Monday, July 13, 2020

Live Streaming Music Shows In The Time Of Coronavirus

Before I jump into this week's theme, I want to quickly revisit a blog I did in my- In The Time Of Coronavirus series called, Outdoor Exercise In The Time of Coronavirus: Who was that Masked Man? Here's an update on the subject of mask wearing now that Trump is officially the last man on earth to wear a mask during coronavirus, and as if it's like the second coming of the baby Jesus. Geez, it's only been four+ months as my almost three year grandson even knows the phrase, "mask up". So Trump finally manned up and masked up, so how 'bout trying on the Darth Vader mask next week Donald, great photo op eh?

Meanwhile, California coronavirus numbers are spiking, but I finally do see a change happening in the beautiful exercise land of San Diego as more people are finally wearing masks, but obviously only because of this spike.

Here's my estimated observations since I wrote the blog May 11th with people exercising in my neighborhood of Tierrasanta while wearing a mask:

  • Walkers in May - 50% • July - 80% (lifetime walkers figure stuff out while walking, that's why they live the longest)
  • Runners in May - 10% • July - 20% (my peeps have let me so down)
  • Bicyclists in May - 0% • July - 1% (has the spandex just made them totally indifferent or totally stupid?)
Also, more men are wearing masks since May, including actually wearing the bandana mask instead of it just being a new cowboy fashion statement around the neck. However, the woman walker on the trail is still without a mask, still pulling her shirt up over her face and turning her back to me on the trail, and now I would completely miss it if she ever did anything different upon my arrival.

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Now onto Live streaming music shows.

As you've probably noticed live music shows are booming on social media these days as artists and bands perform for charity, album promotion, or just connecting with fans @home during coronavirus. Most live streaming shows are over an hour, so what I tried to do this week was provide a number of different music shows to choose from (but please knock yourself out if you want to hear them all).

I love NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts and kind of landed there this week finding new 'Home' shows from 2020. Tiny Desk Concerts typically range from 14 - 20 minutes or so, and that unscripted time format is just one reason why this show is so popular on the Internet.

I have also picked some select song clips from live shows and have sprinkled them throughout including, Live From Here with Chris Thile another of my favorite shows, but sadly just cancelled due to coronavirus. During the pandemic Chris created #livefromhome, I feature several songs here.

Stay well and enjoy my friends. And hey, 'parallel worlds collide' with Ringo and my mom sharing the same birth date, July 7th. Happy Birthday mom and Ringo!

Live Stream Deli Menu 


























































Monday, July 6, 2020

Top 10 Albums • January - June • 2020



Okay, I say I'm an album guy but most of my blogs focus on individual songs. This week I'll be backing up my talk with my list of the most impressive new album releases in this first half of 2020. I'm even going to rate them 1-10 which is something I normally don't do. It is also no surprise to me that I have picked five albums by females and five by males not by design, but for the fact that women in music today make up half if not more of the great music being created today.

Making an album of typically 9-12 strong songs has always been a tall order for any artist or band. On any good album there are maybe three outstanding tracks that jump off the needle. The trick is getting the listener to come back and listen to the rest of the tracks that always seem to get better the more you do come back. After several listens, these 'deeper cuts' suck you in and the whole thing just comes together into a cohesive unit. You then tell your friends about the album. In your long-term memory, you'll even remember (sometimes fifty years later) the time and place where you shared that album with a friend.

I hope you can make the time this week to listen to one or more albums here, start to finish. Maybe there's even a new favorite to add to your collection.

Stay well and enjoy my friends.

1. Sarah Jarosz • Review: World On The GroundPurchase




2. Bob Dylan • Review: Rough And Rowdy Ways Purchase




3. Nora JonesReview: Pick Me Up Off The Floor Purchase




4. Hiam • Review: Women In Music Pt. IIIPurchase




5. Ayla Brook & The Soundmen • Review: Desolation Sounds • Purchase




6. James Elkington • Review: Ever Roving EyePurchase




7. Shelby Lynne • Review: Shelby LynnePurchase




8. Tomar & The FCs • Review: Rise Above • Purchase




9. Christian Lee Hutson • Review: BeginnersPurchase




10. Sarah Siskind • Review: Modern AppalachiaPurchase

Monday, June 29, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • June • 2020

Hampton & Papa social distancing
with strangers in the kiddie pool.
#NewMusicMonday Series • 2020

Summer's here
I'm for that
Got my rubber sandals
Got my straw hat
Got my cold beer
I'm just glad that I'm here
–James Taylor

Adaptations
So we've had a rough four months. Everybody's glad summer is finally here. My HOA pool has just reopened with 'new rules' - residents must register online to reserve a 2 hour block with limited capacity in designated social distanced squares. Most people never have anything good to say about any HOA (Hobby Opportunity for Authority), but I have to say they have done a good job trying to keep everyone safe.

A typical Pickleball setup using a tennis court
The HOA tennis courts have also just reopened right across from my house. Pickleball is back in full-swing, the game made for my generation who have either forgotten how to run or can't. I'm not poking pickleballers here, it's more about me dealing with my own body and what it used to do compared to now. I'm also lamenting about the wonderful game of tennis, with less young people playing real tennis, I just hope the original white court lines don't fade away.

