Monday, October 25, 2021

#NewMusicMonday • October, 2021


Every ripple on the ocean
Every leaf on every tree
Every sand dune in the desert
Every power we never see
There is a deeper wave than this
Swelling in the world
There is a deeper wave than this
Listen to me girl
–Sting

Writing about new music releases every month is my most difficult task at Monday Monday Music™. It's like wading out into rough surf with my 1970's Boogie board. I'll call the "rough surf"– the waves of new pop music constantly coming in through my social media apps like a wind blown day at Mission Beach. I do make the attempt to listen, but it's often like strapping my Boogie board to my ankle, putting on my fins and swimming under a series of choppy waves before I get out to calmer waters to waves with a little more form. As Sting said, "Love is the seventh wave."

In thinking about the Boogie board metaphor, I thought about the idea of taking a picture of my 1975 (baby blue) Morey Boogie board along with my brand new Morey Boogie Board that I recently purchased at Costco. That thought quickly faded as I'm currently in Seattle during this post and not at home in San Diego to snap that picture. 

Tom Morey, inventor of the Boogie Board, is
 photographed on Capistrano Beach 
holding
a newer model (left) and (right) 
his original
 1971 Boogie Board.
(Photo source- NPR/
Robert Lachman/Los Angeles Times
via Getty Images
So I started searching for Boogie board pictures on the Internet when I saw the NPR news headline, Tom Morey, inventor of the Boogie Board, dies at 86.

Tom Morey (August 15, 1935 – October 14, 2021), was a very creative person. He started out a professional jazz drummer, then moved to California and got a math degree at USC. He then became an engineer at Douglas Aircraft specializing in composite materials. In 1964 he quit Douglas Aircraft, moved to Ventura, CA and started several surfing related companies. Using his knowledge of composite materials and love of surfing, he developed several technological innovations that have heavily influenced modern surfing equipment design (Wikipedia).

But it wasn't until Morey left Southern California that he created the first Boogie board [with the name inspired for his love of jazz]. In 1971, Morey was living in Hawaii when he cut a large piece of polyethylene foam in half. He then worked to shape the foam with an iron after putting pages of the Honolulu Advertiser on top. By the time he was done Morey had a short board with a mostly rectangular body and a rounded nose. It weighed around three pounds — a fraction of what traditional surfboards weighed at the time. (NPR)

In the late 60's I started body surfing on the central coast of California. I then graduated to bodyboarding around 1971 as my friend Steve Spencer who surfed started shaping and making a few surfboards for fun. He gave me a small fiberglass board that was paddle board size he had made from some left over surfboard foam. I then took my dad's black and yellow Churchill Swim Fins from the garage, and they became mine. (I had no idea at the time that Churchill Fins would be the preferred standard for bodyboarders for many years.)  I loved bodyboarding! It was like being a dolphin with the sensation of my body being right in the wave. For no particular reason, I was never interested in standing and surfing. Maybe I wasn't into the surfer scene, but I did like the 1960's style VW bus.

In 1975, I moved to San Diego to go to school at
SDSU, and after hearing about this new type of soft bodyboard called the Morey Boogie® board,  I purchased a new Morey 132 B.E. for $50 at a surf shop in Pacific Beach. (When you don't have any money, you remember the price.) Needless to say, I had endless summers and wetsuit winters of fun Boogie boarding over the years, and I still have my original baby blue board and leash used by my kids when they were children at the beach and snow, and now my grandchildren at the pool and beach. Thank you Tom Morey!

Now back to my metaphor...

So I can still ride the waves with my folk and rock 'n' roll, but the ocean of music has changed. Change is a good thing and I'm not here to put down any current pop stars or genre of music, yelling like some 'locals only' surfer to, "get off my wave!" 

The cool thing about new music being released today is that folk and rock 'n' roll are still very much alive, although you do have to search a little deeper from the radio dial and bygone days of the record store. And that's why I'm here– finding you new and old tunes out in a crowded digital sea. It's that now I've moved my boogie down about 50 yards and years from the bump beat crowd to the the smaller jingle-jangle waves of my youth.

Hope you enjoy the new tunes, covers, and live performances I have ridden this month. In #NewMusicMonday and Fifty Years of Music, I include songs remastered from artists such as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor who have done a fantastic job to preserve their legacy through their new vault releases of archived audio and video.

I've also included three songs from Mark Hunter, my old college roommate, once Boogie boarder, and longtime surfer. Back in the day we spent a lot of time in the waves together. Long may you surf the break by La Jolla, and create music with your acoustic six-string Mr. Hunter!

And to Tom Morey, may you boogie in eternal peace with your music and love of play in the ocean.



Monday, October 18, 2021

Fifty Years of Music • October, 1971


Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now, do you believe in rock 'n' roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
–Don McLean, American Pie

October, 1971 has a couple of wonderful albums, Teaser And The Firecat by Cat Stevens, and American Pie by Don McLean. 

Also, released during that month was The Who's compilation album of most of their singles up to that point, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy. Now I normally don't include compilation album songs in my chronological 50 Years series playlists, but this one's special to me as it came out only two months after their smash rock album, Who's Next. What Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy did for me as a teenager was connect me to my childhood mid-sixties years of The Who, which was probably their record label's (Decca) marketing intention, and got me even more into the band.

