certainty that the band Pink Floyd would be emitting from the car stereo. Ever since I was about 10 years old; I UNDERSTOOD this unique, abstract, bizarre, spacey and progressive rock band. I was hooked.

Then just before I went into college, the 2 of us went to Soldier Field in Chicago and saw Pink Floyd perform one of their last live concerts ever! It was quite an awesome experience. In the summer of 1994, my dad surprised me and bought 2 tickets for us to go see Pink Floyd live. It was my first concert ever. I was 18 years old. I was so pumped. The band takes the stage. I am among a crowd of 50,000 people with my dad screaming and shouting. I have never been to a rock show as awesome as that one in my entire life…been chasing that high for 24 years…my dad raised the bar right out of the gate. I still have my ticket stub and I bought a T Shirt.

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For me, the band became an obsession of mine. I never could ONLY be a casual observer and listener. “Another Brick In The Wall,” was my first encounter with the Floyd. Mom would take me to the grocery store with her when I was a small boy. I was probably five years old when I kept hearing that song on the radio. My imagination was quite vivid at that age of my youth. Sometimes you like what you are hearing without quite being aware of the meaning or having a complete understanding of its lyrics, structure and relevance to your own life

In high school, my dad bought this awesome Pink Floyd Box Set. When I gazed upon the cover, with nude figures soaring above the water, I surrendered to the abstract art which definitely made an enormous impression on me. 8 compact discs inside the box. A large book with stories, pictures, track listings and lyrics captivated my interest for several weeks. After school homework and on dull weekends as a teenager, I would gravitate towards the magic of Pink Floyd. The 8 cds consisted of 7 albums and a bonus cd from the early days when a man named Syd Barrett was their lead guitarist and singer. The others were chosen as highlights that represented the “FLOYD SOUND.”

A Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and Animals were the chosen ones for this box set. My father loved this kind of stuff! He was big into bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, CSNY and many others. But when it came to this artistic and experimental music from these four obscure British musicians, it was a whole new ball of wax. Moods were created. The atmosphere has that imagery of a street alley corner, an abandoned mountain peak, being lost in the desert and being inside a warm room looking outside at the cold neighborhood sort of feeling. Getting lost into that PINK noise.

Sometimes atmospheres and moods are hard to describe in detail. When I hear Roger Waters’ lyrics come to life in these Rock Operas, like THE WALL, I am left speechless because suddenly I have insane images in my head of worms, naked women in bathtubs, hammers marching, kids staring at airplanes up in the sky and getting thrown into a meat grinder by disgruntled teachers. The same holds true to all of their albums.

My dad and I would get into really long philosophical conversations about these guys, the meanings behind their politically charged and surreal lyrics and the imagination that they yielded. We would be working in the yard, painting the family room, or he would be helping me with my homework and have these awesome songs in the background.

While I was in college a couple of noteworthy things took place. One was that my dad met someone online that had a cassette tape of the Chicago performance we were at. It was a bootleg copy but still pretty cool. I swear there’s a part during the encore that I can hear my dad’s voice but one can only imagine. The second thing that happened was on Pay Per View, they were televising a live Pink Floyd concert during that “Pulse” tour. This guy paid for it and then charged everyone 5 bucks to hang out in his dorm room and watch the show. Some folks were tripping and others were stoned but everyone was having a good time.

Then came PULSE the CD in the summer of 1995. This live double disc set had a battery operated blinking light attached to the case to represent a pulse. The artwork on the packaging was stunning. Picture attached. Sound wise, it was a good representation of the music they played on the same tour as when we saw them. The only real difference was the second disc contained all of Dark Side of The Moon (they did not play all of the songs from this album at the show we were at). The encore was the same with “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell.”

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PULSE is definitely on my list of favorite live albums. It takes me back to a memory of that experience where Mr Sight and Mr Sound hung out and played for two hours. They eventually released a DVD set for PULSE complete with special footage and awesome art. While I enjoy the live in Pompeii experience or the numerous other live recordings from the Wish You Were Here tour or even the mighty The Wall one, I still LOVE the PULSE double CD set most because it directly ties me to my experience going to see the band live.

Pink Floyd was always about the concept of Sight and Sound blending together. I think that folks who enjoy SOME of Pink Floyd’s music and not much of the more EXPERIMENTAL stuff should honestly hangout with my dad and I more often. It’s like unraveling a mystery. Solving a puzzle within an enigma. Exploring symbols, metaphors and digging deeper is part of the fun. There’s more to this music than what lies on the surface. Anyways, PULSE is so great because it’s extremely enjoyable and it isn’t really an acquired taste. Once you hear it then it becomes this emotional transposition from just appreciating their works to totally submerging yourself into the true genius behind David and the gang.

I owe it all to my dad! He solidified his coolness with me. Props to you papa! Shine On. I’m glad our special bond is timeless……

C-Note

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Categories
Memories

The Doors In Concert

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I know…it’s been a LONG time since I have posted here. My wife and I had a baby boy in October of last year. So I’ve been a little busy, to say the least. But anyway, I am still obsessed with music, more than ever. It’s what keeps me sane. So for my new post and possibly a weekly series, I will discuss my favorite LIVE albums and why? I plan to share the stories about what got me into them and memories I have associated with these discoveries. This could be fun, I think. So let’s kick things off now with “The Doors In Concert.”