Pickleball is a great social activity. Everybody is chatting it up with lots of laughter just like old times, but from my box seat view, I see no masks or social distancing. C'mon boomers, you still can be flexible, just like your pickleball wrist!

I have family driving down all the way from Seattle on several different trips this summer, finally merging our packs together. Quite a long distance travel adaptation, all the while airlines like American Airlines announced they will scrap social distancing and start booking full planes July 1.

For our visiting grandkids their parents have come up with a simple term to explain our times, No San Diego Zoo (opened last week), Legoland, or Disneyland because of the "Big Germs." :-(

It's a different summer in a turbulent year, but we are learning to do things differently and still have fun together.

Recently I wrote a blog, Outdoor Exercise In The Time Of Coronavirus: Who was that masked man? where I basically talked about the current culture war of wearing a mask. My working titles were, #ManUpMaskUp, or #MaskUpMother####ers, but opted for a little more informative heading in the end. For people walking, running or biking it's really not political, wearing a mask just has become more of a hassle and can't be bothered with, I call it, "an inconvenient truth- coronavirus edition." I see my regulars, the people that exercise around me in my neighborhood every week. Most everyone, young and old have just given up the mask outdoors. There is such irony here, people making the effort to exercise, but too damn lazy to adapt to a new simple behavior by wearing a mask that SAVES LIVES.

Breaking News- VP Pence gets pensive and decides to wear a mask to a Texas mega-church on Sunday. Better late than never... at least I hope it's not too late?  Anyway, baby steps for Trump's little bucko.

So unless you're living under a rock, you know that there is more than a little uptick in coronavirus cases across the country in the month of June. I haven't heard, "flatten the curve" since the end of May. 

However, I still hear that we are still in the 1st wave, and there is going to be a second wave sometime in the fall. I think after the past several weeks, we probably should adjust our 'waves' talk too. For Western States who has lived through enough wildfires in the last twenty years, the analogy of the coronavirus being an 'uncontained wildfire' is a much more accurate way to describe how the virus is currently surging and spreading across the country. The term, "hot spots" seems quite appropriate.

Source - New York Times
The solid burnt orange of new coronavirus cases in Southern California is disconcerting to say the least, where as Disneyland staying closed is not really our biggest problem. When the brush fires do start in the coming days ahead, maybe the masks people aren't wearing now will suddenly have a function to them. Instead of Fire and Rain, we'll call it Fire and Fire and the masks will serve a dual purpose- keeping coronavirus from going red in your town while breathing in falling ash from your local brush fire.

Hey, but on the positive side, new music keeps rolling in everyday. I can't keep up with all the broadcast and Internet services with artists and bands just putting out more live and recorded music across all the streaming services everyday. I'm glad I've made #NewMusicMonday a series because I keep finding new songs and albums being pumped out in this first half of 2020.

If you are spending the time to read this blog, you probably love music, and I will suggest, you need to be listening to music more than ever! Make the adaptation necessary in your behavior to spend 15 more minutes a day listening to music. I'm just a guy here finding and organizing what I think are good songs to listen to and if you like my playlists, cool. If not, find sources where you can hear music that moves you emotionally. I need that movement more than ever, and I'm guessing so do you.

Stay well and enjoy this playlist my friends.



References

Monday, June 22, 2020

Performing@Home In The Time of Coronavirus: Volume I

Sara Bareilles trouble-shooting
her Instagram Live broadcast
Professional performers such as actors, dancers, comedians and musicians spend a great deal of their life in auditoriums, bars, cafes, studios, theaters, and various venues on the road away from their home, family, and friends. As a fan, I miss seeing them all perform live on stage!

As you watch artists video themselves during this pandemic, they work hard to keep a brave face and carry on, but those faces are challenged, missing the audience's oxygen combined with their talent to spark magic and illuminate an amplified space.

So in our current world-wide pandemic that has us all @home more than we could have ever imagined; artists working before a large sitting audience will in fact be one of the last groups of professionals to get back to work in the world.

However, digital technology's ease of use has been a shining light during these times @home. In the past couple of years, the combination of consumer: smartphones, laptops, digital audio and video compression, conferencing apps and 5G Internet speed make this pandemic a bit more bearable... than just a bear.

Late Night with Seth Meyers, my favorite pandemic TV show shot from Seth's attic
with his 8G Band performing from their homes.
Here's a great article about Late Night with Seth Myers in Verge by Andrew Marino that shows all of us average bears how to create our very own homegrown production studio.

THE GADGETS LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS USES TO KEEP THE SHOW RUNNING FROM HOME: Consumer electronics have replaced studios during the pandemic

This past week, I searched across YouTube and found live performances of self-made videos by a wide group of performers all shot from home starting in the lockdown madness of March to now.

I start with a Sara Bareilles phone video on Instagram that was the spark for this blog (p.s. I love Sara Bareilles).

I also want to thank my friend Paul Hobbs for sending me a a video from his garage this week, a song, California written in high school (back in the Pleistocene Era) with our dear friend Paul Tognazzini.

On a side note- you'll also notice some of our famous artists have a little bit more home technology than the average bear.

Enjoy and stay well my friends!


