Monday, January 25, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • January, 2021

Two Days In January 

January 6th - A Day of Desecration 
A day, I as an American citizen would never have thought possible. Almost three weeks ago, a mob incited by President Trump, descended upon our U.S. Capital and created a violent insurrection against our constitution by trying to stop the legislative process to certify our 2020 Presidential election.  

Back in October 2019, I created the American flag graphic above to go with a blog I wrote, Save The Country, 50 Years Later and the #WrongSideOfHistory. In that blog I used the 1968 song, Save The Country by Laura Nyro to frame my personal opinion where I stated, "After listening to 'Save The Country' 50 years later, I couldn't help but link the lyrics with our current political times under one Donald Trump as history's loop-tape back to the civil rights movement and the policies and behavior of the Nixon administration. These lyrics are as relevant today as when Laura Nyro wrote them in 1968 expressing her fortitude with the continual efforts to preserve our democratic principles and the dreams they are built on."
Come on, people, come on, children
Come on down to the glory river
Gonna wash you up and wash you down
Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down

One year later in October 2020, I wrote another blog, The Senate A Silent Majority, and the #WrongSideOfHistory, where I updated the graphic by adding the 'electoral 2020' to go along with the featured song of that blog by Paul Hobbs, The Senate A Silent Majority. In taking inspiration from Paul's song I wrote, The present Senate majority (fifty-three) Republican senators have simply been, SILENT. Silent to act as Trump almost provoked a war with North Korea. Silent to act on any meaningful legislation like rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Silent to act by watching immigrant children locked in cages at the southern border. Silent to act on the President's attempt to use a foreign power to influence our election. Silent to act on a world-wide pandemic with over 8 million U.S. cases and over 220,000 American deaths (so far). I could go on...

During this current month of January, that number of U.S. deaths is now over 420,000, not to mention Trump's impeachment for a second time in the House. Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate begins in February, and down the road, a (911-type) independent commission to investigate the entire insurrection, including the possible direct involvement by members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Now why I'm bringing up my American flag-Save The Country graphic again is due to the indelible video embedded in my brain forever of a particular Trump supporter beating a police officer with an American flag and pole. Now let that horrible irony really sink in because our waving flag is the definitive American symbol of our democracy.  For folks who talk about 'Patriotism' and 'Law and Order,' that specific act of terrorism toward that police officer within the totality of all the mob violence on January 6th, is the literal epitome of hypocrisy, and an haunting image I can't shake right now.

As an American, I have long destained the right's hijacking of the flag starting with it being 'Nixon's flag' and printed on everything from the 'mandatory' politician's lapel pin to patriotic underwear. The American flag represents ALL Americans, it flies over all of us.
I got fury in my soul, fury's gonna take me to the glory goal
In my mind I can't study war no more
Save the people
Save the children
Save the country now

January 20th - A Day of Democracy 
Exactly two weeks after January 6th, President Joseph Biden is sworn in as our 46th President of the United States. The Capital is returned to its glory and the splendor of the ceremonies both day and night brings an exhausted feeling of relief to a weary nation. I have no illusions that we are anywhere out of the woods of lies fueling rage, but a new sense of calm has come over me. Only in America.

On January 20th, two songs lifted my spirits and are bookends for the playlist this week. One, Lady Gaga opens the inauguration by singing the Star Spangled Banner that started a very emotional day for me. Second, Katy Perry closes the celebration by singing her 2010 hit Firework set to a fireworks display over Washington DC that was a four-year rainbow exhale for our nation. I cried.

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

On January 6th, I started this #NewMusicMonday January playlist to escape from the shear horror of what happened on this infamous day in history. The new music I have discovered this month has provided a great comfort from the daily news and video that has come to light from that terrible day. 

Today, I'm hoping to retire my 'Save The Country' graphic from the blog forever. I'm feeling very positive for the days ahead in keeping the dream and riding the dove. 

Enjoy the new music and covers this week my friends, stay well and mask-up.

