Monday, August 30, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • August, 2021

I've been tempted to rebrand my Monday Monday Music™ name several times since I started this blog in 2015. Did I write myself into a corner by having to publish every Monday or on a Monday? Should I have used my own name to brand myself? But, I always come back to sticking with Monday Monday Music as it's taken me this far with a dedicated reader and playlist listening base.

Now when it comes to bands, a name change after some success can be a risky venture. I know this happens, but I'm only coming up with one example from the past. I remember 'The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band' going through a short phase of calling themselves, 'The Dirt Band.' I think they quickly went back to their OG name once they realized the nitty gritty of the situation.

Naming of the most famous band-
By January 1959, Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, and he began his studies at the Liverpool College of Art. The three guitarists, billing themselves as 'Johnny and the Moondogs,' were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer. Lennon's art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who had just sold one of his paintings and was persuaded to purchase a bass guitar with the proceeds, joined in January 1960. He suggested changing the band's name to 'Beatals,' as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. They used this name until May, when they became the 'Silver Beetles,' before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July, they had refashioned themselves as the 'Silver Beatles,' and by the middle of August simply 'The Beatles.' 

Now The Beatles, did all this name swapping before they really had any real name recognition. Personally, (and please Beatle fans don't burn me at the stake here) but I've never liked the name, 'beat' pun and all. Anyway, The Beatles did start getting name recognition in 1960, stuck with the name, and the rest is history as they say. 

That brings me to one of my new favorite bands of the past several years and featured in the new music playlist this week, Mandolin Orange. The name 'Mandolin Orange' is pure Americana genius and one of my favorite band names in memory. 

However, this past year the Mandolin Orange duo of Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin changed their name to, 'Watchhouse.'

You can read the link article above for their name change and maturation as artists, and it all makes perfect sense, it's their band, period.

Personally, as a fan I'm not digging it so much. Honestly when I first heard the name, I thought of teenage slasher movies like, I Know What You Did Last Summer, or The Hills Have Eyes. I'll just forget my images of Jamie Lee Curtis, Neve Campbell, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, sorry.

Watchhouse with their self-titled new album, Watchhouse is a very good album from a very good band. If you're into acoustic guitar, mandolin and harmony look no further than Watchhouse (tagged for awhile as, "formally Mandolin Orange"). I think I'm now cured of my blog name change game I play in my head.

Featured Artists And Bands On This New Music Playlist (A-Z)
  • Marisa Anderson & William Tyler
  • John Batiste
  • Big Red Machine
  • Jade Bird
  • Bleachers
  • Lindsay Buckingham
  • Coldplay
  • Rodney Crowell
  • Dawes
  • Brett Dennen
  • Tommy Emmanuel & Richard Smith
  • Oliver Hazard
  • Natalie Hemby
  • Scott Hirsch
  • Chistone "Kingfish" Ingram
  • Durand Jones & The Indicators
  • Josiah and the Bonnevilles
  • The Killers
  • John Mayer
  • James McMurty
  • Robert Plant & Allison Krauss
  • Kathleen Regan
  • Maggie Rose
  • Sturgill Simpson
  • Toad The Wet Sprocket
  • Watchhouse 

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Ongoing War on Covid-19 and the Cantankerous Objectors

Photo Source - Steve Hoffman Music Forums

Last Monday, I got on a jet plane for the first time in over a year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm currently in Seattle and feeling like I'm actually on a vacation. When in Seattle, my wife and I usually see a concert, but we decided we should wait a bit longer to be inside a venue with the Delta variant surging and a large percentage of the population STILL NOT vaccinated.

Due to the pandemic in 2020-21, we have had tickets cancelled for-
  • The Rolling Stones (San Diego)
  • Sheryl Crow (Las Vegas)
  • Sting (Las Vegas)
  • Livingston Taylor (San Diego)
  • Joan Osborne and The Weepies (Seattle)
We're coming back to Seattle in mid-October and Mary Kit and I were planning on seeing one of my favorite bands that I have never seen before, The Jayhawks. This show is General Admission (standing only) at the Neptune Theatre on October 21st. This specific show has already been cancelled twice on 6/18/2020 and 1/17/2021, and we've made the decision not to go. I just have to wonder how the virus will be in October, and standing so close to others in a packed house, and wearing a mask for 2-3 hours? I love this band and really want to see them, but sadly not now 😞.

Even though I'm not going, I'm encouraged that venues like the Neptune Theatre have the following proof of vaccination requirement.

STG requires proof of vaccination for entry to all performances at the Paramount, Moore and Neptune Theatres. Those individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including children under 12, must have proof of a negative Covid PCR test (taken within 48 hours of performance). STG staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative Covid PCR tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Additionally, masking is required inside the venue. Patrons and employees will be required to wear masks, except while actively eating or drinking. (STG Seattle Theatre Group)

Now, two of my heroes of rock 'n' roll have handled their upcoming concerts at venues quite differently. 