Monday, June 15, 2020

50 Years of Music • June, 1970

This week takes us back to June, 1970 and the completion of my freshmen year in high school, and one year closer to freedom. As I started to put the June, 1970 Playlist together I realized this was a weaker month for my personal musical tastes as bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Deep Purple, and Procol Harum just never made it with me, compared to the likes of The Rolling Stones, Cream, and The Who. The later grouping set the Tier I rock benchmark and the former grouping would never rise above a Tier II level in my opinion. However, I did like Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water in 1972.

I was excited to see Bob Dylan's Self Portrait was on the June 1970 in Music Wikipedia release list as I've been listening to him lately. In 1970, I really wasn't into Dylan that much and now wanted to explore why the critics had not been kind to this album. Dylan, never one to please anyone took a sharp Americana folk turn on this one, as everyone probably wanted more of Like A Rolling Stone.

The 24 song selection of the double album is a bit of a FU by Bob to the public and critics, but if you listen carefully, there's some really nice gold to be mined here. Dylan is also greatly panned for his singing on this album, with some carry over 'country crooning' songs from his 1969 Nashville Skyline album. I actually found Bob's singing to be a highlight of the album. Listen to Copper Kettle for example, I just love it!

So this week, I have two playlists: one; a mix of songs I liked from June, 1970 and two; a selection of songs I liked from the Self Portrait album. As for Self Portrait being on YouTube, I was sorely disappointed, I could only find a couple of song's (what's up with that Bob?). So, what I decided to do is make my own 'What If' playlist if Dylan had focused on releasing a single album of Folk cover songs. I have created a duplicate Spotify or Amazon 13 song playlist for you to choose from below. Enjoy, and stay well my friends!




Doug's 'What If' of Self Portrait by Bob Dylan

On Spotify

On Amazon


Monday, June 8, 2020

My THIRD 100 Songs

My 100 Songs | My SECOND 100 Songs | My THIRD 100 Songs

If you've been following this series of now the THIRD grouping of 100 of my all-time favorite songs then you will be acutely aware of my favorite band, The Beatles.  For this third round, I actually went through every Beatle album and basically spread my favorite Beatle songs over the three current playlists. I say current, because it's not so much changing my mind, but more a shuffling of the deck of fantastic songs as I add more songs. I also said in the first list of 100 that I would not rank the songs, and I have continued that here.

The only thing that will remain a tradition as I have just started my FOURTH 100 Songs offline is that this series of playlists will start and end with Beatle songs as that is the dominate gene in my rock 'n' roll DNA.

Speaking of The Beatles, my pal Paul Hobbs turned me on to this great book, Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now (Amazon link) that I'm currently reading (and I wonder what made me go through every Beatle album this past week?).  I bought a used hardcover that was in great shape, but recommend if you like reading on your back, you opt for the paperback version, because She's so heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy...

Long Live The Beatles!

My THIRD 100 Songs


Monday, June 1, 2020

Dear Mr. Fantasy...

Dear Mr. Fantasy play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything, take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy
–Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood






It's February 8, 2020 and Mary Kit and I are at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. We walk into the Forum Shops which is this huge indoor complex of stores and restaurants. We have dinner reservations at Trevi. Trevi is the open Italian restaurant next to the Fountain of the Gods and we have a wonderful dinner to the sound of splashing water that almost drowns out the sound of the horde of tourists around us. We are about to see Van Morrison at his sold-out residency at the Colosseum. The ceiling is a consumer's paradise with a fanciful painted sky designed to transport you to a different place, a different time... 

COVID-19 is about to be a BIG THING, we just don't know it yet as we sit down to dinner with thousands of people around us, and then later see a wonderful concert. We come back to enjoy our hotel at the MGM Signature. The Lazy River pool is closed for winter, but we'll be back in late May to enjoy it when we come to see Sting on May 27th, and Sheryl Crow on May 28th... 

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Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's March 15th and Mary Kit has gotten me an early birthday present, tickets to see Livingston Taylor at Humphreys Backstage Live. This is like a supper club, and we have seats up front about 10 feet from the stage. I have never seen Livingston live and looking forward to hearing songs like, Carolina Day. What a dinner, Mary Kit wants to mention the lobster bisque, and what a wonderful show! Livingston was fantastic, very engaging with the audience as you can see from the excellent footage I shot and spliced together with my iPhone...



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Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's March 24th and Mary Kit has gotten me another early birthday present, tickets to see Joan Osborne and The Weepies at Edmonds Center For The Arts in Washington. I have never seen Joan Osborne or the opening act The Weepies, but love both and couldn't wait to see them in this intimate 700 seat theater.

The Weepies performed one of my favorite songs, Take It From Me. I must say, the theater is a stickler about shooting video, and the usher did in fact take my phone away from me, but not before I got this...



Next up was Joan Osborne who also performed one of my favorite songs of all-time, One of Us. Now since they took my phone from me, Mary Kit put her coat in her lap and shot this very steady clip from under her coat, I must say this was great camera work, what a team! We also enjoyed our trip up to Seattle and got to have a big family get together and potluck with all of Mary Kit's kids and our grandchildren. We can't wait for our next visit... 