My first selection comes from 1991 when I was a sophomore in High School. There are many offerings from The Doors but I wanted to focus on my first experience hearing them play live for the first time. This recording is an expanded version of “Absolutely Live”that came out in 1970. “Alive, She Cried“, from 1983 was basically merged with that record to create the double live album “The Doors In Concert.”

But before I get into this, I wanted to say that the first compact disc I ever bought was the soundtrack to the film The Doors directed by Oliver Stone and starring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. It was a great movie. The soundtrack was a really nice selection of Doors music that ultimately sparked my interest in the band.

My first experience with this live compilation was on the Chicago radio station 105.9 WCKG. This was a classic rock station. Air personalities included Mitch Michaels, Patti Haze, Allan Stagg, Joe Thomas and Debbie Alexander. On Sunday Nights, there was a program that was entitled, “The Seventh Day.” In the beginning the host (Joe Thomas I believe) would play album sides (A or B). Later he expanded it to entire albums. This was a vinyl record experience on the radio. He would play about 3 albums in a row. The program ran for about 3 hours every Sunday night.

One night they played The Doors In Concert. So in my fifteen year old mind I didn’t know of any other recordings other than the soundtrack I previously mentioned. Certainly nothing else live by them. This was definitely my first exposure to live Doors music. I would get fascinated when the DJ would tell us what was coming up soon. I would get my cassette tapes ready. I’d buy the tapes in advance or permanently borrow a couple from my dad. It was exciting loading them into the tape deck and prepare for something amazing. When he put on that double LP, I was really excited. So once things got kicked off, I hit record on the tape deck and just let the music play away.

This was well before the internet and iPhones or even the ability to borrow cds from the library. Back then, it was my way of listening to albums and recording them onto cassette tapes in order to keep hearing them over and over. Yes I come from a generation where we taped music off of the radio. Some really cool choice albums our radio disc jockey would play were: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Mr Thomas would also play The Beatles’ White Album, The Eagles’ Hotel California and Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida to name a few.

So I remembered I ended up filling up two cassette tapes back to back with the music. So it was two hours practically of The Doors. I still have the tapes from 27 years ago, which is pretty amazing. Some might say negative things about this double album. Things they might say would be that these performances were pieced together and was edited in such a way that these weren’t complete shows. But again, the mind of a fifteen year old doesn’t necessarily know that. He just hears cool live music with the audience cheering and commenting.  To me it just seemed pretty awesome. It was radical. It was rebellious. And in your face.  Kind of raw and yet polished.

But I realized that there were various shows from Pittsburgh, Boston, Vancouver and New York. Places like San Fransisco’s The Matrix and the Hollywood Bowl were all sources that they drew the music from. At the time I first heard this arrangement of music, none of that mattered. In fact, looking back on it now with this knowledge, I am amazed how great this was all pieced together to give it a nice flow. I enjoyed it very much. Not only did I hear it while it was playing on the radio but I also listened to it in my dad’s pick up truck while we were heading out to Wisconsin on a camping trip. We enjoyed listening to it together on the trip.

My exposure to them live was hearing the 1991  compilation. That’s just how I heard it the first time and got the most comfortable with in that form. But the music was great! I didn’t care that it was edited like crazy. Especially the version I heard which was longer than “Absolutely Live” or “Alive, She Cried.” It was a stroke of genius that it sounded so well and nearly flawless. It’s very accessible and really packed a punch. It doesn’t exactly sound butchered by any means. It’s amazing actually.

So if you like The Doors. The poetry of Jim Morrison and his unpredictable behavior and screaming and then yelling at the audience and then collapsing on stage combined with the guitars, drums and wild keyboards then you can’t go wrong with this very thorough live experience. Plus its one of the rare moments where we are treated to the complete rendition of the masterpiece poetic story of The Celebration of the Lizard. See the cassette tapes below? Those are mine from the 1991 recordings.

Anyways, this is just part one of many blog posts where I will discuss some of my most favorite LIVE albums. I hope you enjoyed the story. Please feel free to post comments. Peace out!

C-Note

 

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Categories
Playlists Top Ten of Ten

FUN Music Lists

My Top 10 Albums EVER
1. Pink Floyd….DSOTM
2. Beach Boys….Smile (2011 version)
3. Black Sabbath….Paranoid
4. Smashing Pumpkins….Siamese Dream
5. The Beatles….Revolver
6. Pink Floyd….Wish You Were Here
7. The Beatles….Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
8. David Bowie….The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
9. Pink Floyd….The Wall
10. Depeche Mode….Violator

As of December 31st, 2017 this is my official ten!

I have also extended my top ten list of albums to a top 20!!! Here are 11-20 

11. Beach Boys….Pet Sounds
12.John Lennon….Plastic Ono Band
13.Pearl Jam….Ten
14.Nine Inch Nails….The Downward Spiral
15.Lou Reed….Transformer
16.Velvet Underground….1967 self titled
17.Led Zeppelin….Houses of the Holy
18.Jefferson Airplane….Surrealistic Pillow
19.Creedance Clearwater Revival….Chronicle Vol. 1
20.Tool….Lateralus

Honorable mentions….

My Bloody Valentine….Loveless
Led Zeppelin IV
Radiohead….The Bends

Furthermore…..here are my favorite songs of all time:

 

I used a lot of criteria to develop the list of songs here. I tried to limit the music to a TOP FORTY list. I started with music released in the 1950’s and moved forward in time. The songs are based on number of times listened to them. Over time I forgot the criteria really. But as of now, these are my top forty favorite songs:

IN NO ORDER…..

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