The first being Eric Clapton, and without giving him too much attention with his cantankerous past rants about lockdowns and his Covid vaccination, and his new stance that he will not require proof of vaccination before entering his concerts. Moving forward, I just had to say on my July 23rd Monday Monday Music social media accounts, "Goodbye legend, hello dumbass."

The second, and still reigning champion is Jason Isbell. If you didn't get a chance to see Stephanie Ruhle's interview with Jason, here is a condensed version (01:23) with Mr. Common Sense simply explaining the priorities of one's freedom pertaining to The Declaration of Independence.  In my opinion, it's the definitive statement of our current situation with the anti-vax/anti-mask movement during this pandemic.

On August 14th of this month, my vaccination patience with the unvaxxed snapped.

I was on the way to my twin grandson's birthday party when I drove by an anti-vax/anti-mask rally in front of a Kaiser Hospital in San Diego. I thought how ironic, the hardworking healthcare staff providing care and treatment with non-vaxxed covid patients inside, while outside, these selfish dumbasses are carrying signs and waving American flags whining about mandates to their personal rights, freedom, and liberty.

Comparing Wars

Our nation has a history of being divided. You just have to start with slavery and the Civil War.  If you jump to the 1960's, you have the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, abortion and women's rights to name a few. But let's go back to the Vietnam War to compare the protest movement of that time with the current protest movement of the anti-vax/anti-mask protest movement. 

This current movement is fueled by small groups on the left usually peddling the risks of vaccine myths, like vaccines can cause autism. Then there's the much larger conservative groups on the right proclaiming the violations to their 'individual freedom' wrapped around their use of the American flag.

In the Vietnam anti-war movement, the ultimate action by a protester who was called into the 'Military Service Draft' was to declare themselves a 'conscientious objector.' 

A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion. Wikipedia

The conscientious objector paid a huge personal price in their decision. They either had to flee their country and leave their former life behind, or lose their personal freedom and go to prison for a certain amount of sentenced time. My point here, is that the military service mandate imposed upon them and their individual decision to be a conscientious objector did not physically harm or kill anyone else.

Now for the anti-vaxxer it's totally a selfish decision, nothing conscientious about it, who I now call, "a cantankerous objector." Cantankerous objectors refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine and fight the war of this deadly virus are in fact making a conscious choice that I define here.

A cantankerous objector is a grumpy misinformed individual who has claimed the right to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine and potentially contract and/or spread the virus causing a range of sickness to death to children and adults in the general population. 

To promote and practice an anti-vax/anti-mask stance is in my opinion, unethical and immoral, it's simply unAmerican. For young children under 12, they have NO Choice, other than to mask-up, unless under two, whom often can't tolerate a sun hat much less a mask around their little nose and mouth. My one-year granddaughter would be in that group. As an adult and/or parent, who would even think only about themselves, much less actively protest to endanger children in an ongoing public health crisis? 

With the Delta variant virus surging- sending children to the hospital, sending businesses and the economy back into limbo, sending us all back to mask mandates for our safety, it's all too much, again! 

I'm beyond patient as a vaxxed American. Driving by Kaiser Hospital on August 14th made me mad as hell!

some old-time American Civics  

In school as children we were all taught about how you don't have the right, or freedom, or liberty to shout, "FIRE" in a crowded theater. This most basic of examples taught us as CHILDREN that the safety of the entire group in the theater superseded any one person's free speech to yell something that might endanger a group of people. 

As Americans, 99.9% got the larger message back in the day, and then from Star Trek, Wrath of Khan, Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain Kirk answers, “Or the one.”

And, The Three Musketeers- One for all, all for one.

Remember Polio?

Polio Iron Lung Ward -
The ventilator/respirator back in the good 'ol days
The history of polio (poliomyelitis) infections began during prehistory. Although major polio epidemics were unknown before the 20th century, the disease has caused paralysis and death for much of human history. Over millennia, polio survived quietly as an endemic pathogen until the 1900s when major epidemics began to occur in Europe. Soon after, widespread epidemics appeared in the United States. By 1910, frequent epidemics became regular events throughout the developed world primarily in cities during the summer months. At its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, polio would paralyze or kill over half a million people worldwide every year. (Wikipedia)

In 1921, at age 39, Franklin D. Roosevelt contracted polio and was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Neil Young (5 Years Old)
In 1951, Neil Young contracted polio during the last major outbreak of the virus in Ontario, and nearly lost his life. Fellow Canadian music legend Joni Mitchell, two years his senior, also caught polio during the same outbreak. The family brought him to New Smyrna Beach, Florida in December 1951 where they stayed for 6 months for him to regain his strength. (Tidal)

In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation's history, and is credited with heightening parents’ fears of the disease and focusing public awareness on the need for a vaccine. Of the 57,628 cases reported that year, 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis. (Wikipedia)

On March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced his successful polio vaccine to the world. I was born two years later on the same date, and as a child received the polio vaccine as my family and my whole community did, and as all the towns and cities of America did in the 1950's and 60's. Sure there was a mandate to get the polio vaccine before you could go to school, but TEAM America didn't need a mandate to do the right thing.

