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: