Posts Tagged ‘Music’

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New Growth

March 29, 2012

Peony SproutsPeonies sprouting through last years stubble.

Up early this morning running errands for my stepson’s chip truck…. along for the ride is a buddy of his, Billy, to do the heavy lifting. Billy’s an aspiring guitar player and I had Howlin Wolf’s London Sessions CD in the deck. ‘Hey, I’m liking this – who is this guy?’. So, I’m explaining to him about Wolf’s place on the Chicago blues scene and some of his equally famous bandmates – Willie Dixon and Hubert Sumlin – and some of the more recent bands who have covered his tunes. My brush with greatness being knocked on my butt when I literally ran into Willie in a hallway leading back to the stage in Toronto’s El Macambo tavern back in about 1972. My 130 lb frame didn’t stand a chance against Dixon’s 260 lbs. The big man leans down and says. ‘ Can I help you up, son?’. Good ride, good time. Loaned Billy the CD.

Fishing Hut

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Happy Leap Day

February 29, 2012

Leap Day is sort of odd. I know the ‘why’ of it but to plunk an extra day into the year, once every four is strange to me. This one is shaping up as a doozy. It is 10:30 a.m. and it was cold, windy and cloudy when I got up a couple of hours ago. Let the dog out, had a smoke, made coffee, had my cereal and I’ve been browsing around FaceBook, posting, sharing and commenting for an hour or so. I break to make another cuppa and go out for another smoke and it’s snowing like 60 out there. Yowzah!! I still have about 3 hours to go before leaving for work so it could be an interesting drive getting there; nevermind getting home if this should keep up. Ah well, deal with it when the time comes.

Reflected Sunset '2'

I enjoyed a break from the routine last week at work as it was reading week for the students. It was only our most distant and international students who stayed around campus so there was very little foot traffic through my building after service hours were over. I was able to set up my mp3 player with it’s new external speaker to enjoy hours of glorious music. The speaker uses vibration resonance instead of the usual old cone tecknology – you set it on any solid surface (table top, counter) and it uses that to resonate the sound. It is about 3 inches high and 2 in diameter; sounds great. Here’s what my 5 watt version looks like:

Mighty_Dwarf

On a couple of nights I took along the new laptop and watched a movie or concert video. One was ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ based on the long running radio show of Garrison Keillor’s. It has a great ensemble cast including: Garrison Keillor, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan, John C Reilly, Tommy Lee Jones and Virginia Madsen. I loved everything about it. I didn’t often get a chance to listen to the radio show but always enjoyed it when I did. The movie portrayed it all very much as I had imagined it. ( a $3 bargain from the flea market – woo-hoo!)

The other movie I watched was one I downloaded via Torrent – ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’ – the Coen brothers updated take on ‘Homer’ featuring George Clooney. A remarkable film in and of itself with a twisted storyline and great soundtrack produced by TBone Burnett.

Another evening was spent with David Gilmour at the Royal Festival Concert Hall (2002) running through a variety of his and Pink Floyd’s repertiore and a number of covers. Loverly stuff, really well presented and performed. It was a nice break while it lasted but the students are back this week so no more playing around and goofing off for me.

I’m back taking the occasional picture once again….. my eyes are coming alive.

Light-Washed Wall

Time for my final morning coffee and a puff. Hope I don’t get blown away out there – it’s a wall of white hustling past the windows. Catch you on the flip side.

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Dimming of the Day

January 6, 2012

I’m in the car the other day listening to Alison Krauss & Union Station’s latest CD ‘Paper Airplane’ when a track comes on and have a little ‘aha’ moment. ‘I know this song!’, but remember it being sung by a man. Beautiful lyric; lovely sentiment and Alison is singing it really well. Here’s their version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiy3qGCZZEc

But I’m continuing to ruminate on who I’ve heard perform it before… rummaging through my memory of male artists who might have done it. Finally I make the connection… it’s from David Gilmour’s “In Concert” DVD; the project before his ‘On An Island’ release. He does a really nice job of it too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK2N3S0lr4c

Then I get into a search for it and find it was written by Richard and Linda Thompson and has been covered also by Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt. Here’s Bonnie performing it with Richard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o8M74ufF4Q

Sometimes I have to follow these earworms that get stuck in my head. Had enough yet?