Elimination of Polio in the United States (from CDC):
  • by 1957 there were less than 6,000 cases
  • by 1963 there were less than 100 cases
  • by 1970  there were less than 10 cases
  • Since 1979, no cases of polio have originated in the U.S.
In the 20th century, TEAM America knew how to come together to fight the fascists in two world wars. So in the war with the polio virus in the mid-1950's, we now were armed with the Salk vaccine as it became 'ALL HANDS ON DECK' to get the vaccine and protect each other. As a country we were divided on many political issues, but when it came to public health issues of life and death, we knew how to come together as a democratic society.

As a result, people like me have never heard of or have never met someone who had contacted polio after my birth year of 1955. In 1955, If you carried an anti-vax sign that read, "LET ME CALL MY OWN SHOTS, proclaiming your personal freedom and liberty as an American citizen in 1955, you probably would have received a strong response being called at the very least, "unpatriotic" and "unAmerican" and quite possibly, "a pinko-commie pig!"

Maybe for the anti-vaxxers anti-maskers out there, we should just rebrand here for their bubble of selfish dilution and now call the Covid-19 virus, "POLIO!" Oh, sorry I forgot, they grew up vaccinated and probably don't know what polio is and it's disabling effects.

Remember Small Pox?

Smallpox is a terrible disease. On average, 3 out of every 10 people who got it died. People who survived usually had scars, which were sometimes severe. (CDC)

Smallpox was found on ancient mummies from 3000 years ago. In the 20th century it killed from 300-500 million people. The vaccine for smallpox was actually first developed in 1796 but only effective after successful world-wide inoculation programs in the 20th century made it completely eradicated across the globe-  
  • North America 1952
  • Europe 1953
  • South America 1971
  • Asia 1975
  • Africa 1977

Remember Measles and ChickenPox, I Do 

Here's a measles story told to me over the years by my mother, Fern.

My Grandparents & 3 Children (1933 or 34)
The McWilliams family were poor farmers in Texas in the depression of the early 1930's. In 1934, my grandparents had three girls, Nellie May (7), Wilma (5), and Juanita (15 months old). In February of that year, all three contracted the measles. Within a short time, both Nellie May and Juanita also developed pneumonia. Nellie May died first and then Juanita four days later. Wilma although very sick, survived the ordeal.

My mother was born in July of 1935, and two sisters, Wanda and Carolyn followed her two and five years later. In 1938, the McWilliams family came to California and although it was not a 'Grapes of Wrath' journey, it was pretty close.

When I was a teenager, my Grandma Mary was over for a family holiday celebration with my aunts Wanda and Carolyn. Some how they got on the topic of Nellie May and Juanita and my grandmother telling us about their lives. 

When it got to their death, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, I'll never forget it. One thing that sticks with me, is that my grandmother said, "After Nellie May passed, Wilma played with Nellie May as an imaginary friend, and she was never the same little girl, and neither was my husband."

8/25/21 Update- Shortly after I published this post, my sister Stephanie called me to remind me that our Grandma Mary's mother had died of the Spanish flu in the 1918 influenza pandemic (678,000 deaths). My grandmother was 13 thirteen years old and one of 12 children. She had to quit school in the 8th grade to instantly become a mother to her younger siblings. Later in 1947, her husband Edwin had a massive heart attack when he was only 40, and then lived in an oxygen tent in their living room for three years before he died at 43. My mother was 12 years old and helped raise her two younger siblings while my grandmother had to go to work and become the Post Master of her small town in Casmalia, CA. Grandma Mary was tough as nails with a heart of gold and had already lived a lifetime of suffering just before modern medicine kicked in the second half of the 20th century.

If you're younger than 55 years old or so, you probably don't remember the measles because a vaccine was tested and then implemented in 1963. As a child before the vaccines, I got the measles and chickenpox (varicella) and believe me I remember it as a horrible experience, same for my brother Steve and sister Stephanie.

In the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. It is estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year. Also each year, among reported cases, an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles. Measles was declared eliminated (absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months) from the United States in 2000. (CDC)

Now my little sister Susan was born in 1965. The Beatles were the top band in America, the Vietnam war was beginning to escalate, but the war on the deadly viruses in America were going, going, almost gone. Susan never had the measles or any other of the world's deadly viruses (maybe chickenpox?), because she was born into the time and culture of the fully vaccinated. Note- The chickenpox vaccine was added to the childhood immunization schedule in 1995. It is part of the MMRV vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine).