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Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's May 8th and we get to see The Rolling Stones in our own backyard, just 5 minutes (a stones throw) down the road from us at Qualcomm Stadium (now called CCSomethingCreditUnion). If you remember my huge lament back in October 19, 2016, where the Stones had to cancel their concert because Mick developed 'Bad Laryngitis' at Coachella a few nights before. We had just arrived from San Diego on October 18th, got into our hotel when the news come to use via our iPhones. So now we finally got to see our rock heroes because lightening couldn't possibly strike us twice, right?

We both have never seen The Rolling Stones live before and couldn't wait to hear, You Can't Always Get What You Want. Anyway, the show was absolutely phenomenal! Here's an official 2003 clip of the song live, but it really doesn't matter because all these guys look exactly the same today, well Keith may have a few more deep wrinkles now. 



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Dear Mr. Fantasy,

It's just last week, May 27-28. Yes we are back in Las Vegas where I'm writing this blog. Man the Southwest flight was packed, but we took our Airborne Fruit Gummies before we left, so I think we're good. 

First, we saw Sting at his residency at Caesar's Palace, just like Van Morrison back in February. Boy, time flies but other than the weather being warmer, everything is always the same in Lost Wages. Hey, the Lazy River was awesome and we even got those frozen rum pool drinks. My advise is not to have three and then get into fast moving water! Lesson learned.

Sting also looks the same as he did twenty years ago, maybe there really is something to that tantric thing? The show was great, but everybody was saying, Don't Stand So Close To Me, which is also a great song of his! Anyway, before the show, Sting was hanging out at one of the pools with a thousand friends, and this was a video I took on my phone as we just happened upon this cool party!



Then on May 28th, Sheryl Crow did a benefit concert for the Sands Cares INSPIRE charity at the Venetian. It was a great show and she did one of my favorites, Every Day Is A Winding Road. I was thinking about that song today as it can be appropriate for one's interpersonal life as well as for people enduring a crisis day in and day out.

Music is always at the heart of tapping at our core emotions. I love going to these live shows and experiencing an artist's music in a concert hall with an audience all together in a common spirit of joy and happiness. It would be so sad if something happened to take that all away, even if it was only for a year, could you imagine that! I know that's a weird thought, but sure makes me want to appreciate all the things like live music that we take for granted.

Sincerely yours,
Doug and Mary Kit



References

Now for all the concerts I have missed in my life, my friend Ron Zieman was telling me about the 2009 concert tour with Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton together. Ron said it was spectacular show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That really would have been one to see, like so many others... Here's Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton performing, Dear Mr. Fantasy at the 2010 CrossRoads Guitar Festival.


Also, thanks to YouTube, the artists, and the concert goers who posted the live concert videos that I 'borrowed' for today's fantasy. Mary Kit and I hope to see all these musicians someday live in concert.

Monday, May 25, 2020

50 Years of Music • April - May, 1970

50 Years of Music Series • 1970
January - March | April - May

Howard McIntosh Sr. (top row 3rd from right) - Santa Maria High School Varsity Baseball Team 1924 or 1925
April and May of 1970 reminds me of freshmen high school baseball. I wasn't the greatest player but was fast enough to often beat out an infield hit. On the defensive side I played first base. I loved playing first base simply for the reason that the ball usually came to my glove from a variety of infield hits, almost every inning. As a freshmen, I followed the crowd and played football and baseball. In hindsight, I wish I had focused on cross-country, track, and tennis.

But, that's not why I started this blog. The picture above, hangs in my bedroom/bathroom area and I look at this picture almost everyday. If you look at my grandfather's teammates, they are wearing the uniform of the day which was probably made of wool. Now my outstanding memory at 15 of playing baseball for the Santa Maria Saints was not any special play I made, it was the very old hand-me-down uniforms they gave us to wear. I swear to God, they gave us these wool baseball uniforms that could have been just a few years removed from my grandfather's playing days. My long-term memory on this one is specifically tactile, it was the constant goddamned itching of my uniform on warm spring days! 

Now my outstanding musical memory of 9th grade was Let It Be

In 1964, I saw The Beatles first appearance on  the Ed Sullivan Show on a Sunday night after church. We were in our living room with our good friends, the Reyburn family. So my brother Steve, sister Stephanie, and the three Reyburn children (Steve, Cheryl, and Brenda) and I are were all huddled around the TV with our parents sitting behind us. As the Beatles are performing, my dad (Buddy) and Mr. (Lee) Reyburn are making fun of The Beatles and we are telling them to, "SHUSH!"

Now fast forward to the summer of 1970, and I'm on a backpacking trip in the Sierra's with Lee and son Steve, my dad, and my brother Steve, all jammed in our family Vista Cruiser station wagon. We had a fantastic week hiking and fishing, and make it back to our parked car near the old China Peak Resort. We all pile into the car exhausted, and my dad drives home. At some point on the trip back home, my dad turns on the radio and after a while the song Let It Be comes on. We all sit silently and listen to the entire song. Lee Reyburn turns around from his front seat to us kids in the back, looks at me directly and says, "That is a beautiful song and I give The Beatles a lot of credit for writing such a song." Lee Reyburn was a real nice man and I liked him very much, and on that day, I connected with him for the rest of my life. Rest in peace, Buddy and Lee.

