What a peculiar name.
“Sleeper” is the title of a new album
So here’s a somewhat young American musician.
He can write really cool music.
Guitarist, singer and drummer.
Ty has talent.
A California native
He has brought eight solo albums
to the musical table.
He is also a member of various side projects.
On “Sleeper,” he delivers his cult following fans something different than his usual crunching, fuzzy garage rocking sound!
He went all acoustic on this one. Psychedelic styles. Think John Lennon meets Syd Barrett in a sentimental fashion. His whole record flows in a solemn and reflective way.
I dig it
So should you
It’s nice to hear an artist unplug himself
And get all passionate in a sort of whimsical playful manner.
I took a little break from blogging, due to the recent Halloween festivities. Then Lou Reed; the amazing musician, singer and songwriter; passed away. He was a great guitarist and storyteller from Brooklyn. I posted a couple of small blog entries on this man. His death reminded me about how precious life is. Now it’s November and it is time for my “playlist of the month.” The crumblings of summer are quite apparent, saying goodbye to what has been and what we must prepare for: Old Man Winter. He is coming. Although this entire month is still Autumn; here in the Midwest, we tend to get that winter chill somewhat early.
Lou Reed’s death inspired the theme for November. Of course we must remember our Saints, our soldiers and be thankful for our families and friends. We sit around and drink. Turkey raffles are won! Children learn about Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims and Indians. Of course, many football games are played and we eat chili and drink beer to celebrate all of this American nostalgia. Yet, it is still a melancholy time. Today we remember the dead, for it is All Souls Day. Or in Mexico, we call it Día de Muertos. So this playlist, which I have assembled, is a tribute to our changing weather, embracing what we have remaining of our Autumn season and finding comfort and understanding through loss.
Here is the list (and played in this order)
1. Type O Negative = Everything Dies
2. Guns N Roses = November Rain
3. Tom Waits = November
4. Kansas = Dust In The Wind
5. Led Zeppelin = Ramble On
6. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions = Blanchard
7. Smashing Pumpkins = Soothe
8. Pearl Jam = Indifference
9. The Beatles = A Day In The Life
10. NIN = A Warm Place
11. Neko Case = Don’t Forget Me
12. Hole = Dole Parts
13. Johnny Cash = Hurt
14. Lou Reed = Sad Song
I’m at the drive-in with my wife. We’re at the Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago. It’s a classic and has been around for several decades. This place is one of the few remaining in Illinois. We decided to take a trip down memory lane and relive our youth from the 1980’s. We pulled up to the booth earlier to get our tickets. The lady saw me hand her a credit card and was like, “We only take cash. Sorry” in a concerned tone for us. I did not realize that they do not take credit cards. Ooops! She suggested that we drive a few blocks away to an ATM in order to get cash so we can still enjoy the movies. So we did a U-Turn, pulled out of there as the dust and smoke spread from the gravel road as we peeled away! I was frantic! You would have thought I was on 10 cups of espresso! Although, I did have a couple of coffees earlier. But, nonetheless, I was panicked and freaking out! So off we went to the ATM.
Then we finally got back after the 15 minute delay. We made our way to our parking spot which took me a few extra minutes because I was trying to get the “right” spot! Got to be suited perfectly. I hurried out of the car to set up the lawn chairs. Everybody has their chairs either in front of their car or behind them if they backed in their space. Tailgating of course is an option too. The gravel is everywhere. The chairs are everywhere. There’s a little puppy on a leash off in the distance. They’ve go classic 50’s and 60’s music playing over the P.A. system. People are throwing footballs around. It’s kind of funny and nostalgic all in one.
You got to love the tall white screen projector up ahead, far in the front. No obstructed views, which is good. This truly is a thing of the past. Even some classic convertibles start pulling in. There’s the infamous snack bar that’s sort of recessed like a dugout off in the distance behind us. The sun is slowly setting to the west. The portable radios can be attached to your window. Just cranking the volume is good enough. All of the speakers scattered around the gravel parking lot echoes enough to hear what’s going on. Plus you can tune your radio station to 88.5 FM and listen to the films on your car stereo. I am just sitting here waiting for the movie trailers to begin.
It’s the middle of August. It’s fairly cool outside. Not freezing but it’s certainly not blazing hot either. Just cool enough yet just warm enough for I can sit here in my jeans, t-shirt and a light jacket and I’m just fine. We may have to eventually climb into the car once the temps drop and the bugs come out. But for now, it’s all-good. It’s all right because now Booker T and the MG’s are playing their famous song, “Green Onions.” It’s good to see all ages here. You got ten-year-old kids walking around. There are people our age in there 30’s reliving their own youth. Plenty of people our parent’s age doing the same thing. We kind of have all of the age groups represented here to recollect this fond memory of drive-in movies. A dying breed. These outdoor theaters may stick around for a while. But I don’t know for sure.
As my wife sits next to me in her chair, she has her sketchbook on her lap as she doodles and tangles away some splendid artwork. Denny loves to draw. She achieves Zen from doing this. But it’s so nice to sit here in front of the car and relax as the daylight fades and watch people walk around and go get snacks and just simply walk around to “walk around.” That’s what we like to do. Plus its good exercise. Good way to stretch the legs. Be active. Socialize. Chat. Catch up. No booze allowed, of course. But there are always a few who sneak it in. I haven’t seen any myself but it wouldn’t be that hard to slip it in your car and take a swig here and there. But that’s not why I’m here. I think other people are here to just escape. Perhaps some of the kids in high school are here to make out in the backseat of their car.
