Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finding New Music, a follow up

That recent trip to my local music store netted me some top shelf tunes. I went in without a clue about what to buy other than wanting something old, something new, something Jazz, something Rock, and of course something Blues. Pearl Jam and The Chili Peppers took care of something new. Pink Floyd and Neil Young nailed the something old category. And Just because I had heard one good tune on a Jazz hour one Sunday, I picked up Wes Montgomery's "Smokin at the Half Note". Whoah Dude! The man rocks. A live recording at some smoky honky tonk in NYC back in 1965. The first tune set those fine hairs on end. Wes can really strum. And the boys backing him up are no slouches. Wes on guitar. Wynton on piano. Paul on Standup Bass. And Jimmy Cobb - drums. Quality stuff.

As a young lad pumping gas at Clark's "Tank n Tummy" on 109 in Sanbornville, NH in the 60's, I discovered the joy of musical discovery. That is, I learned to take chances on music just because the title sounded good, the band sounded cool, or even the album cover looked spiffy. We sold 8 tracks in a rack in the office along side the Tom's snack display. The music van would stop by every week to re-stock the rack. Besides 8 tracks, the music guy also had thousands of albums overflowing inside that magical van. He would sell me any album I wanted for $1.50. Besides the predictable We Five, The Hollies, Beatles, Stones,Paul Revere and the Raiders, I also discovered The Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield, Frank Zappa, Genesis, John Mayall, The Yardbirds, and many other bands that didn't make it into the top 40. Probably my three most eye opening albums found were the first Led Zepplin album, Tull's "This Was" and Cream's "Disraeli Gears". And I got them all for a buck fifty a pop. I was in pig heaven. Didn't save much money those two summers.

Anyway, I learned to take chances on music. My rule was if I liked one song on the album, it was worth a buck fifty. And If I didn't, oh well. I was only out a buck fifty. And though it sometimes drives my wife crazy, I carry this rule of picking music with me to this day. Even with prices for CD's in the $15 dollar range, I don't care. You can't find new music if you don't look.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fresh Music

I had two $25 gift certificates to a local chain of music stores. I had been saving them maybe a year or so. I had to develope an itch that only new music could scratch. The last time I sought something different from the CD collection, I came away unfulfilled. Same old choices, same old sounds. Nothing new and fresh had been acquired in a couple of years. The fiftieth time Tom Petty or Zepplin blasted through the head phones should have been the clue. But it was the second run through of Clannad that told me I was getting desperate for new tunes.

So I grabbed my kid, scooped up Stub the 3 legged wonder dog, and drove the pick up to South Sanford for some serious CD shopping. I shot that 2 gift wad in about 5 minutes. $50 worth was not satisfying my itch. So I laid into the Jazz and Blues section. Didn't think too hard on what to try, I just sorta pointed and grabbed. And on the way out, I snatched an EP by Neil Young. I love picking out music I have no clue about. I have discovered some excellent and memorable music that way. On a whim once when vinyl ruled, I bought Delibes, "Maria", an Italian ballet. The overture was and still is just about the most beautiful piece of music I have ever had the joy to listen to.

Tasting my new tunes had to wait for the routine of my day to transpire. It left me exhausted but with all obligations and duties fulfilled or put off for another day. I sat down at the computer, punched in Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the Moon", and began to groove. In five minutes, my head bounced off the keyboard as I passed out from my full day's labors.

Damn! All this brand new music and I had to wait until I was more alert and awake. Like tonight for instance. Yeah right. Pearl Jam's new album is barely keeping my eyes open. Popping words out on this computer is all that is keeping my eyes open. Well, open most of the time anyway. Burning the candle at both ends is definitely beginning to make an impression.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The World Revolves Around Me

I am a terrible blogger. I am sporadic rather than predictable and regular. I have no focus. My posts are often nothing but ego centric ramblings. And that is fine with me. I am what I am.

It is not as if anyone notices anyway. I am fairly sure that my blog sits in some internet closet in the basement of the electronic ether. Locked and the key is missing. My wit and insightful musings out of the mainstream view. And that is fine with me. I write for me first. Anyone who might happen by is okay, but not important. Afterall, this is all about me. Right? I am my number one fan.

It was odd to write that. It felt odd to publicly admit my fascination with myself. I often wonder if my self centered ways are over the top or about normal. I know I am nowhere as keen on myself as some other folks are. I have a friend who calls me regularly from Idaho. He is the stereotype "the world revolves around me" kinda guy. Last week he called and spent 20 minutes filling me in on his latest love problems. He wants to date a new woman but has to break up with the one he has been knocking heels with first. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway fast forward to yesterday. I answer the phone and instead of "Hey, it's Rob. How's it going?"; he starts in with, "I figured out how to deal with it." Since I had my hands full with a bike repair and several customers on the floor, I failed to recognize his voice and asked, "Deal with what and who is this?"

"It's Rob. You know, my lady troubles." Well, the world was revolving around me right then so I cut him off and said, " Great", and hung up.