Now the playlist this week is chock-full of wonderful albums experienced at the time, and more discovered and appreciated later.

On this Memorial Day, there are several songs in the playlist that cover aspects of soldiers and the Vietnam war. As a 15 year old, I experienced the Vietnam War through the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. In the summer of 1970, CBS aired a documentary in prime time called, The World of Charlie Company. I was glued to the TV watching an embedded film crew follow the 100+ soldiers of C (Charlie) Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in 1970 during the Vietnam War.

The unit routinely patrols the harsh, heat-filled Vietnamese jungles in War zone C near the Cambodian border west of Saigon looking for enemy contact and supplies. The soldiers are worn down on every patrol by the exhausting conditions of heat, dense foliage and biting insects. The troops express diverse opinions about fighting the war. One soldier who opposes the war says he hasn't fired his weapon, a mortar, since arriving in South Vietnam. Others talk about killing the enemy as routine. "Killing gooks don't mean nothing," says one. The medic, a pacifist, says, "Killing for peace just don't make sense." The troops talk about their lives back in the United States that they commonly refer to as "back in the world."
Wikipedia

This documentary rocked my little world! I realized I was just three to four years younger than many of the boys fighting in the jungle for their lives everyday. God bless those boys! (I have included 3 video clips of Charlie Company at the end of my playlist. The first clip, was filmed on the morning of my 15th birthday.)

Okay, I'll finish this one on a happy note. I started dating my girl friend, Mary Kit in the spring of 1973. After coming back from a first date movie, the original Bloom in Love, we sat together on a red ottoman in her family room and listened to the 1970 Mona Bone Jakon album by Cat Stevens. Our first, 'our song' was Lady D'Arbanville. The red ottoman now resides in our living room.

Enjoy this playlist, and stay well my friends!



References

Note 1 - On the McCartney album, since I did a blog on the subject a few weeks back, I decided to just add the songs I didn't feature in A 'What if' Album: Apple Scruffs • The Beatles.

Note 2 - On May 11, 1970 the triple album, Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More was released. I chose not to feature it here, as I've written about Woodstock previously and usually don't feature live or compilation albums. However, in this playlist I do sneak in several songs from The Who's Live at Leeds.

Monday, May 18, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • April-May • 2020

#NewMusicMonday Series • 2020
January-March | April-May | June

In March, I started a new and reoccurring blog series that I call #NewMusicMonday. I plan to highlight new music releases hopefully during a current one, two, or thee month stretch throughout the year. This installment is for April-May, but it's really impossible for me to find and capture on a playlist every song released at a particular month. 

So this month, you will see some of my new favs I found dating back to January that I missed in my January-March installment. I may also throw in an old song that's been recently recorded. For example, I have several #StayAtHome videos of Jimmy Fallon and James Taylor songs that I think you will enjoy. I may also throw in a song or two I haven't heard before. Paul Hobbs sent me a 2019 Keb' Mo'/Taj Mahal song plus several new releases, and I added a 2019 video from Rosie Flores who played the San Diego club circuit in the 1970's with Rosie and the Screamers, and rekindled some fond memories. 

Purchase or Stream on Amazon
For this week's playlist I have 69 songs. For me, one album stands out above the rest, James Elkington's 
Ever-Roving Eye

An epiphany… a cryptic storyteller and dazzling acoustic guitarist. – Rolling Stone 

Elkington stands apart among the wave of 21st century guitar soloists. Beautiful, complex, and assured.
– Pitchfork

Stay well my friends, music always helps.



References

Monday, May 11, 2020

Outdoor Exercise In The Time Of Coronavirus: Who was that masked man?

Holy Bat-Distancing Catwoman
Four weeks ago,
Mary Kit and I started wearing masks. Oh no not that kind... maybe you thought the former Kindergarten and Pre-School teachers had finally lost it at our #StayatHome... maybe a little too much dramatic play?

No, I'm actually talking about the handmade cloth pandemic face masks people have been crafting at home. We started wearing them while at the grocery store and noticed that several young people avoided making eye contact in the aisles and several older people looked at us with a visible look of distain.

This past week everybody had an assortment of face masks on in the store.

My favorite is the, "Ma'am I'm not robbing a bank bandana, I'm just here for the Noosa yogurt."

Three weeks ago,
Mary Kit and I started wearing our masks on our morning walk together, and me on my run in our urban neighborhood. Only the older people were wearing masks, and no runners or bicyclists had a mask on.

On May 1st,
All San Diego County residents are now required to wear a cloth face mask while out in public. On our walk now we see about 1/2 of the public are following this new requirement. Again, older folks are leading by example, not to mention the fact that many in this age group may have a compromised immune system. We have also observed more women wearing masks at about a 2:1 ratio over men.

Most annoying, is my own running and biking brother and sisters continuing NOT to mask up!
I bruise you
You bruise me
We both bruise too easily
Too easily to let it show
I love you and that's all I know

The lyrics above are from the Jimmy Webb song, All I Know (video link), a big hit for Art Garfunkel in 1973. The song came on my phone music app while on a run last week. On that run, I made a parody of that song in my head while passing mostly people without masks.
I mask for you
will you mask for me
we all mask so individually
so individually please let it show
I run on with my sweaty glow

Kit's Crafts "Go Hawks"
You don't need a TV shrink or pundit telling you to get outdoors these days. Its simple common sense, we all need to get outdoors, breathe fresh air and exercise for our mental and physical well-being, all the while social distancing.