 The album is named after the members of the band: "Meaty" is Daltrey, who was quite fit at the time; "Beaty" is Moon, for his drumming; "Big" is Entwistle, who was a large person, often referred to as "The Ox" (lending his nickname to the instrumental of the same name); and "Bouncy" was Townshend, who jumped about quite acrobatically during performances. Wikipedia

Teaser And The Firecat is what I would call an "in my room" album that I would typically listen to by myself as I would think about life and my teenage self in my parent's world. I would say the same for American Pie as the songwriting in both albums speaks to a young soul's yearning and sensibilities, and maybe another option within rock 'n' roll as just folk versions of rock's "teenage wasteland." Regardless, I was in both camps!

In listening again to the American Pie album this past week I'm reminded how good all the tracks are and often overlooked because the 8 minute 33 second playtime of American Pie itself was such a monster #1 hit song. It must have broke AM/FM play time records for an individual song as it was often played in its original length and eventually shortened by many radio stations. The first time I heard the line, "The day the music died" on radio, I was wondering if McLean was talking about The Beatles break up the year before? After hearing the song several times, I did learn to appreciate the symbolism within each verse as it's really a mid-20th century America history lesson. However over time, it would became one of those Great Songs Ruined By Radio and by the mid-seventies would be joined by another emblematic #1 song, Hotel California. The other big hit from American Pie is Vincent, one of the most beautiful songs ever written. 

In the playlist this week, I have reserved the full-length version of American Pie for last, complete with YouTube commentary (lonestarsound) as they did a nice job with the video. 

I also included three movie trailers from October, 1971 that really take me back to seeing these movies in the Santa Maria Theater. One of the movie trailers is from The Last Picture Show Directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

The Last Picture Show is a classic movie made at a time in the late 60's and early 70's when both movies and rock 'n' roll were in golden period of creativity. 

Watching the clip makes me want to watch the movie again, and in my mind I can weave the The Last Picture Show with American Pie as two mediums of art look back to paint poetic Americana portraits of our culture in the mid 20th century.

Enjoy my friends!... Hey, he didn't say a word about Cat Stevens and Van Morrison, wonder why?

Monday, October 11, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume VIII

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • 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.


...little aches and pains
I got 'em always now, sunshine or rain
Oh, these little aches and pains
I don't count my losses now, just my gains
–from Little Aches and Pains, song by Paul Kelly

This week I play the wannabe influencer, again trying to promote exercise related products that have worked for me even without an endorsement deal, much less any business acumen. 

Really I'm just sharing several solutions where I've gone through the trial and error process of buying and using several similar items in a product category before finding a winner.

First up, after buying a couple larger 'Uzi' style cordless massage guns for my chronically tight calves and thighs, I found this lightweight gem (or gym) that also conveniently fits in my day pack or suitcase. It charges easily with a USB port. I use the ball attachment for deep tissue pressure and the smaller size fits so much better in the palm of my hand. What's the line from John Mellencamp, "hurts so good."


 

Next up is my ongoing search for the ultimate joint pain relief supplement. In the past, I have posted a product that I described as the "kitchen sink" of joint support containing the four main ingredients found in the joint ache market today: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid.  

My brother-in-law Roger turned me on to hyaluronic acid several years ago and I started to incorporate it combined with Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM almost like a multiple vitamin. About six months ago, I decided to just go with hyaluronic acid alone but take more of a maximum dose. For me, I think it's been more effective than the kitchen sink approach as I feel it has eliminated most joint aches and has minimized my knee pain. By no means is hyaluronic acid a miracle cure but I feel it does a good job in hydrating one's skin and joints. Here's an article that looks at 11 benefits of hyaluronic acid for the face and body  

Here's my current recommendation - 
NatureBell Hyaluronic Acid Supplements, 250mg Hyaluronic Acid with 25mg Vitamin C Per Serving, 200 Capsules, Supports Skin Hydration, Joints Lubrication, Antioxidant and Immune System, Non-GMO (Amazon). I take the recommended 2 capsules a day (500 mg).

If you're a walker, jogger, cyclist, baller or dancer you've probably experienced knee pain at some point. In the past couple of years, I have developed knee pain (w/no swelling) in my lower right knee below the patella. 

I then found this patella knee strap on Amazon and wear it for running and if I'm doing any work around the house that involves bending or working on my knees. 


This strap in conjunction with the hyaluronic acid (and icing) have significantly reduced my knee pain to more of an ache, again no miracles here but a big improvement to keep me moving forward and in the long run of life.

