Sunday, October 2, 2016

Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange

OMG! Its fall YALL!! and only 12 days until I see Echo and the Bunnymen in Concert! <3 YAAAY! 

This girl is excited as that is a bucket list entry for me I never thought Id get to check off. They don't tour often. And since its fall, and Halloween is almost here, and all things creepy are now in season, I'm posting People Are Strange. The Echo version. Now don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE The Doors. But there is something about Echo and the Bunnymen and this song, and The Lost Boys movie... and and and. 

I just love it. The video is grainy. But the sound is badassery (my word.. dont even try to steal it lol).

 The funny thing about my love for Echo and the Bunnymen is that I started listening to them in high school. My friend Sharon showed me their self titled LP. I fell in love, and for YEARS (meaning until just last week, that was really the only Echo album I EVER listened too.

So when we got tickets a few months ago, I got to wondering what they were going to play when we see them in concert. When I looked at their setlist I realized I was in a little bit of trouble! as they don't really play much music from that LP (LOL!) So I used the setlist to devise a playlist, and now I realize that I love even MORE of their music now than I did back then <3. Takes me a while to catch up! lol! 

According to their setlist for this tour, they aren't doing this song. Which is not going to sit well with my hubby. As he loves this one. DOH!

* Goes off to watch Lost Boys, to the horror of her impressionable 9 year old* hahahaha!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Full Moon Fever - Tom Petty

Ohh the feelz. They are sooo big with this one.

I used to listen to this cd to pass the time while driving to Northern VA to visit someone. The who's and why's of that part of the story aren't terribly important. That person isn't so much a part of my life now. Lets just say High School Sweetheart and leave it at that. But this CD always takes me back to those drives. The trees on 95 North. When listening to this album even today I can still see every exit ramp in my mind. Passing Kings Dominion, Fredericksburg, and the anticipation of my destination, or even leaving and going home. 

I loved making that trip, I still to this day miss the trees that line the highways in Virginia, especially in the fall. In San Antonio, you see every thing off the highways, because there aren't any trees to block it. The trees here don't grow tall like in Virginia.

My sister in law, who is from San Antonio, couldn't believe the tall trees the first time she got off the plane in Va. It was dark but you could still see them. Its so cool to see something like that through someone else's eyes the first time they see it. She was in awe. 

So, Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever. I love almost every single song on the lp but like 1 or 2. And those are so tolerable that I'm not sure why I mention it lol. Favorites though are:

Free Fallin

Running Down a Dream

Yer so Bad

I Won't Back Down

Zombie Zoo

And ok that is a lot of songs to be favorite! So, now you see why I loved this whole cd. I also love the track on the cd that says, "Hello, CD listeners. We've come to the point in this album where those listening on cassettes or records will have to stand up, or sit down and turn over the record or tape. In fairness to those listeners, we'll now take a few seconds before we begin side two.

Thank you. Here's side two."

LOL! Thank you Tom Petty, love your sense of humor! <3

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jethro Tull - Ian Anderson - My Hero - Thick as a Brick

So last night my kiddo saw a piece of sheet music sitting on our piano. Pachabel's Cannon in D. He asked me if I knew how to play it on the piano, and I don't. I never was able to pick up the piano. though I wish I could have. But I told him I could play it on Flute. Which he of course wanted me to do right then (you know how everything is way more interesting at bed time :D  ). So I went and got my flute and played a bit of it for him. I haven't played in a few years seriously. But I can still play. When I pick it up it feels like an old best friend in my hands. Probably the worst of it is remembering to cover the holes in the open keys and not have lazy fingers.

Kiddo is interested in flute. I told him to learn to blow air over a Coca Cola bottle and then we can talk. That was how my first Band Teacher, Mr. Nelson Lawson, weeded out the seriously interested from the ones who weren't going to work hard. Saved some parents a lot of money too. Don't even get an instrument until we mastered this task.

Taking the Gemeinhardt out last night really took me back to playing by ear in my parents living room to the albums that had rock artists with flute instrumentation on them. Heart, The Beatles, Jethro Tull. This was a favorite past time of mine. I felt more comfortable playing by ear, still do. I can read music but its not my strong suit and especially not sight reading. I need to hear it as I read it, at least once, and then I have no problems.