What’s new? A whole lotta nothin’. Laying low and trying to rest away a head cold that has been causing me an awful lot of pain  – head, ear, jaw, throat. Nothing major but a damned inconvenience. Gimme a week and I’ll be good as new.

 

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This Weeks Music Tip

November 14, 2011

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator

I borrowed this from the library about a week ago and it has scarcely been off the CD player. There is a rare, fine quality to Susan Tedeschi’s voice that really appeals to my ears. Combining those talents with those of her husband, Derek Trucks on lead guitar, and the fine band they’ve assembled is brilliant music making at it’s finest. Great song writing, wonderful playing, terrific production values all anchored by THAT VOICE.

http://www.tedeschitrucksband.com/

Lemme see…. fave tracks…. Okay, the lead off track – “Come See About Me’, then “Bound For Glory’, and ‘Until You Remember’,  ‘These Walls’, & ‘Learn How To Love’. So that’s 5 tracks out of 12 that are faves and I could have substituted another 3 for any of these so I’d say that’s a pretty strong album.

Buy this album and go see them if they tour nearby!

http://youtu.be/n-_EYXYR8RY

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Quick Bitch Session

October 17, 2011

Emotion & Commotion

Jeff Beck kicked off his latest North American tour the other night in Halifax, N.S. to rave reviews. He plays tomorrow night at Massey Hall in Toronto. I’m trying to reconcile myself to the fact I won’t be there; without a whole lot of success.

The Emotion is Desire; the Commotion is Frustration.

I’m really off my game not spending much time at the computer for so long else I’d have been on top of this and not finding out last minute. As chance would have it I had the opportunity to re-listen to the above pictured album (hadn’t for a while) back on Friday night and once again it knocked me flat with its virtuosity. What a piece of work!!

And, you know, kudos to Jeff cuz he’ has really worked hard these last few years – recording a couple of fine CDs and DVDs, touring extensively and organizing a couple of big tribute shows. Any time you see him he’s up and energetic and having fun. No spring chicken at 67.

http://youtu.be/EAUAAn46ji0

This is a video from his Les Paul tribute concert – ‘How High The Moon’, with Imelda May on vocals.

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Tripping

September 21, 2011

How many more sleeps? Just 4.

Now with this trip on the doorstep I’m so distracted that I don’t want to even go to work. I just want to pack, drive to the airport, hump my bag to the counter and get the heck gone! Really looking forward to spending time with my kids and their kids. Don’t really care if we do anything special or not…… just be with them.

Sorta wishing I had another day to spend in Vancouver cuz if I did I’d likely arrange with Lea Kelley to meet up in Bellingham over coffee. Looks like it would be just an hours drive each way but there is always that border crossing to consider. That would make two blogbuddies I’d have had face time with since my first and only meeting with Kel and Mr X last New Years eve.

Anyway, at work the strike has been settled and the workers back at their desks, smiling. The contract still has to be voted on and ratified but there aren’t any foreseeable problems. Seems they’d all rather be inside working as opposed to walking the picket line even though they had great weather 95% of the time.

The weather has cooled off somewhat. The crab apple tree and weeping willow’s leaves are thinning – likely because of the extended drought through July and most of August. Grapes are heavy on the vine. Grass has returned to being green and lush. A month ago you could hear it crinkling as you walked on it, it was so dry. We still have a few late blossoms pushing out their last petals.

this morning's bloom

I’ve a couple of loads of laundry to do in preparation for this trip – some warmer clothes – and that’s about it. Pack it up and go. Oh yeah… how to get to the airport? Park & Fly? Works for me.

Latest book – ‘Tales From The Vinyl Cafe’ – Stuart McLean. Very good.