Come on, people, sons and mothers
Keep the dream of the two young brothers
Gotta take that dream and ride that dove
We can build the dream with love, I know
We can build the dream with love
We could build the dream with love, I know
We could build the dream with love

Monday, January 18, 2021

List Your FAV FIVE Guitar Players

 FAV FIVE Series 

Guitar Players • Bass Players • Drummers • Keyboard Players
Last year, I got my readership to participate in LIST Your FAV FIVE... Songs, Albums, Singer-songwriters, and Rock 'N' Roll Bands. Over the course of this year, I'm now going to continue the series with a deeper dive by you listing your favorite musicians by the instrument they play. This week, we start with guitarists.

So here's how YOU can easily participate in LIST Your FAV FIVE Guitar Players.
  1. No matter the genre - Rock 'n' Roll, Folk, Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, Classical, etc., list one guitar player per line on the Google form below. 
  2. Then after the name, make a dash (-) and name a favorite song of yours that guitar player performs on. 
    (Example Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze).
  3. You can list up to 5 guitar players and songs, but are only required to list one.* This last point is very important. I want this to be fun, not stressful. If you can name one guitar player and a song they shine on fine, but if you want to do more, all the better.
Now what I'm going to do is make a collective playlist from all the participants lists (with that great guitar).  I have already started the FAV FIVE Guitar Players playlist at the end of this post with my five selections and my wife Mary Kit's five selections. I will add your songs to the playlist as soon as I get them. All you have do is fill out the form and hit the SUBMIT button and we are good to go! I will look for submittals to add to the playlist until Sunday night, January 24th.

In creating the evolving playlist this week, I try to do two things: 1) Find a high quality audio YouTube video of a live clip or performance of the guitar player either in their band or solo; 2) If I can't find a quality live performance, I will opt for the artist's original audio track on video from their album.

I will also list your FAV FIVE List just above the playlist.

Another thing. There are no restrictions on the guitar player whether he or she are playing lead or rhythm electric or acoustic guitar. For example- It doesn't matter if you don't know if Keith Richards is playing lead or rhythm in the song (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, you just know he composed that famous intro guitar riff to kick off the song.

Here's a helpful list of great guitar players from Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists. (Guitar World's 100)

Jimi Hendrix • Eric Clapton • Jimmy Page • Keith Richards • Jeff Beck • B.B. King • Chuck Berry • 
Eddie Van Halen • Duane Allman • Pete Townshend • George Harrison • Stevie Ray Vaughan • 
Albert King • David Gilmour • Freddy King • Derek Trucks • Neil Young • Les Paul • 
James Burton • Carlos Santana • Chet Atkins • Frank Zappa • Buddy Guy • Angus Young •
Tony Iommi • Brian May • Bo Diddley • Johnny Ramone • Scotty Moore • Elmore James •
Ry Cooder • Billy Gibbons • Prince • Curtis Mayfield • John Lee Hooker • Randy Rhoads • 
Mick Taylor • The Edge • Steve Cropper • Tom Morello • Mick Ronson • Mike Bloomfield •
Hubert Sumlin • Mark Knopfler • Link Wray • Jerry Garcia •  Stephen Stills • Jonny Greenwood •
Muddy Waters • Ritchie Blackmore • Johnny Marr • Clarence White • Otis Rush • Joe Walsh • 
John Lennon • Albert Collins • Rory Gallagher • Peter Green • Robbie Robertson • Ron Asheton •
Dickey Betts • Robert Fripp • Johnny Winter • Duane Eddy • Slash • Leslie West • T-Bone Walker •
John McLaughlin • Richard Thompson • Jack White • Robert Johnson • John Frusciante • 
Kurt Cobain • Dick Dale • Joni Mitchell • Robby Krieger • Willie Nelson • John Fahey • 
Mike Campbell • Buddy Holly • Lou Reed • Nels Cline • Eddie Hazel • Joe Perry • Andy Summers • 
J Mascis • James Hetfield • Carl Perkins • Bonnie Raitt • Tom Verlaine • Dave Davies • 
Dimebag Darrell • Paul Simon • Peter Buck • Roger McGuinn • Bruce Springsteen • Steve Jones • 
Alex Lifeson • Thurston Moore • Lindsey Buckingham
Source for 100 bios above - https://tvtropes.org/ or Wikipedia