Stephanie's Baby Book.
The immunization schedule is built right-in.
In a conversation with my mother about this a few days ago she said, "I was the first in line to get all you kids the new vaccine whenever one came out."

The Vaccine Life

My point in all this is that the great majority of people living today have no idea how life was before world-wide vaccines and inoculation programs saved millions of lives in the 20th century. When it came to a virus as a public health crisis, TeamAmerica came together because they had directly experienced the suffering and death of viruses. 

In the 21st century, not so much. 

The anti-vax movement first took hold on the fringe left as part of the old dogma of government control of our personal lives coupled with various conspiracy theories. On the right, that dogma has been hijacked and politicized to work as an ongoing dividing wedge to keep conservative politicians in power fighting for "freedom" already and STILL secured here in America as any strong democracy on earth.

The anti-vax/anti-mask movement is bullshit politics, and it's killing Americans everyday as 49% of the total adult population has still chosen not to receive the FREE Covid-19 vaccination. The efficacy data on the Covid-19 vaccines  are overwhelming, they protect us and save lives! 

I can only hope the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers behavior doesn't directly shut down the economy and schools again because of their selfish motives that continues to turbocharge the Delta variant. Didn't this same protest movement complain about the 2020 economy shutdown because of the lockdowns and mask mandates before the vaccine? I guess if you're blinded by dogma propaganda, logic is not part of your self-serving brain.

As of this post, 628,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. It would seem that for the anti-maskers who carry the highly offense signs at their rallies, "I Can't Breathe," I guess that would be to them, 628,000 inconveniences (not to mention that they don't give a rat's ass about George Floyd's and the Black Lives Matter movement's rights, freedom and liberty).

For the all the people in the U.S. who have never experienced suffering and death due to a virus, that time arrived in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic. What will change to get to herd immunity for Covid-19 in the United States? Sadly, behavior change for many may only come after a close family member or friend dies from the virus or variant(s). Believe me you didn't have to tell my mom and dad's generation more than once to get a vaccine when technology made it available. 

We will ultimately win the war on the Covid-19 virus and variant(s). But, it would have been wonderful if 21st century America could have come together to recapture "The Greatest Generation" mentality, spirit and disciple that defeated the Nazis and the killer viruses, and saved the world. Thanks mom and dad.


And now for a Live Music Playlist From My Cancelled Concerts Due To Covid-19 that I have missed so far in 2020-21. I also included some live Jayhawks songs because I was so close to hitting the "Purchase" button a couple of times this past week.

Charlie Watts (1941-2021)
Also, rest in peace Charlie Watts. I missed seeing The Rolling Stones during your lifetime and after holding cancelled tickets to your shows in Las Vegas before the pandemic, and in San Diego during the pandemic. It wasn't meant to be, but we have a lifetime of Stone's music and videos of you providing your unassuming solid rock beat as one the best drummers of all-time!


Monday, August 16, 2021

Hey, you sing funny

Bob Dylan (1961) • Photograph by Ted Russell

They used to call the the great jazz singer Mel Tormé, "The Velvet Fog." When Bob Dylan hit the airwaves in the early 1960's his singing voice was often mocked and ridiculed, encapsulated by the mainstream as, "The Nasally Frog."

Woody Guthrie and his slogan on his guitar,
"This Machine Kills Fascists"
Bob Dylan idolized the legendary folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie who had a no nonsense vocal style that was borderline monotone. Woody was about the message over the messenger. He didn't give a damn what people thought about him, he simply wrote music and let the lyrics lead the way. Dylan greatly admired this and followed his muse in much the same fashion.

In 1961, Bob visited Woody in the hospital as he was slowly dying from Huntington's Disease. In that visit Guthrie remarked, “That boy’s got a voice. Maybe he won’t make it with his writing, but he can sing it, he can really sing it.”

I've always remembered that statement because if Bob Dylan is known for anything, it's his writing and is considered one of the greatest songwriters of all-time. But what Woody was specifically referring to was the unique quality of young Dylan's voice. He wasn't just another run of the mill folk singer, Dylan was different, his vocals set him apart from other folk singers even before he wrote his famous songs.

Now when Bobby was young and coming up and singing with guitar in hand, how many times do you think he heard from some kid or even conformist adult say, "Hey, you sing funny."

Bob's heard it his whole life, but I also want to distinguish between the young Bob Dylan singing voice and NOT the older thrashed Bob Dylan singing voice. Over the decades, Bob's vocals have suffered greatly with the passage of time combined with his habitual cigarette smoking, not to mention the drugs and alcohol. Bob's not the only artist who's vocals have suffered at the hands of smoke, drugs and alcohol to go along with age, but he's probably the most visible target because of his iconic stature.

