So I was making a song mix for a friend of mine, all stuff from the nineties. I would say “mix tape,” which is obsolete, but I was actually making a CD, which is also obsolete. And then Chris Cornell died.

I hadn’t planned to put any Soundgarden on the mix – I sold my only Soungarden album, Superunknown, for grocery money back during the Lean Times of 2008 – 2013. Nevertheless, that’s a classic album and I love the way they play together.

They played really well together. I never made the effort to see them; I think I missed something pretty special. This is an ongoing problem for me. I keep not seeing bands, and then someone dies and that’s it. Rule of thumb – if you like a band’s album, go see them live!

Audioslave, too. Another really good bunch of players. We lost a terrific musician.

My thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.

An album that did make the mix (and also survived the Lean Times, the Great Purge, the Hurricane, and all sorts of recession-related adventures) is Lucious Jackson’s Natural Ingredients.

I clearly liked the album enough to hang on to it, but don’t remember liking it as much as I do now. I may have been burned out on music a little at the time. I used to work in radio, and listened to as much new music as I could. But these days I’m not inundated with music anymore. I have a chance to step back a little, and revisit albums that I heard but maybe didn’t listen to.


The nineties was when you started seeing women in bands who weren’t just lead singers. Nothing against lead singers – I have been one frequently. But we also play guitar and bass and drums, and produce albums and haul gear.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of very silly conversations with beered-up guys about how I can possibly manage to play the bass without a penis. So I love that now it’s not even an issue.

 

 

Image courtesy of pexels.com

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5/12/17: There’s Something Happening Here

I found out about this from Ken Michaels’s social media feed. Ken hosts the Beatles radio show “Every Little Thing,” which you should check out ASAP.

Eric Burdon of the Animals has released a cover of the Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth.” Very appropriate, given the political crisis here in the U.S.

 

First of all, the drums. I love them. They’re just really interesting, and a nice sound.

And I like where Eric’s voice has gone. At 72, it’s only become more interesting. Of course, it’s always been unique. There’s a sternness to it, but he’s a good blues singer, too. He’s always kind of sounded like an old man. Here he is in 1965.

 
In 1970, Eric sat in with War for “Spill the Wine.” He is having so much fun in this video. I’m not sure it’s the original recording, but this is one of those songs where I think it really doesn’t matter too much as long as it’s a great performance, which it is.

 

And here’s the original “For What It’s Worth,” released in 1966 during a different time of political crisis. There are a lot of wonderful protest songs out there, but I wish there didn’t have to be any.

5/6/17: Rock & roll for grownups

There’s a lot of Who music going around the house these days. One of us is making a mix for a friend, and I just bought a Pete Townshend greatest hits album.

I’ve heard that girls supposedly don’t like the Who. I’ve also heard that about Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull, two bands I love, but in my case it was kind of true with the Who.

I always liked their singles, and I saw and loved both “Quadrophenia” and “Tommy.” But that thing that makes you really connect with an artist’s music was just missing from my relationship with the band.

Things are changing now that I’m old and pruny. I’ve grown to appreciate Ringo Starr’s drumming and Bill Wyman’s bass playing, and I’m listening to lots of Pete Townshend. There’s that emotional connection now, and I keep going back to his music.

So you know what’s going to happen now. I’m going to be hitting all the Who albums, and inflicting them on you. But that’s a great kind of infliction. Like getting hit in the face with a bag full of awesome.

In the meantime, here’s Pete. I love the lyrics – they’re great in his songs – and also the chord choices. Not too elaborate, but sophisticated.

This is a duet with Ronnie Lane (of the Small Faces and also the regular Faces).

 

And here’s “Rough Boys,” because it’s fun.

 

 

 
Image by Annie Mole. License: Creative Commons CC BY 2.0

 

5/1/17: Monday Funday Dance Party

It’s going to be one of those weeks; I can just feel it. The week when you do the thing you need to do.

This is the week when you’ll make that call, find that great job, finish the project and make it awesome. This is the week when you ask out that cute co-worker, sign up for skydiving lessons, or start a rock band (or all three). This is the week when you grab the world by the tater and twist until it does what you want.

With that in mind, let’s listen to some nineties Japanese electronica. Because it is AWESOME.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Elizabeth Walsh