Here's also a helpful list from me of great guitar players not listed in Rolling Stone's 100.
Leo Kottke
Andres Segovia
Source for bios above is Wikipedia

Doug's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Eric Clapton- Circus
  2. Mark Knopfler - Sultans of Swing
  3. Mike Campbell - Refugee
  4. Leo Kottke - Watermelon
  5. Roger McGuinn - Turn! Turn! Turn!
Mary Kit's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Keith Richards - Gimme Shelter
  2. Joe Walsh - Rocky Mountain Way
  3. John Fogerty - Up Around The Bend
  4. Lindsey Buckingham - The Chain
  5. Eddie Van Halen - Panama
Ron Zieman's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Eric Clapton - Born Under a Bad Sign
  2. Jimi Hendrix - The Wind Cries Mary
  3. Jeff Beck - Shape of Things
  4. Eddie Van Halen - Unchained
  5. Keith Richards - Honky Tonk Women
Mark Hunter's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Tommy Emmanuel - Guitar Boogie
  2. Jimi Hendrix - Voo Doo Child
  3. Eric Clapton - No Alibis
  4. Carlos Santana - Smooth
  5. Billy Strings - Dust in a Baggy
Paul Hobbs' FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. George Harrison - The End ( 2nd solo in each round of 3) McCartney, George Harrison and Lennon perform a rotating sequence of three, two-bar guitar solos. The idea for a guitar instrumental over this section was Harrison's, and Lennon suggested that the three of them each play a section. The solos begin approximately 53 seconds into the song. Geoff Emerick, the Beatles' recording engineer, later recalled: "John, Paul and George looked like they had gone back in time, like they were kids again, playing together for the sheer enjoyment of it. More than anything, they reminded me of gunslingers, with their guitars strapped on, looks of steely-eyed resolve, determined to outdo one another. Yet there was no animosity, no tension at all – you could tell they were simply having fun." Wikipedia
  2. Jimi Hendrix - Old Times Good Times (on Stephen Stills 1)
  3. James Taylor - Secret O’ Life
  4. Steve Howe - Mood For A Day
  5. Phoebe Snow - Let The Good Times Roll
Spencer Stark's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Mike McCready - Yellow Ledbetter
  2. Jerry Cantrell - Bleed the Freak
  3. Jimi Hendrix - Red House
  4. Slash - November Rain
  5. Carlos Santana - Corazon Espinado
Elliot Stark's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song (My nine year-old granddaughter)
  1. Angus Young - Thunderstruck
  2. Mike McCready - Red Mosquito
  3. Carlos Santana - Africa Bamba
  4. Jeff Lynne - Mr. Blue Sky
  5. Sheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do
Bill DeVoe's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King, Albert King, Paul Butterfield - The Sky Is Crying
  2. Mark Knopfler - Brothers in Arms
  3. Joe Bonamassa - I'll Play The Blues For You
  4. Steve Cropper - Green Onions
  5. Dick Dale - Misirlou
Ken Forman's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. George Harrison - Here Comes the Sun
  2. Joe Walsh - Funk 49
  3. Neil Young - Down By the River
  4. James Taylor - Me and My Guitar
  5. Todd Snider - Enough
Roger Demchak's FAV FIVE Guitar Players - and a favorite song
  1. Eddie Van Halen - Hot for Teacher
  2. Jimmy Hendrix - Stone Free
  3. Jimmy Page - Since I've been loving you
  4. Eric Clapton - Crossroads
  5. Joe Perry - What it Takes
Number of Times Guitarist Picked
5 - Jimmy Hendrix
4 - Eric Clapton
3 - Eddie Van Halen
3 - Carlos Santana
2 - George Harrison
2 - Mark Knopfler
2 - James Taylor
2 - Joe Walsh
2 - Keith Richards
2 - Mike McCready