In the playlist this week, I focus on a number of artist's in their magnificent quirky vocal prime, who forged ahead and dismissed the people who said that they couldn't sing. I say, "quirky" because their atypical lead vocals broke the tradition of the pitch perfect singers on radio and records in the 1960's and 1970's, not to mention their independent personalities that set them a part from the pack.

I start with Bob Dylan because it's my opinion that his singing voice in the early 1960's is one of the pivotal moments in popular music where the listening public could dare dream of becoming a singing songwriting professional. His definitive singing voice literally kicked open the door for thousands of young people to pick up the pen, and a microphone.

Bob Dylan changed the world in two important ways. 

First, he got up on stage and sang his and other people's folk songs while constantly being made fun of and ridiculed for his singing voice. His coat of emotional armor developing as he ventured into the heart of the folk scene in Greenwich Village, New York. His stories and fabrications about himself. His shy, aloof, dismissive and defiant manner and tone wasn't just an act, it was a part of his maturation as an artist and performer.

Second, in the mid-sixties he turned the folk establishment on its ear by going electric and more than anyone, merged folk with rock 'n' roll as he was openly being booed while performing. Dylan didn't care, he was moving forward with his songs. 

So does Bob Dylan begat a Leonard Cohen or Neil Young, a Randy Newman or Willie Nelson? I think so. I got to think that these songwriters and thousands more were certainly influenced if not motivated to step up to the front mic on a stage because of Bob Dylan.

So let's take a listen to "The Quirky Ones." The one's who wrote great songs, but at first, may have not been considered worthy singers of their own written material, and the one's who's unique vocals took their body of work to an exalted place in music history.
  1. Woody Guthrie
    One day we'll all find out that all of our songs was just little notes in a great big song!

  2. Bob Dylan
    Critics have been giving me a hard time since Day One. Critics say I can’t sing. I croak. Sound like a frog. Why don’t critics say that same thing about Tom Waits? Critics say my voice is shot. That I have no voice. [Why] don’t they say those things about Leonard Cohen? Why do I get special treatment? Critics say I can’t carry a tune and I talk my way through a song. Really?

  3. Ringo Starr
    I never studied anything, really. I didn't study the drums. I joined bands and made all the mistakes onstage.

  4. Neil Young
    When you're young, you don't have any experience - you're charged up, but you're out of control. And if you're old and you're not charged up, then all you have is memories. But if you're charged and stimulated by what's going on around you, and you also have experience, you know what to appreciate and what to pass by.

  5. Janis Joplin
    Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin. Now, they are so subtle, they can milk you with two notes. They can make you feel like they told you the whole universe. But I don't know that yet. All I got now is strength. Maybe if I keep singing, maybe I'll get it.

  6. Dave Van Ronk
    I think I have more in common with a carpenter than you might think. We're putting things together.

  7. Lou Reed
    Music should come crashing out of your speakers and grab you, and the lyrics should challenge whatever preconceived notions that listener has.

  8. Ray Davies
    If I had to do my life over, I would change every single thing I have done.

  9. Leonard Cohen
    Music is the emotional life of most people.

  10. Randy Newman
    My music has a high irritation factor. I've always tried to say something. Eccentric lyrics about eccentric people. Often it was a joke. But I would plead guilty on the grounds that I prefer eccentricity to the bland.

  11. Willie Nelson
    When you hear me, you know it's me, regardless of the song.

  12. John Prine
    In my songs, I try to look through someone else's eyes, and I want to give the audience a feeling more than a message.

  13. Tom Waits
    They say that I have no hits and that I'm difficult to work with. And they say that like it's a bad thing.

  14. Bruce Springsteen
    I looked at myself, and I just said, 'Well, you know, I can sing, but I'm not the greatest singer in the world. I can play guitar very well, but I'm not the greatest guitar player in the world.' So I said, 'Well, if I'm going to project an individuality, it's going to have to be in my writing.'

  15. Patti Smith
    I had no proof that I had the stuff to be an artist, though I hungered to be one.

  16. Elvis Costello
    Maybe I just never learned my harmony part, because what everybody says sounds odd to them sounds perfectly natural to me.

  17. Chrissie Hynde
    The so-called feminist writers were disgusted with me. I did my thing, and so I guess by feminist standards I'm a feminist. That suits me fine.

  18. Mark Knopfler
    The music just tends to be a vehicle for that poetry.

  19. Iris DeMent
    For a long time I was interested in being a social worker. In a lot of ways I feel that that's all my music is, trying to help people.