I will admit those speaker devices are very interesting and I have no idea how old they are. It would be interesting to research that fact. It’s sorta like going to the carhop where you roll your window down. The girl on roller skates brings out your food on a tray and kinda hangs it off your window. Clearly the device is intended to clip on your window as you listen to the film. It’s something they have definitely retained here at the Cascade and they certainly refused to part with them at all for they are here in abundant quantities. All of this instrumental, pop radio from the baby boom era like what you would hear at the diners is a nice treat for my ears. It’s a fitting touch.
Now they do play new movies here. Our double feature here tonight is KICK ASS 2 and ELYSIUM. Both of which seem quite favorable action and sci-fi flicks! I would imagine that some of these places have those #throwback nights. I don’t know for sure, but its certainly a #throwback environment. The mood is evoked, even with a digital projector. Sorry, no film reels or cigarette burns here. You get a better high definition for the outdoor viewings. The time now is seven minutes after eight. The anticipation is starting to get real. I recommend this kind of a movie experience for everyone.
Happy Birthday America! You are 237 years old! Over these past couple of centuries; we, as Americans, wrote A LOT of music. Patriotic music glorifying our devotion to embracing our freedoms! We are free. We have made so much progress as a civilization! It’s easy to take things for granted. When folks like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence; we declared ourselves a free nation no longer a part of tyranny. No more oppressive power taking over the mind of man. We are not a dictatorship! Church and State are separate! We have rights as humans here in the United States. Thou shall not kill or steal! We shall love one another and work together and help one another! Music will save us.
Some people often forget the true meaning of the Fourth of July and focus only on the BBQ ribs, fireworks, and picnics. While all of this is sensational, especially spending time with your loved ones under the brilliantly filled magical skies while sitting on a pontoon boat in the middle of the lake, we should not forget why we celebrate our holidays. I wrote a poem. A LONG one. I also developed, with the assistance of my wife, a nice and fitting patriotic playlist to honor this great nation of ours. Music most certainly will save us.
But first the epic poem:
What does America mean?
Riots in the street
History and variety
I believe in its greatness, however
Vote and be informed
Equal rights for all
Fly our flags
Burning the flags
Sing the anthem
Mock one another
Full of pride!
Gay pride parades ruined
By hate crimes
Car bombs during a nice picnic
Let’s appreciate its great beauty and
Throw a pop can out the window
Men and women are equal
According to the law
But there’s domestic violence
Stand up and march
Someone’s going to spit on you
So many natural splendors in the USA,
Religious beliefs, and
We’re uniquely free
To rob a liquor store
Or shoot someone in the face
Guns are legal after all
We’ve come here from so many places,
Terrorists living among us
So many spaces,
Visit the ghettos
And survive a night
Gang initiations on the streets
Yet we live so well together
We can enjoy being ourselves
Make pancakes for breakfast
We’re not always perfect
But we’re definitely free
We are many people but
We are one
One kingdom of exceptional philosophy and culture,
Matchless politics yet a divided house
The economy is in the toilet
Social values are corrupted by Hollywood
Beliefs are taking God out of text books
Institutions that desensitize us
These distinguish us from others?
Our way of life
We are perhaps the only source of hope left in the world
It’s sad really
And the clock is ticking
It’s our spirits and our souls that can keep us alive
Familiarize yourself to this way of life
Love this country above all others
Being American requires more than merely living
In this country
Or speaking English,
Or obeying the law,
Or even holding a job!
Sure, that’s a very good start!
Where’s the compassion, the balance,
Or the gardening? Not enough
But we cannot stray too far from the lines
Hate must not take over
The outside cannot destroy us
Or we are doomed
And if we weaken, let down our guard
And lose our freedoms,
Then it will only be because
We did it to ourselves…
God Bless America!
While this all seems a bit sarcastic and brutally true at the same time, I do LOVE my country and the memories it provides. Music for me always stirs up emotions and wonderful memories. So I have a playlist below that sums up AMERICA. I’ll list the 15 tracks here in the preferred order and include a video for one of them below. I think these songs are amazing representations of American culture and what we live for and fight for, everyday.
Oh and the 3 cute girls below are my three nieces. Amanda, Sydney and Samantha. They are awesome examples of Americans! Even they enjoy the music I share with them. Past and Present.
1Coming To America…..Neil Diamond
2Battle of New Orleans…..Johnny Horton
3American Pie…..Don Mclean
4City of New Orleans…..Steve Goodman
5This Land Is Your Land…..Woodie Guthrie
6Hallelujah…..Justin Timberlake & Charlie Sexton
7America The Beautiful…..Ray Charles
8Star Spangled Banner…..Whitney Houston
10Living in America…..James Brown
11Rockin’ in the Free World…..Neil Young
12Born in the U.S.A……Bruce Springsteen
13Salute To The Armed Forces…..Various
14God Bless America…..Martina McBryde
15God Bless The USA…..Lee Greenwood