Now it's your turn.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Our Collective FAV FIVE Guitar Players Playlist (all mixed up & growing)

Monday, January 11, 2021

Fifty Years of Music • January, 1971

1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Station Wagon

"Well it's been fifty years somewhere." 
–Anonymous

As we roll into 2021, I'm going to keep the monthly feature of going back to reconnect with music released 50 years ago from the current month, and so that takes us to January, 1971. Here's a quick timeline of events and a special automobile.

  • Jan. 1- The last cigarette commercials on U.S. television and radio were broadcast, and tobacco manufacturers spent $1,250,000 for the farewell advertising prior to the ban that went into effect at midnight. The last commercial was a 60-second ad for Virginia Slims that was run by the Philip Morris company at 11:59 during a break on The Tonight Show on NBC. The company had bought the last pre-midnight ads on the late night talk shows of all three networks, with ads for Marlboro on CBS on The Merv Griffin Show and for Benson & Hedges on ABC on The Dick Cavett Show.
  • Jan. 5 - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston was found dead in his Las Vegas home, after having last been heard from a week earlier. A coroner determined that Liston had probably died on December 30 after falling while alone. The date was arrived at based on the number of newspapers and milk that had been delivered to his home but not picked up.
  • Jan. 12 - The landmark television sitcom All in the Family premiered on CBS at 9:30 in the evening, opposite the ABC and NBC made-for-TV movies.
  • Jan. 25 -The murder trial of serial killer Charles Manson and three of his "Manson Family" followers ended with the jury returning guilty verdicts against all four. Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins were convicted of seven counts of first degree murder in the Tate–LaBianca murders of August 9 and 10, 1969, and Leslie Van Houten was found guilty of the five murders committed on August 9.
  • Jan. 30 - The UCLA Bruins college basketball team began a winning streak of 88 consecutive games, defeating UC-Santa Barbara 74-61, seven days after losing to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, 89-82. Ironically, Notre Dame would end the streak, defeating UCLA 71-70 on January 19, 1974.
  • Jan. 31 - Apollo 14, carrying astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell on the first manned lunar mission since the failure of Apollo 13, lifted off from Cape Kennedy. 
    From January 1971, Wikipedia

That puts me at almost sixteen with still just a Driver's Permit behind the wheel of the family station wagon with either mom or dad. Here the car pictured above from a Google search is the spitting image of how our Vista Cruiser looked in 1971. I couldn't wait until my birthday in March to take my driver's test, and captain 'the big boat' by myself.

My lasting memories of the ol' wagon are: the smell of cigarettes embedded in the green vinyl seats as my mom had banned my dad from smoking in the house; sitting in the second row bench seat and looking up through the progressively designed tinted top and sides sun roof windows; and, telling friend Bill DeVoe a story while driving- looking at him instead of the road, Bill yelling, "look out!" and then me swerving like the tour guide on the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland to avoid rear-ending a car waiting to make a left turn- I made a hard right, narrowly missing the car, and corrected with a hard left to avoid the sidewalk curb, and a then a moderate right back to center in the road, and continued on the way to my house. Bill just looked at me and said, "You lucky bastard."

The playlist this week brought back memories too. Janis Joplin had just died in October, 1970 from a heroin overdose at the tender age of twenty-seven. At fifteen, I remember thinking, how does someone die at twenty-seven when not in a war, or car accident? Her album, Pearl was released in January, 1971 that went #1 on the Billboard 200 for nine weeks. Me and Bobby McGee also went to #1 as a single from Pearl as her cover of this Kris Kristofferson song brought him into the spotlight.
Nantucket Sleighride from the band Mountain was also released in January, 1971 but it missed me because my friend and next door neighbor Ron Zieman had moved back to New York the previous summer. Ron was a big Mountain fan and I know I would have been blasted in the confines of Ron's bedroom to the sounds of Nantucket Sleighride. Sadly, Mountain's big man Leslie West who played lead guitar and vocals just pasted away on December 23, 2020. Recently, Ron and I connected on the phone to talk about West and his talented bandmate (Cream and Mountain Producer), Felix Pappalardi, who was shot and killed by his wife Gail Collins in 1983. 