Wearing a mask is such a drag, and that's something 100% of us can probably agree on. Now if you are a runner or bicyclist, it's beyond a drag, it's a hyperventilation mini sweatbox!

My mask in 'ready position'
If you are walking outdoors, here is what most people are practicing while wearing their mask. You wear the mask down at your chin in 'ready position.' When someone approaches you from about 25 feet away, you get your mask up and keep it up for 25 feet past you, then pull it back down to your chin. We try to stay 10-25 ft. away from everyone while walking, and will go into the street if needed to avoid people completely. People do the same with us, and we appreciate that so much. 

Now more than ever, it is important to have our social skills, and say, "Good morning" and a wave is always good, especially to the adults and kids not wearing masks.

If you're out walking or running and encounter a runner or bicyclist, you need to mask up 25 yards before they pass you and keep it on 50 yards after they have passed you . If a runner or bicyclist passes you from behind, you need to get out of their direct 'vapor trail' path and stay 50 yards behind. 

I have no statistical data to back these distances up, it's just my common sense telling me to be cautious in a pandemic and insure the 'aerosol effect' has evaporatedPublic health experts like to refer to bigger particles that are heavy and thus fall fast as “droplets,” and tiny particles that evaporate faster than they can fall as “aerosols.” When a virus is transmissible as aerosols, they say it’s “airborne”(Vox). Also, the 25 yards before guideline seems to be a good visual cue for both parties to mask up (if they have one). This has just been my personal experience.

Also, mask up when coming to a blind corner on a street of bend on the trail. People sometimes just appear out of nowhere.

I've discovered that the coronavirus is no time to attempt your PR (personal record) time on your course. Sometimes, I have to go way around people and into the street bike lane, or wait for a mom and her two little kids on the narrowest part of the trail to pass (always happens there). Memo to self- "Relax."

I would like to note that wearing a cloth mask is a little bit like the guys I see wearing those high altitude simulation training masks, you know the ones that make them look like they're in the cast of Mad Max: Fury Road. Since I've started wearing my cloth mask, it's in mask up mode longer and longer every week, and I'm slowly getting a bit faster in my up hill split times. (Update 5/18- I now wear a mask on for my entire run.) I also recommend having Altoids® with you on your run. The peppermint will cool your mouth with the mask on and I swear it has a calming effect while running.

If you are wearing glasses or sunglasses and they fog up in combo with wearing a mask, try Fog Gone, I love it!

Wearing a cloth mask while running is a bit like finding the right pair of running shoes, you have to go through a couple different models before you find the one that works for you.

Now is the mask meant to protect you, or the stranger? 

The mask is actually for the stranger. By wearing a mask you are protecting a stranger from catching this crazy virus because you don't know if you have the virus. Most all of us assume we don't. We feel fine, fine enough to get some exercise, so you may ask, "why do I need to wearing a f*#%ing mask, nobody else is?"

So a 'lil shoutout here to the exercising mask wearers! You're simply doing the right thing in trying to protect yourself and the strangers around you! What did your parents tell you, "All you can do is try." 

But please, DO NOT pull a Larry David-like scene with the people around you not wearing a mask. People don't like to be told what to do, and your little scolding is only going to backfire and cause that person to go deeper in their resistance to ever wearing a mask- for a stranger.

As a regular runner for some forty-seven years now (Mary Kit editing this, says,"nobody cares"), I thought runner's were kind of a cool breed of human. We smile and wave at each other, give each other the transcendental "good mornin" "howdy," or even a thumbs up as we pass each other.

However in recent weeks, I'm just starting to get an unspoken vibe by all the exercising walkers and dog walkers around me that maybe are thinking these joggers are just a bunch of perspiring pariahs. Here's some observations.
  • When I'm running mask up and approaching a non-masked person, there is often an uneasy look in their eye or body language.  I'm not the harmless old fart on the trail anymore. So if I'm now some aerosol can of sweat, why in Gotham City don't you have a mask on to protect yourself... especially on a popular and often narrow trail for runners?
  • A new walking woman on my regular trail route has turned her back to me while I approach her. In our previous two encounters, she was the one without the mask, so who is protecting me in this situation? Since the May 1st mask requirement, she now has a mask on which is a safer situation, for me. She still turns her back away from me, well okay. (5/18 update - She's back to not wearing a mask, turning her back and pulling up her tank top to cover her mouth.)
  • On three occasions in the past couple of weeks I've encountered a young couple walking without masks on the trail. When I get close, the guy always pulls up his t-shirt to cover his face when I go by, to I guess protect himself from the old masked running man. Am I hideous? Quasimodo? This is actually hilarious. The young woman does nothing, but I'm praying for the day she pulls her top up too! 
  • Now I've also started seeing people carry their mask in their hand on their walk, never even attempting to put it on as other walkers or runners approach them... posers. (update 5/8-Now I see a lot of people with their mask in 'ready position' but never attempt to mask up in a mask up situation.) This reminds me of the old Seinfeld skit where Jerry has a car reservation at a car rental. ("You have a mask, you just don't know how to use the mask.") Play the clip below and you'll see my point.