Tunes – Leon Russell & Elton John album ‘The Union’. Very good

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Science – Fact and Fiction

May 15, 2011

It looks like I’ll have a bit of time on my hands this week so I might just slash off a couple of posts. (Especially if it continues with this sodded rain…. it is now Sunday night; it’s been raining since Friday evening and is supposed to continue until Wednesday.)

Anyway, this won’t be the ‘big’ reading post I promised to do some time ago. No, I just thought I’d show the strange range of books I keep on the go at any one time. Way, way over HERE at one end of the range is Stephen Hawking’s ‘Brief History of Time’. Having read Bill Bryson’s ‘A Brief History of Nearly Everything’ a few months ago my appetite had been whetted for more science. Bryson’s book fascinated me as he lead the way through the developement of the modern sciences. Hawking’s book is surprisingly accessible and readable considering the concepts he is conveying. (My concept of time must be a little warped because I find it hard to believe this book has been out for over 20 years.)

Now, if you look way, way down that-a-way you’ll see Douglas Adams’ second book of his ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ trilogy, ‘Restaurant at the End of The Universe’. This carries on brilliantly with its sardonic, acerbic, compelling spoofing of science fiction literature. It’s a grand farce that stands up well after about 30 years.

The pace of my recent reading has dropped back a few notches so I’m not plowing through 2 or 3 books a week anymore.

Beady-Eyed

This has nothing at all to do with science but what the h*ll, eh? Lately I’ve been listening to this CD again – Aerosmith’s “Honkin’ On Bobo”, which is mostly covers of songs that had inspired the band. All done with verve & muscle. Here’s a live version of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. The only science at work here is they make my gas pedal foot heavier, blind me to red traffic lights and make me corner way too fast. The whole album is best listened to real frickin’ loud. nuf sed.

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‘Spring Has Sprung,

April 13, 2011

the grass has riz,

I wonder where,

the birdies is?’

A little ditty my Dad used to recite each year. We don’t really have to wonder where the birdies are because we’re woken by all manner of birdsong each morning. About the only one I’m used to hearing and haven’t as yet is the Baltimore Oriole. I’ve seen robins, finches, grackles, sparrows, cranes, ducks, geese, buzzards, hawks, an eagle, a falcon (which almost nabbed a mourning dove from our yard; narrow miss) We’ve had a few warm spells that last a few hours before the north wind swoops back in and takes us back near zero. Saturday Lynda and I spent a good portion of the afternoon and early evening raking up the yards, spelling one another and soaking up the rays.

Maple-cicle

Here is something we had never seen before – taken a couple of Sundays ago. A small branch had broken off during the winter and once the sap began to run started to drip. It was still below freezing and the sap froze as it dripped. These icicles were as thin as parchment and, you know me, had to taste it to see how sweet it was. And it was, too.

A couple of months ago my work assignment changed from one of the local university buildings to a building on it’s associated college campus. having got to know some of the staff I approached one of the women in their career services department to critique my CV. (An ethical stretch to be sure but hey!, I’ve got boundary issues, don’t ya know?) Anyway she’s supposed to get back to me this week with her suggestions and it got me motivated to tackle the re-write once again. This work assignment is supposed to end in a couple of weeks and I haven’t any idea where I’ll be going. My supervisor is trying to hang onto me and has a spot in mind but the shift rotation is crazy awful…. can’t see it. I’ll take my chances and turn that one down.

Shadowy Man

The kitchen reno has turned into a marathon. Some special order porcellain back splash tile was picked and sent wrong resulting in another 2 week wait. It is supposed to be installed tomorrow and perhaps we’ll be able to sort the house out after that is done. Get the kitchen table back from the basement; arrange things to our liking, etc. Lynda’s youngest son has been here for the last couple of weeks and that is always a strain as he is quite a slob. She’s ready to pull her hair out. Thankfully he chose to go spend a night in his own bed last night so we all get a break from one another.