I remember once, my friend and I (all names omitted to protect the guilty! hehe) really wanted to get into area band. but I knew I would never be able to  ace the sight reading piece, so I needed to nail the rehearsed piece to even have a chance.  So, my friend and I took the rehearsed piece to a lady around the corner from me who was an accomplished flutist, and had her play it while we recorded her. We ran gleefully back to my house with our tape recorder and played it over and over and read along until we had it PERFECTLY! I don't even remember what seats we got but all i do remember is that we chaired! It was one of my first experiences in a big band (the other being the Olympic trials I posted about). Chairing was thrilling. And I couldn't believe my little scheme with the tape recorder worked. I don't really know if that's cheating or not.

That brings me to my original reason for posting. Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson. My hero lol. One of my all time favorite songs to play, Thick as a Brick. The flute solo is easy going and lilting. Not like Aqualung. I cant talk and play at the same time hahahaha! Aspirations I guess lol!

When I was playing Pachabel for my kiddo I thought of this song for some reason, and knew I needed to come and listen to it. So while listening I thought I would also post.

Jethro Tull <3 The amazing showman Ian Anderson - 'Thick as a brick'

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


So I got into a "discussion" this past weekend about Vinyl. Yes 33 45 78.

I made the statement that I love vinyl. and was told that I was insane, Vinyl sucks. Fine that is your prerogative. I shut my mouth and thought about it and decided to read up a little.

There are several reasons that Vinyl has so much appeal to me

That was the very first way that I heard music. As I have said here before, my very earliest childhood memories are of my Mom putting records on a record player and singing along to the songs for me. And me singing too.  I did happen to see a few 8 track cassettes in my early years, but that was never really prevalent in our home that i remember.

Most of the records that my folks would play were well seasoned. Meaning they had that pop and hiss. Which to me sounds genuine. Lots of people complain about that sound. But many artists add it back into their digital music because of the feel it gives music. And the digitally added scratch does not sound as good as the records that got it honest. Just saying.

I love owning my music. Now while yes one can do that with a cd, it doesnt store as neatly as a crate full of albums, nor is the artwork in a cd jewel case ever really as appreciated as when its wrapped around vinyl.

OK so now had i said those things to the people who were chiding me about my personal choices they would be laughing at me by now. I ripped my cd's long ago, and threw them into binders or in the trash, depending on whether they were worthy of keeping or not. But the thing about the record subscription companies that really burn me up is that while you are paying 10 bucks a month (and sometimes more), You are never really getting anything for it. Most people don't care about that anymore. As I said earlier, I like owning my music. Today's artists will tell you that you don't "own" anything. That you get the privilege of listening to the music but it belongs to them. Intellectual property, etc. and while I get that, there is nothing tangible to listening to music from a service. If you quit that service, all those months of money you paid into it you have gained nothing. Other than the ability to listen for those months. (See my blog post on fighting with Zune Music (now Microsoft something or another.) I would pay them 13 or 14 a month and get 10 downloaded songs for free. Until I wasn't anymore and didn't even realize it.

Does all of that make me old school? That I love owning my music in some form? I'm not saying it would have to be vinyl, or cd, or digital... But something to show for the money that I put into it. And lets not forget that today's music industry has turned into a single market. Meaning, people hear singles but never grasp the larger artistry behind the entire album it was a part of.

Case in point. Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever. This album in its entirety flows from first song to last. There are many albums like that. The Cure, Enigma, too many to name really. They tell a story. Prince was a huge proponent of this message. When he created an album there was always a story and flow to it. Listening to it from beginning to end is listening to a story.

Not many people care about this anymore. The music industry has changed. Some good some not so good. But change, it will come.

I still love vinyl. These days I don't have any. But that Boston album I talked about in a previous post. Even when I listen to it digitally, I still hear the pops and hisses, even though they aren't there. To me there is magic in the needle hitting the record. That sound right before the music comes in.

Space Oddity - David Bowie Recorded from Vinyl:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sweet Virginia Breeze - Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett

This is probably my favorite song ever ever ever. Every spring this song would be all over the radio. And I can remember riding around with the windows down for many springtime's with this song coming out of my radio, enjoying that "Sweet Virginia Breeze".

 I hear this song and I think of Dogwoods in bloom all over the place, Driving over those bridges on the James, the sun smiling down, not that hot sun in the summer, but that sun in the early spring that just kisses your skin and makes you smile that the cold weather just left. Riding bikes with my friends over on Germain Road. And even those tall trees off of Spring Run drive.

These days I blast this song in my car in San Antonio, Texas. Makes me feel somewhat closer to home. A long time ago I emailed Robbin Thompson and told him that I loved to play his song as loud as possible in Texas, his response was that I wasn't alone, many others had told him the same. And not just those of us that were living in Texas.