Below is  Seth Meyers to continue, and hit my points right on the head.



Symbol Charades
So why the weird vibe about wearing face masks while on a walk or run? On our walk there's this particular old guy without a mask, who just glares at us when we walk by, no "good morning" here.

In the past several weeks, the masks themselves have seemed to morph into a larger political game.

It's no secret that leaders model the behavior they want others to follow. Again, your parents may have told you, "Talk is cheap, it's what you do that matters."

Now unless you're living under a rock, you've seen the President or Vice President on TV make numerous public appearances at hospitals, factories or large facilities that I personally think would require face masks all around.

Leading by example? @ The Mayo Clinic w/ COVID-19 patient
So why are Trump and Pence overtly modeling to every man, women and child in America that wearing a face mask at close quarters public events is not important, in fact if you do, you're kind of a pussy. (Maybe a correlation with my 2:1 woman to man mask ratio observation earlier?)

"The decision to wear a mask in public is becoming a political statement — a moment to pick sides in a brewing culture war over containing the coronavirus. While not yet as loaded as a “Make America Great Again” hat, the mask is increasingly a visual shorthand for a debate pitting those willing to follow health officials’ guidance and cover their faces against those who feel it violates their freedom or buys into a threat they think is overblown." (NBC)

I also think it's coupled with "The Donald's" narcissism and old world political machismo bullshit where both Trump and Pence need to be SEEN as 'tough leaders' - nothing to worry about little sheep, this soon shall pass.

As ESPN would say, "C'mon man."

It's time for these two to man up! Wear the damn mask in public social distancing situations so that millions of Americans will follow your lead, and save some lives.
Mask up motherf*#%ers.

So what if I wear this mask, will that work for everyone? 

Of all the stuff I've heard about masks in this pandemic, an elderly woman being interviewed on the news said it best, "Is wearing a mask around town more uncomfortable than being on a ventilator in an ICU at the hospital?"

My Born To Run - Runner's Playlist
I've presented this before in my Team Tortoise blogs, but I've updated it again this week and think it might spark that bounce in your steps. Stay well my friends!

and, Rest in Peace Little Richard.




References
"Who was that masked man?"
The allusion to the masked man refers to the question often asked at the end of an episode of The Lone Ranger, a radio and television program featuring a vigilante cowboy, popular from the 1930s to the 1950s. 
–Library of Congress




Face Mask Resources

Monday, May 4, 2020

A 'What If' Album: All In • CSNY 1970

By Doug McIntosh & Paul Hobbs
(two fans and a fanciful rewrite of 1970)

A 'What if' Album Series:
Apple Scruffs • The Beatles 1970 | All In • CSNY 1970

Photograph by Jim Cummins • Morrison Hotel Gallery


Background
David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young came from successful bands. The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Hollies, collectively had more than a dozen hits in the middle sixties. But by 1968, Crosby is kicked out of the Byrds, Nash stifled and frustrated in the Hollies, and Stills, who’s band fell apart just as it seemed poised for greater things, were drifting, looking to be a part of something else.

Neil Young, Stills’ former bandmate in Buffalo Springfield, had left the band, came back, and left again, his final departure coming as they were preparing to play the Tonight Show, a major milestone in a young bands rise. Neil was not drifting. He embarked immediately on a solo career, releasing Neil Young in 1968, and Everybody Know This is Nowhere in 1969. He did not look back.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash had found each other in Laurel Canyon, joined forces and released their self-titled stunning debut album in May of 1969 to great acclaim.

It all seemed to make perfect sense...

Ahmet Ertegun
That was... until Ahmet Ertegun, the President of CSN's record company (Atlantic Records) made a bold suggestion to have Neil Young join the band and go out with them on their first tour together. After some wrangling among the three founding members, all agreed to have Neil join the band as a full member to become Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Fan Fantasy
If you are a loyal reader of Monday Monday Music, you know this subject has been well covered before in the May, 2019 blog-
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Celebrating 50 Years of Their Debut Album. In that blog, I (Doug) take the 'what if' position that Ertegun does not make the suggestion for Young to join the band and CSN is lead by Stills as that band continues to develop as a harmonious trio.

In my March 23rd blog this year, I wrote about the 50th anniversary of Déjà Vu • March, 1970. My co-author this week, Paul picks up on that read, and we start to bat around the notion, "What if Neil didn't bolt (again) after the 1970 Déjà Vu Tour." So this week, we are going down the rabbit hole together with the fan fantasy that Neil is either hit by lightning or better, sees a 1950's Pontiac Hearst on Sunset Blvd when he returns from that 1970 tour and has an epiphany- He's going to stay with Stills this time and be the greatest American band (even if he is from Canada, and Nash is from England).

Back to Reality for a Moment
Like CSN, CSNY wanted to be an even a bigger supergroup of individuals and declared that up front with their last-name-band-name brand. This was done by design as all band members intended to use CSN and now CSNY as a springboard for having solo careers basically following Neil's solo album playbook. By Neil agreeing to join CSN and CSN agreeing to sign this talented free agent, they were all literally banking on all-star name recognition for a lifetime, with Neil posed in perfect position to be a superstar.