'Fifty years of Music' is a great exercise for me to rediscover musicians and bands who I was not exposed to back in the day. Ian (or Iain) Matthews is a perfect example of somebody who I have heard of mainly through his band Matthews Southern Comfort, but really haven't heard his music. That is now changing as I started listing to his second solo album, released in January, 1971, If You Saw Thro' My Eyes. As I was listening to the album, I kept saying to myself, "Why do I not know this guy?" If you like folk/Americana, you're going to want to dive into Iain Matthews.


Lastly, The Point! a children's story and album by Harry Nilsson is a long time favorite of mine. As a bonus, I've included the entire one hour and fourteen minute adaption of the story as its available as a YouTube video! You can watch it, only if you first listen to my playlist (just kidding, kinda). The Point, an animated adaptation of the story, first aired February 2, 1971, and was the first animated special ever to air in prime time on US television; it appeared on the ABC television network as an ABC Movie of the Week. The film was directed by Fred Wolf and produced by Murakami-Wolf Films in association with Nilsson House Music. YouTube


Stay well my friends and mask-up!


The Point, 1971 Animated Movie 
Story Narrated by Harry's friend, Ringo Starr

Note - There is a slight glitch in this video as it starts at almost the end?
With your cursor, simply move the red 'Time' bar left back to the beginning at 0:00. 

Monday, January 04, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume II

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

(Original Photo Source: Parade.com)

First thing, let the tide of your mind just wash 2020 out to sea. 

This being my first post of 2021, I thought I'd tap into a common but often broken New Year's Resolution- 

To walk or run MORE during the year.

Here's some tips and tricks I have learned through my personal experience for getting out there and moving the ol' body forward.

Walk Everyday for Exercise
There is no fountain of youth, but there is walking. A Walk is one of the essential keys to a life worth living if you are still breathing in your 80's and beyond. No matter your age, don't wait another day to keep your brain and body working together as a team. I mean it, if you're not walking for exercise everyday, you've got to seriously change your behavior now. If you are a busy person with a full-time job and family, 'schedule' a daily walk into your daily planner. 

Walk Outdoors
This pandemic has a host of downsides involved with spending too many hours of the day inside. I know it's easy for me to say this from San Diego, but try to get outside where you can go for a walk at least once a day. Walking outdoors is the best anti-depressant.

Listen to Music While Walking or Running Solo
Music can get in the way when walking or running with someone, let the gift of conversation be the catalyst to put a spring in your step. But, if you are walking or running solo, music can be extremely motivating and calming at the same time to take you faster and farther. Your Smartphone is you #1 mobile music listening device, not to mention it is always there in an emergency. 

If you're new to the blog, I create a new playlist for every post. You may have the two or three minutes it takes to read my typical post, but may not have the time to listen to all the songs in my playlist (for example, this weeks playlist has 25 songs). Several friends of the blog have shared with me that they listen to my Monday playlist when they go out on their walks or runs during the week. I of course think that's a great idea and would suggest you simply bookmark the link here in your phone web browser to- 
Doug Mcintosh's YouTube Playlists 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVsfXIjkQLUL1jAmgJPrjpw/playlists?view=1

Use a Smartphone Armband
Now especially for running, I would suggest an armband holder for having quick access to your phone. I've been through several armbands before I found the Bone Run Tie Running Armband (pictured to the right). It comes in black or white and simply is attached to the armband by four very stretchable and sturdy rubber bands that securely hold the four corners of the phone. Here it is on Amazon for $24.95. The advantages are: You can directly touch the screen (e.g skipping a song) rather than using the plastic sleeve type armbands where you have to touch the screen through thick and often foggy plastic; or you can quickly take off your phone to use in an emergency, or just stopping to smell and photograph the roses. 