  20. Leo Kottke
    I will literally open my mouth not knowing what is coming out.

  21. Bjӧrk
    The reason I do interviews is because I'm protecting my songs.

  22. Warren Zevon
    I got to be Jim Morrison a lot longer than he did.

  23. Kate Bush
    My music can be a little obscure. It does worry me that the music might be too complicated for people to take in - that they have to work too hard at it.

  24. Eddie Vedder
    I was around nine when a babysitter snuck 'Who's Next' onto the turntable. The parents were gone. The windows shook. The shelves were rattling. Rock & roll. That began an exploration into music that had soul, rebellion, aggression, affection.

  25. Lucinda Williams
    The old jazz singers or old blues singers, you always just saw them kind of sitting down and singing. They weren't worried as much about their voice sounding perfect. They would make the song kind of fit their voice.

  1. Bob Dylan Is a Great Singer (Slate)

  2. Buffalo Springfield (1966)
    "The Quirky Ones" - A good example of this is Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield in 1966 and the choice by their record company to make Young's Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing, their first single. The band also made the choice not to have Neil sing the lead, but to give that to bandmate Richey Furay. From Young's perspective, it probably added to his list of reasons he left the band after only two years. 
  3. - Quotes
  4. BrainyQuotes.Com

Monday, August 09, 2021

My FOURTH 100 Songs

I posted My 100 Songs 11/2016,

SECOND 100 Songs 4/2019,

THIRD 100 Songs 6/2020, and

FOURTH 100 Songs today.

I should have My FIFTH 100 Songs and LAST, sometime in the near future.

Over the years I chipped away at this project, slowly adding, moving around, or even deleting songs from the playlists.

This past week, I spent some extra time and updated all four playlists and created a custom top menu for your convenience. Hopefully no videos will have been blocked or deleted by YouTube as I'm moving to using the original artist's song video from their YouTube Channel.

In getting to this FOURTH 100 playlist, I've created a bit of a shuffle exercise for myself. A pecking order pattern has emerged where ultimately, the five 100 playlists will sequentially move from all-time favorites to favorites. Within each 100 songs, I will not rank them other than the first 10 songs or so of the first playlist are ranked as special special to me. 

Now, what do I do when I have curated 500 favorite songs and then want to add another great song? Well, I have thought that through and decided that a song from the FIFTH playlist will just get deleted and replaced with a song I like a bit more! 

And now, an imaginary scene rolling around in my brain. I'll be playing Meathead.


Archie seated in his sofa chair, Edith in her chair, Meathead standing by the dinner table.

Edith can you believe dis guy... look hows he spends his time deez daze.

Now Archie be nice.

Arch I do other things... I write a music blog every week.

Whoop di do... didnit ju used to have a real job?