Robbin Thompson is no longer with us. He passed away in 2015 after a long battle with Cancer. He was very active on Facebook with his fans, and he loved knowing how many people loved this song and all of his other songs too. He had a long career as a musician starting off notably with Bruce Springsteen, and they were still good friends to the end. Bruce would have him come up on stage for shows.

Co-writer Steve Bassett is still around. They both were so proud of this song.  There is a website out there, they sell t-shirts and other things all Sweet Virginia Breeze. I need to get that license plate cover myself! ;)

Sweet Virginia Breeze is now rightly the Official Popular State Song of Virginia. This was a looong fight coming, as the old State song 'Carry Me Back to old Virginny' was considered outdated and also controversial. Many felt that this song should have replaced Carry Me Back a LONG time ago. The change was instated in 2015 by unanimous vote. I hope Robbin was happy about that. <3

Its not spring. But I love it anyways!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Heart - Dreamboat Annie

Yesterday I talked about Rindy Ross and her Sax.

Today I think I will talk about Ann Wilson, and her flute!!!!

In my Momma's crate of vinyl was the Heart Dreamboat Annie Album.

The album in its entirety is beautiful. There isn't a single song that I like more than another. They flow into and out of each other. I can remember thinking as a kid how cool it was that they did that, running one into the next instead of a definite end as most songs do. I didnt pick up on her incorporating flute into her music until later. Once I really got into it. Again, I love artists who include real instruments in their music. Not just a synthesizer. It adds more depth. There is something to be said for real instrumentation. Sit in the middle of a band or orchestra and you can actually FEEL it. It is amazing.

In high school i was in a very small band. We were close. But I will never forget the first time I sat a REAL band. I believe it was over 100 pieces. Brass and woodwind. It was for Olympic Boxing matches that were happening in Richmond. Only 2 from our band were selected to go, Myself and Rhonda, to play in this group. We had to be in full marching gear, even though we did not march. and it was 2 from all schools in the area so it made quite a large band. We played several Sousa marches and I believe the theme from Rocky. The very first note played by one and all, I lost it. seriously! I had never been in that large a group and felt that buzz, that vibration. Truly an experience, but I have veered totally off of my original commentary. (Including a picture of a warm up from that event that was featured in the paper... as its something I wont ever forget!)

Ann plays flute in 3 songs on this cd. Tracks 3 (Crazy on You) 8 (Sing Child) and 10 (Dreamboat Annie (Reprise)).

What I love most about Heart is their style. they can rock it out in one song and have a beautiful ballad the next. And have you SEEN their beautiful performance of Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven for the Kennedy Center Honors, honoring Led Zeppelin?! I will include it here in case you havent. It was absolutely magical.

So first Dreamboat Annie: The flute is at the end. Lovely song from start to finish.

And then if you have not seen it, or even if you have and just want to watch again. Heart honoring Led Zeppelin with Stairway to Heaven.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quarterflash - Harden My Heart

When I was pretty young my Momma had a crate full of albums (vinyl). Boston, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Pure Prairie League, Bad Company, Roxy Music, The Beatles, and this one, Quarterflash.

I loved listening to Rindy Ross play Saxaphone on 'Harden My Heart'. We would turn it up loud and it would always sound so awesome. When I started 5th grade I remember going to the music instrument shop because I was going to be in  band. I remember walking in and Momma and Daddy asking me what instrument I wanted to play. All I could think about was Rindy Ross and the sound of that Saxophone. When I pointed to the Sax Momma said, "Uhh, that thing is bigger than YOU!! No!" LOL! In truth she was right, and I ended up walking out with a new shiny silver Emerson Flute. 

Years later one of my band directors in high school had us select a different instrument than our own to learn something very simple and basic on. His reasoning was that we would need to learn multiple instruments if we would make a career in music, whether it be teaching or whatever. I was given a clarinet (meh!). But its a reed instrument, and I learned very quickly that I didn't care for reed instruments. My Momma had chosen wisely for me all that long time ago, whether she knew it or not. I played flute for years and years, and met people that I am still friends with today. Made lifelong friendships! But I always go back to Rindy and her magical Saxophone.

When I got a little older I would find popular artists who would incorporate flute into their music... The Beatles, Heart, The incredible Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull!!! I could spend hours in my parents living room listening to these songs over and over again with my flute and playing them over and over again by ear. My favorite thing to do. Getting that tone and inflection just right as the artist did was so much fun for me. Ann Wilson on a flute = My hero!

Anyways, back to Quarterflash here is Harden My Heart and Rindy Ross!!!

And Live, because its always cool to see someone play!