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
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!!!⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️