My Fourth 100 Songs
  1. Hello Goodbye, The Beatles
  2. Nobody But You, Loggins and Messina
  3. Music is Love, David Crosby
  4. I Don't Mind, Sturgill Simpson
  5. A Light In The Dark, Darlingside
  6. I've Seen All Good People, Yes
  7. Machine, No. 2, Leo Kottke
  8. We Can Work It Out, The Beatles
  9. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, The Band
  10. I'll Get By, Crazy Horse
  11. Song For The Asking, Simon and Garfunkel
  12. Take Five, Dave Brubeck
  13. Wanderlust, Paul McCartney
  14. If You Saw Thro' My Eyes, Iain Matthews
  15. I'm Just Another Soldier, The Staple Singers
  16. On The Way Home, Neil Young
  17. Sloop John B, The Beach Boys
  18. Pre-Roads Downs, Crosby, Stills & Nash
  19. One Of These Things First, Nick Drake
  20. Broken Arrow, Neil Young
  21. Heart Of A Girl, The Killers
  22. Come Together, The Beatles
  23. Last Train to Clarksville, The Monkees
  24. Up On The Roof, Laura Nyro
  25. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, Bob Dylan
  26. Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
  27. Love Her Madly, The Doors
  28. Long Ago And Far Away, James Taylor
  29. Dear Prudence, The Beatles
  30. The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King
  31. Shut Up And Sing, Brent Cobb
  32. Bad Fog Of Loneliness, Neil Young
  33. Sunday Morning Coming Down, Kris Kristofferson
  34. Fall Apart Again, Brandi Carlille
  35. Traction In The Rain, David Crosby
  36. Cassiopeia, Sara Bareilles
  37. Walk On By, Dionne Warkwick
  38. The Last Time, The Rolling Stones
  39. Dear Boy, Paul McCartney
  40. Best Of The Best, Josh Ritter
  41. Be Yourself, Graham Nash
  42. My Favorite Mistake, Sheryl Crow
  43. Ain't No Sunshine, Bill Withers
  44. Any Time At All, The Beatles
  45. Late For The Sky, Jackson Browne
  46. Chain Of Fools, Aretha Franklin
  47. Roy Rogers, Elton John
  48. Heroes, Davie Bowie
  49. Behind Blue Eyes, The Who
  50. Two Angles, The Jayhawks
  51. Time Is A Runaway, The Alternate Routes
  52. Famous Blue Raincoat, Jennifer Warnes
  53. Ticket To Ride, The Beatles
  54. Keep On Tryin', Poco
  55. Here Comes My Girl, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
  56. Good Golly Miss Molly, Little Richard,
  57. Angel From Montgomery, Bonnie Raitt
  58. White Room, Cream
  59. What I Love About Rain, Art Garfunkel
  60. Taxman, The Beatles
  61. You Keep Me Hangin' On, The Supremes
  62. Who'll Stop The Rain, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  63. Rockin' In The Free World, Neil Young
  64. Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran
  65. Somebody To Love, Jefferson Airplane
  66. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right, Bob Dylan
  67. Honky Tonk Women, The Rolling Stones
  68. Creeque Alley, The Mamas & The Papas
  69. Alone Again (Naturally), Gilbert O'Sullivan
  70. Sweet Jane, The Velvet Underground
  71. Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears
  72. Positively 4th Street, Bob Dylan
  73. Running On Empty, Jackson Browne
  74. Woman Of Heart And Mind, Joni Mitchell
  75. Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix
  76. God Only Knows, The Beach Boys
  77. I'm Looking Through You, The Beatles
  78. Nick Of Time, Bonnie Raitt
  79. Long Monday, John Prine
  80. Mr. Spaceman, The Byrds
  81. The Weight, The Band with the Staple Singers
  82. Falling Star, Karla Bonoff
  83. Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Donovan
  84. Rock Me, Steppenwolf
  85. If She Knew What She Wants, The Bangles
  86. I'll Be Gone, Sarah Jarosz
  87. You Really Got Me, The Kinks
  88. Fishes And Scorpions, Stephen Stills
  89. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, The Beach Boys
  90. Don't Let Me Down, The Beatles
  91. Bitter Creek, Eagles
  92. The Shadow Of Your Smile, Tony Bennett
  93. Hot Fun In The Summertime, Sly & The Family Stone
  94. One, Harry Nilsson
  95. Woodstock, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  96. Friends, Elton John
  97. [One Man Dog Medley] Hymn, James Taylor
  98. [One Man Dog Medley] Fanfare, James Taylor
  99. Smile, Nat King Cole
  100. Rain, The Beatles
My FOURTH 100 Songs Playlist

Monday, August 02, 2021

Fifty Years of Music • July-August, 1971

Who's Next Out-take "Hug" Album Cover • Photography by Ethan Russell

I got a little backed up on posts last month and couldn't squeeze in Fifty Years of Music • July, 1971 so just decided to combine July with August here. 

Starting this month in the Fifty Years of Music series I will be including music, film, TV, and comedy events in the blog post and/or video clips from that month or year. So let's look back to the cultural events of the summer of 1971. Note- I will also start a References section with links at the end of the post. All italicized sections are from Wikipedia in this post.

April and June (video clips included in the playlist)
  • Film: Summer of '42 is released April 18th, but I saw it later in the summer. The movie had the tag line, "In everyone's life there's a summer of '42," so apparently I was the only guy on earth to be a teenager and not have a sexual experience with an older woman.

  • Birthday: Bill DeVoe celebrates his 16th birthday on Sunday, June 27th by having to attend both the morning and evening services at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Maria, CA. Bored to death during the evening service, Billy sneaks out of his pew, climbs the stairs up to the second floor office, then using a ladder stored in the corner climbs up into the faux steeple attic and pretends he's a prisoner in the Tower of London.

  • Film: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is released June 30th starring Gene Wilder. This film becomes an instant classic that no Hollywood producer would ever dare to remake, correct? It would be like doing a remake of the classic Wizard of Oz?
July 2
  • Film: Shaft is released starring Richard Roundtree. The "Theme from Shaft" by Issac Hayes wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and Grammy for Best Original Score for a Motion Picture. Now a remake of Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson, that's right on! 
    "You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother (Shut your mouth)"
July 3
  • Died: Jim Morrison, 27, American singer and leader of The Doors,
    was found dead in his bathtub in Paris, France. The cause of death remains uncertain, but an unintentional heroin overdose was the most popular theory.
July 6
  • Died: Louis Armstrong, 69, American jazz trumpeter and singer

  • Album: At Fillmore East is the first live album by American rock band the Allman Brothers Band, and their third release overall. Produced by Tom Dowd. I believe I first see this album in the hands of friend, Gary Hill.
The Two-Lane Blacktop cast with the souped-up '55 Chevy 150