A smartphone GPS Running App is great for tracking your walking or running progress. I have also been through a couple of free GPS apps and found Runkeeper to have a great interface with easy to use features, plus its very consistent with its GPS tracking system. One more tip, turn off your phone, and then turn it back on before you leave the house for your walk or run. The GPS seems to like a fresh start and I found it to be more consistent when I do this as there is nothing more frustrating on a known distance run when your GPS is off like an 1/4 of a mile.
Here is the download for iPhone
Here is the download for Android Phones

Walking Shoes
Walking and running are two different colors in relation to contact with the ground. It is much easier for the average person to naturally walk striking the ground at the mid-sole where one's whole foot absorbs contact with the ground at typical walking speeds of three miles (or less) per hour.

If you often experience 'common' sore feet or foot pain on walks, I would suggest the HOKA brand, known for their thick cushion soles. These shoes feel like you're walking on air, and are great to get you doing longer walks or hikes. 

Note- From personal experience, I would not recommend HOKA shoes for running because they are designed like most current high tech running shoes that cause your heel to strike the ground first and all that wonderful cushion goes out the window when your heel absorbs all the force of hitting the ground at 4+ miles per hour.

Running Shoes
For running shoes and just stated above, I would suggest a shoe that does not force a blunt heel strike with the ground. I have a long history of running injuries that I won't get into here, but since I switched to the Altra brand of running shoes my injury rate during the last two years has been eliminated by 95%. Altra shoes are designed for the foot to strike the ground at the mid-sole like when you walk barefoot. These shoes reminded me of running shoes I had in the 70's when I started running at eighteen. 


Face Masks
People ask me how do you run with a face mask during the pandemic? My answer is simple, it beats the alternative of getting COVID! I run on the streets where I encounter people walking, running or biking as well as run on a narrow trail where I closely pass people. I started with a tube-gaiter mask and that kept slipping, plus I found out most gaiters offer only one layer of protection. I then switched to cloth masks, then to paper masks and just couldn't find a brand that was both breathable and wouldn't fall down. Then I found the ICU - Basic Single Use Face Mask with 3 Layer Construction (50 pieces/box) at Target in a 10 pack, and then at Amazon for $12.99 for a 50 pack. This brand is a little wider than most paper masks designed for adults and is my current favorite.

Anti-Fog Spray for Glasses
If you're walking or running with a mask on and are wearing either eyeglasses or sunglasses, you've probably experienced glass fog. After trying one brand that I wasn't happy with, my daughter Shawna turned me on to the Zeiss Anti-Fog Defender System. The best price I found was at WalMart for $6.98 and $9.99 at Amazon. You just need to spray your glasses and wipe with the provided cloth each time before you go out with your mask on. I don't think there is a perfect product to completely wipe out foggy glasses on a high humidity day, but the Zeiss brand works well for me.

Note - I'm not getting paid for endorsing any of the above products, although that sounds like a good idea. Maybe this is my audition blog post to become a social media influencer for boomers?

Back to Music 
My playlist this week is the second in a series I started last year and plan to continue this year. It's called #BestSongiHeardToday where I collect 25 songs into a playlist from the best song I heard while out on a solo run. I like it because it turns out to be such a random list of songs, mostly 'deep cuts' from albums from my Amazon Music in 'song shuffle mode' that is now up to 29,776 songs. 

Now the first two songs in the playlist have a little special meaning. Both came on during Joe Biden's victory in November. Both gave me a big smile on the trail, and sometimes a smile is all it takes to make the #BestSongiHeardToday.

Stay well and mask-up my friends.
Happy New Year 
and can't wait until the celebration on January 20th!!!