A Pennsylvania singer / songwriter by the name of Brett Detar had a post that I picked up on offering a free download of his first solo album. Here’s a link to a 30 second video containing a few of my photos that uses a segment of one of his songs. His material is hard to pigeon-hole; sorta folky / roots but with an edge. I like his vocals and overall instrumentation and production.

http://animoto.com/play/aH1oBy3GH2V0mO7AonD2Lg 

Time to clean up and face another day of work. Just checked the sobriety calculator and today is 2,825 days. Who’da thunk it? See you sooner than later I hope.

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Jeff Beck

December 17, 2010

Okay… I admit it. Where it comes to Jeff Beck’s music I’m a total FAN; absolutely ga-ga about how and where his technique and talent continue to take him. I don’t know how I missed its release back in April but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening (sometimes 3 or 4 times a day) to Emotion and Commotion – either in the car on CD or on my mp3 player at work. Yesterday I finally remembered to bring the CD into the house so I could play it on the Bose surround system. Eish! What a difference for picking up on missed timbre and nuance.

To my mind this is the magnificent culmination of Jeff’s quest for aural nirvana. It finds him at him most sensitive, collaborative and gifted point in his long career. At 66 years old he has come up with an absolute gem.

I’m heading into another weekend of 3 12 hour shifts so I’ve just loaded up my mp3 player with most of Jeff’s most recent output and I plan on enjoying a JB marathon tonight. To whit: ‘Official Bootleg USA 2006’; ‘JB Live at BB King 2003’ (both web order only); ‘Jeff’ (2003){studio}; ‘You Had It Coming’ 2001{studio}. I think that should hold me.

On Emotion and Commotion Jeff mixes it up with some self-written material as well as collaborations with long time keyboardist Jason Rebello and some covers. Three female singers appear on 4 tracks including Joss Stone on Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s ‘I Put a Spell on You’.

Note for note this is the best set of music you can lay out money for this year. Oh btw, the Grammy folks seem to agree; it’s up for 5 awards.

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A Little News

December 3, 2010

… nothing special, really.

Did a 400 km trip last Saturday in order to attend my uncle’s 90th b’day celebration (BJ’s dad) and it was great to see him so happy and looking especially healthy that day. The drive down was a bit wicked through a mix of rain, sleet and a little snow; took 2 1/2 hours. The drive home was somewhat better tho still wet and took just 2 hours. Mom kept telling me I didn’t need to be doing 130 to 140 kph but no harm, no foul.

BJ & I

I can’t recall how long it is since BJ and I got together – must be 2 to 3 years now – and she must have one of those Dorian Gray portraits in her closet. She doesn’t change!! BJ was kind enough to supply me with a big bag of books to keep me going through the work nights ahead, including a couple I’ve been looking forward to laying hands on.

We had our first ‘stay-on-the-ground’ snow the other day and it is just about gone again now. PTL!! I’m hoping we don’t get any amount that sticks until Xmas.

Back pain update – much better now & thanks for askin’. I’ll try not to do anything stupid enough to aggravate it again.

I know I’ve posted a couple of similar pics in the past but I found myself in similar circumstance – stuck in the car waiting for the rain to let up – and I sorta like these two.

coolbluewaves

pox upon hand

Anyway – you never know what you’re going to get here, do ya?

Books – Gave up reading the Dalai Lama’s book; it read like a textbook… which is actually what it is for those studying Buddhism. I found it a tough slog because I really don’t know the basics.

Grinding away at Hunter S Thompson’s Gonzo Letters II – I’ll be reading in small doses. I don’t find most of it that interesting anymore….. and it’s a l-o-n-g book.

Had Nic Sheff’s book on reserve at the library and picked it up today – ‘Tweak’. Ah, life on methamphetamines. Should be a ‘speedy’ read. (Groaner)

Music – from library…

Jeff Beck’s new release ‘Emotion and Commotion’.

Lucinda Williams ‘West’.

Cassandra Wilson ‘Thunderbird’.

Leonard Cohen ‘Live in London’.

That’s it; that’s all…. gotta go have a nap before work tonight. It’ll be a busy weekend with 36 hours to do between tonight and Monday morning. Wish me luck.