July 7
  • Film: Two-Lane Blacktop is released starring James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates and Laurie Bird. Unbelievably, James says he has never seen the movie!  James' acting debut is a solid performance complete with him (I think) wearing the sweater that then girlfriend Joni Mitchell knitted for him on the movie set. Over the years, Two-Lane Blacktop has risen in stature among critics and is a must see that authentically captures the early 1970's much more than many big budget pictures of the day. Okay James, it's been 50 years and time to see what a wonderful film this is.
July 20
  • Birthday: Gary Hills celebrates his 21st birthday by buying his first six pack of beer (Molson) and a bottle of Annie Green Springs Country Cherry "pop wine" for his date. 
July 21
  • Album: Mirror by Emitt Rhodes is his third solo album and released by Dunhill Records that never promotes this underrated artist who wrote and played all the instruments on Mirror. Emmit Rhodes has been often called, "The One Man Beatles," and there is in fact a 2009 documentary with the same title. I've included the link here on IMBd but as yet can't find it on any of the streaming services. Anyway, The Beatles/Paul McCartney influence is evident throughout all of Emitt's music and I collected his four solo albums from 1970-73 from used records shop either in San Luis Obispo or San Diego CA.
July 23
  • Born: Alison Krauss, American country musician, in Decatur, Illinois
August 1
  • In New York City, 40,000 people attended the Concert for Bangladesh, a pair of fundraising concerts organized by former Beatle George Harrison and Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar in order to raise money for UNICEF to provide humanitarian relief to refugees of Bangladesh. Other musical performers for the concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden were Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the band Badfinger.
  • The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, starring husband-and-wife singing duo Salvatore "Sonny" Bono and Cherilyn "Cher" Lapiere, premiered as a summer replacement series on the CBS network, to run for six consecutive summer nights. The variety show was popular enough that it would be added to the CBS regular schedule in December.

  • Album: Cheech And Chong is the [August] 1971 self-titled debut album of Cheech & Chong, produced by Lou Adler. It features "Dave", one of their most famous routines. The album peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200 the week of March 4, 1972. The album was nominated for Best Comedy Recording at the 14th Grammy Awards, but lost to Lily Tomlin's 'This Is a Recording.'

  • Album: Himself is the debut album by Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O'Sullivan, first released in the United Kingdom in August, 1971. That album did not include his smash hit, Alone Again (Naturally) that was packaged with the Himself album in February, 1972 in the United States. I purchased that album pictured here in early 1972. I thought it was kind of quirky but loved the hell out of this album because it was so different. Not only different, but directly influenced by Paul McCartney in its lyrical word play, character development and musical arrangement. Alone Again (Naturally) is one of those songs you either loved or hated. My wife still hates the song 50 years later as she heard me add it to the playlist, but I still love it. In 1972, it spent 6 weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 100 and was ranked the #2 song for that year.  
August 13
  • Died: King Curtis (stage name for Curtis Montgomery), 37, Grammy Award-winning American saxophonist and posthumous inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was stabbed to death while trying to walk up the steps of his Manhattan apartment.
August 14
  • Album: The powerhouse of the playlist this week is The Who's, Who's Next released on this date. It's one of the greatest rock 'n' roll albums of all-time and a greatest hits volume all by itself.

    I remember riding in cars in the 70's when you just had the standard AM/FM radio. The Who were one of those bands that could literally break through the crappy car speaker and you could isolate in your mind and ears following the wonderful drumming of Keith Moon or the powerful bass of John Entwistle.

    I think most everyone reading this post literally wore out their first vinyl of the album and later bought the CD in the early 80's as one of the first CD's they ever purchased.

  • Birthday: Paul Hobbs celebrates his 17th birthday playing guitars with his old pal Paul Tognazzini, and then later with dad George, watch on TV the San Francisco Giants beat the New York Mets 6-5 in 10 innings. Paul's mom Blanche makes him his favorite chocolate cake with chocolate frosting served with vanilla ice cream.
August 21
  • Birthday: Ken Forman celebrates his 18th birthday as his family chips in to buy him two tickets (one for Vicki Grocott) to see his favorite band,  The Who play their last U.S. date 8/19/71 of the summer on their Who's Next Tour in Chicago.

    However, Ken first gets an even bigger surprise in the mail that states he has to appear for jury duty in an upcoming murder trial that is expected to last a year. Ken appeals to the judge, prosecuting and defending attorneys all of whom unanimously release him from the trial when he explains he has tickets to see, "The f**king Who!" 

    Ken and Vicki go to the concert which kicks off with Summertime Blues, have a wonderful summer week in Chicago, and live happily ever after.

  1. July 1971 (Wikipedia)
  2. August 1971 (Wikipedia)
  3. 1971 in Music, July (Wikipedia)
  4. 1971 in Music, August (Wikipedia)
  5. 1971 in Film, July-September (Wikipedia)
  6. Cheech and Chong (Album)
    August, 1971 (Wikipedia)