CSNY's second gig together as the new band was not just any tour stop, it was the Woodstock Festival, August 18, 1969. In what would be the start of countless dysfunctional acts among the group, Neil refused to have himself filmed at Woodstock and threatened the cameramen if they took any pictures. Most fans didn't even realize Neil was at Woodstock until years later.

In March, 1970 CSNY released Déjà Vu and it tops the charts as the band intentions are fully actualized. (Déjà Vu, reached number one in several international charts in 1970, and remains their best selling album, going on to sell over 8 million copies with three hit singles. Wikipedia)

On May 4, 1970 unarmed college students are shot at by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, during a mass protest against the bombing in neutral Cambodia by United States military forces. Twenty-eight National Guard soldiers fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis. Wikipedia

David Crosby takes the May 15th, 1970 Life Magazine to Neil Young and encourages him to write the song Ohio, which he completes very quickly. The song is rehearsed by the band and recorded on May 21st in just a few takes. It is released in early June and climbs to #14 on the Billboard charts.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the tragedy at Kent State. Let's just take a moment...

As young teenagers, Paul and I lived the Vietnam War and antiwar protests through our TV sets. The song Ohio brought the war and protests directly to our music listening as a single on our local AM radio station. CSNY opened a door to the the counterculture for many young people living in little towns like our's across America. Their music was powerful for a couple of young hippie wanna-be's as CSNY had more songs in the wings for our budding political awareness.

After releasing Ohio, and the 1970 summer tour, CSNY were on top of the world.

It all seemed to make perfect sense...

Then as quickly as it all came together, the band dissolves. So instead of a 4 Way Street coming together as a musical intersection, it's really four one-way streets all driving away from each other.

During 1970-1971, all four members made solo albums, and CSNY never attains the critical acclaim and chart performances from the original two classics Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Déjà Vu.

Neil Young                                 Stephen Stills                   David Crosby - If I Could           Graham Nash
After The Gold Rush                  Stephen Stills                    Only Remember My Name          Songs for Beginners
September 19, 1970                   November 16, 1970          February 22, 1971                       May 28th, 1971


and now for some... 

'What If' Pure Fan Fiction
It's July of 1970 and CSNY take the summer off from the second part of their 1969-1970 Tour. All four have agreed to meet in Los Angeles for mid-September rehearsals and recording for their third studio album scheduled for a December release date, and just in time for Christmas shoppers.

The young men, all previously intending to release solo albums in 1970 or 1970 have developed a killer instinct. They now know they have something special and this third CSN/CSNY album would put them in an elite class with the big three: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. And hey, The Beatles have just broken up in spring 1970, and CSNY sees their band moving into that big three band slot.

During that first tour, the band mates talked about the Stones and how they somehow managed to stay together as a team being, "all in." That phrase has kind of stuck with the boys and on July 9th in a Bloomington Sports Center dressing room (after their last first tour performance), agree to title the upcoming third album, All In.

1970 Fantasy-Band-Land Rules
  • Our album had to be a 12" vinyl LP (Long Playing) analog record with 23 minutes maximum play time per side. So back in 1970, a typical album had 12 songs or 6 songs per side.
  • Our fantasy album has seven songs on each side, almost taking up the entire 23 minutes per side. The thinking behind this- As four creative singer-songwriters, they have the songs! They also want to create a buzz in the music industry.
  • Songs picked for this 'What If' album would be from Neil, Stephen, David and Graham's solo albums released in 1970-71. This album will also include their hit single Ohio, and the B-side single, Find The Cost Of Freedom.
  • Think of these solo album songs as 'demo tracks' recorded without all four  participating to make a final definitive track with CSNY harmonies.
  • Use your imagination. For example, on Songs for Beginners, think of the boys harmonizing over Rita Coolidge's back up vocals.

All In • Release Date: December 7, 1970
All In represents a complete collaborative philosophy as the band wants to capture the spirit of making their first album, Crosby, Stills & Nash. They are actually practicing Music is Love, not only in a hippie sense, but by each band member bringing in their best songs for the group album, it becomes a critically acclaimed hot selling classic.

From a business sense, the boys play the long game and will be much richer in the years ahead over the sales of their individual albums. (How come countless bands can't see this, other than being young and stupid drugged out self-loathing egomaniacs.)

If they're smart, they will take all the songs from the four 1970-71 individual albums not yet used, plus new songs always coming and continue to make CSNY albums, but only bringing in their best material for much of the 1970's. How's that for some historical fiction!

And in a last fan fantasy footnote-
Historically, they are not viewed as a wash out band by the mid-1970's with only two great albums to carry their legacy decades down the road and most everything Wasted On The Way.

All inAlbum Design
In creating our fake album, Paul and I wanted to capture the band's involvement in the Vietnam antiwar movement. The back cover photograph was taken at the Fillmore East. With a little help from Photoshop, I gave the album jacket a textured feel. We both remember getting Déjà Vu and Neil Young's Harvest (1972), where you not only heard the albums, but you tactually experienced them as well.




Ladies and Gentlemen
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young • All In