Best Songs I heard this past month while mostly on the move with my phone.
  1. Little Aches And Pains, Paul Kelly
  2. Don't Owe You A Thing, Gary Clark Jr.
  3. I Can't Let Go, Evie Sands
  4. Broken Spoke, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  5. Outtasite (Outta Mind), Wilco
  6. You Tickle Me, Jesse Winchester
  7. Just Because, John Lennon
  8. Hello Stranger, Emmylou Harris with Nicolette Larson
  9. Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun), The Bangles
  10. Beautiful Way, Beck
  11. Just Can't Go To Sleep, The Kinks
  12. Sabra Girl, Nickel Creek
  13. About You, Teenage Fanclub
  14. Dreamboat Annie, Heart
  15. Hurts So Good, John Mellencamp
  16. Four Seasons In A Day, Crowded House
  17. No Milk Today, Herman's Hermits
  18. House of Pride, J.D. Souther
  19. So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad), The Everly Brothers
  20. Tug Of War, Paul McCartney
  21. Half A Human, Real Estate
  22. King Midas In Reverse, The Hollies
  23. I'll Remember, The Kinks
  24. Digging For Gold, Val McCallum
  25. Our Lady Of The Well, Jackson Browne with Val McCallum
  26. One World, Dire Straits
  27. Shades of Scarlett Conquering, Joni Mitchell
  28. B.S.U.R., James Taylor
  29. Dance, James Taylor
  30. Amazing Journey/Sparks (Live at Leeds), The Who

Monday, October 04, 2021

Beatles Covers • Volume I

 The Covers Series: 

When your favorite band covers a classic tune, their version is their interpretation — their translation — of the music. Is it better than the original? That's up for interpretation. Vocabulary.co

In putting together this Volume I of Beatles covers, I had three movies in mind that feature Beatles covers that would help shape the playlist. 
  1. I am Sam (2001 Film)
  2. Across the Universe (2007 Film) 
  3. Yesterday (2019 Film)
I included the song, Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight from the 2016 animated film, Sing performed by Jennifer Hudson.

I also included the song, Across the Universe from the 1998 film, Pleasantville performed by Fiona Apple.

I then filled the rest of the playlist with mostly live Beatles covers some of which I had never heard before. I decided to only feature one cover song per volume playlist. For example, I found several excellent versions of Blackbird and Here Comes The Sun and they will likely appear in later volumes as the treasure of Beatles covers is deep and wide. 

I also included a cover of George's Beware of Darkness which is from his solo album All Things Must Pass, and in the spirit of Chris Carter's (KLOS-FM) Breakfast with The Beatles I will include cover songs from the lads solo albums here and in future volumes as well. 

I found a great clip with The Bangles on Breakfast with the Beatles. In that discovery, I found three album volumes of covers by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs recording under the faux love couple name, 'Sid & Susie,' called Under The Covers. And on that note, I'll lead with Sid & Susie and their Beatles cover of And Your Bird Can Sing.

One last thing. In putting the playlist together this week I've been playing Beatle tunes in my head all week. Usually, I get one song I've picked for the playlist and that will be stuck in my head for several days. Here, I'm playing a different song or two or three a day in my head in the cover interpretation arrangements. The power of Beatle songs with all their composition just jumps right in and stimulates your brain in such a wonderful way. I don't need a reminder to know how special The Beatles are to me, but this past week brought back a wave of thought and emotion to punctuate how special John, Paul, George, Ringo, and George Martin are to the world.

Featured Covered Songs and Artists Include:
  1. And Your Bird Can Sing, Sid and Susie (aka Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs) 
  2. Help!, Cover Club
  3. Blackbird, John Batiste
  4. Penny Lane, The Barefoot Movement
  5. I Want To Hold Your Hand, T.V. Carpio
  6. Interview with Paul regarding I Wanna Be Your Man
  7. I Wanna Be Your Man, The Rolling Stones
  8. I'll Be Back, Shawn Colvin
  9. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight, Jennifer Hudson
  10. I Need You, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
  11. A Day In The Life, Jeff Beck
  12. All My Lovin', Amy Winehouse
  13. I Want You (She's So Heavy), Umphrey's McGee 
  14. Let It Be, Bill Withers (w/Booker T. Jones on organ)
  15. Because, The Bangles
  16. Yesterday, Himesh Patel
  17. Paperback Writer, The B-52's
  18. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, The Analogues
  19. Hello, Goodbye, The Cure
  20. Across the Universe, Fiona Apple
  21. Come Together, Gary Clark Jr.
  22. Hey Jude, Wilson Pickett (w/ Duane Almond)
  23. Strawberry Fields Forever, Todd Rundgren
  24. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, Jackson Browne
  25. Every Little Thing, Yes
  26. Here Comes The Sun, Richie Havens
  27. Yesterday film scene- Ed Sheeran vs. The Long And Winding Road (Himesh Patel)
  28. I'm Looking Through You, The Wallflowers
  29. Get Back, Lenny Kravitz
  30. Rain, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs
  31. I Should Have Known Better, James N. Brown
  32. Beware of Darkness, Sheryl Crow and Brandi Carlile
  33. Two of Us, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
  34. Hey Bulldog, Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne
  35. It's All Too Much, Steve Hillage
  36. Yes It Is, The Bangles - Breakfast With The Beatles w/Chris Carter
  37. We Can Work It Out, Stevie Wonder
  38. While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Eric Clapton (w/ Paul on piano and Ringo on drums)
  39. Don't Let Me Down and All You Need Is Love, Cast of Across The Universe Film
  40. Imagine, Tommy Emmanuel