Monday, September 25, 2023

Rock 'n' Roll Stories • Volume I • Daisy Jones & The Six

Every year it seems there is a new big screen movie, small screen drama, or documentary about a music artist and/or band, in biographical or fictional form.

This year on Amazon Prime, I just finished a ten part mini-drama about a fictional rock 'n' roll band called, Daisy Jones & The Six. It's been out since March, but maybe like me, you've been holding out on this one, in the constant search for a great new series on TV. 

Well, after months of my skipping around, I landed on Daisy Jones & The Six, and finished it in a week. I give it good marks for the effort to make original rock 'n' roll in 2023. Hey, it's not Almost Famous, but it's got me writing about it as you will see the obvious comparisons to the Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham Fleetwood Mac. You'll see the often chronicled journey of a lot of struggling rock 'n' roll bands just starting out, the rise, the drugs, the sex, and then the fall. 

Band infighting is a big part of rock 'n' roll history and Daisy Jones & The Six excels at that. It got me thinking of several famous band fights, particularly between Glenn Frey and Don Felder of the Eagles.

The playlist this week was fun to put together. I start with the title music to Daisy Jones & The Six which is Patti Smith's, Dancing Barefoot.  I then feature a couple of the series' most obvious Fleetwood Mac-like songs, Let Me Down Easy and Aurora. Then I switch gears and give you a little hodge-podge of rock 'n' roll movie and TV clips including, "Davy Jones & The Three" (sorry, just couldn't resist that one).

Hey, I started a new blog series here! I even added a second playlist of the Daisy Jones & The Six album from Atlantic Records.

Enjoy the playlists my friends.


Daisy Jones & The Six Soundtrack

Monday, September 18, 2023

Fifty Years of Music • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road • Elton John

October, 1973 is one of those monster months in rock 'n' roll. So big for me that I'm writing about it a month early, fifty years later. 

I'll start with Elton John, the biggest rock 'n' roll star to impact my life in 1973 because my new girlfriend loved Elton John, still does. She had all of his records during that time, and on October 5, 1973 he releases, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I'm sure Mary Kit bought this double-album on that day, and for the next four years I would be hearing that album quite a bit on the turntable, the radio, and live in concert.

Elton John, Fabulous Forum 10/5/74
In fact, one year later to the day, October 5, 1974 Mary Kit and I drove down to Inglewood to see him play the Fabulous Forum. What a concert that was! We were up in the cheap seats when the Forum was mainly the basketball palace of the Los Angeles Lakers and the acoustics... well I don't think acoustical engineering was invented yet for sports arenas in the 1970's. It was a fantastic show, but I still remember the ringing in my ears, not only from the volume (everybody thought they had to match The Who and Led Zeppelin), but also from the sound bouncing off the back walls and rafters where we were sitting.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has so many great songs. My favorite is Harmony. Let me know your favorite song from this great double-album in the comments section below.    

Enjoy the album my friends!

Monday, September 11, 2023

60 Years of Music • September, 1963 • Surfer Girl

I can feel it, the change from 1950's rock 'n' roll to 1960's rock 'n' roll. The Beach Boys are on to something big. All the other artists featured this week are mainly covering other's hits to make an album around their own hit single. 

Granted, Sam Cooke has the most mature material to go along with his soulful smooth singing voice. Martha and the Vandellas are climbing the pop charts, paving the way for The Supremes, and two songs from their 1963 album would be recorded into monster hits for Linda Ronstadt in the 1970's. And, The Ventures would continue to ride the wave of recording surf tunes and turning current pop hits into instrumental electric guitar gems. Yes, the electric guitar, it was now the main instrument in pop songs.  Goodbye horns, hello Mr. Fender, hello Mr. Gibson. 

Brian Wilson is showing the world the new rock 'n' roll blueprint. He is writing and arranging all the songs on the Beach Boys albums, playing Fender bass in the band, and is their lead singer. How many future rock 'n' roll stars are listening to The Beach Boys and saying, "that's the ticket, that's my path too!"

Brian was often criticized later in the 1960's for his sophomoric lyrics layered within the band's sophisticated harmonies. Screw the critics, Brian was painted into the "surfer" "car" box by a number of people in the record business, notwithstanding his overbearing abusive father as their manager.

But if you listen to Surfer Girl this week in the playlist, you'll hear Brian busting out of that sandbox with songs like In My Room, The Surfer Moon, and Your Summer Dream. Speaking of In My Room, it's one of my top 100 favorite songs of all-time and in My 100 Songs playlist. Like many people, it's my favorite Beach Boys song. For the millions of people who love this song, Brian as the writer puts his listeners in the same cocooned space we have all felt as young people. The power and beauty of this song is timeless, touching countless new young listeners every generation. I never tire of In My Room, and imagine you're probably thinking the same.

Enjoy the playlist this week my friends.

Monday, September 04, 2023

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 26 • Pick Up Your Feet

Pick up your feet. It's been a mantra of mine on every walk and run for the past couple of years. As I have gotten older (oh boy), I have developed the tendency to lower my pickup in the quest of self-propelled forward mobility. Maybe it's a 1/4 to 1/2 inch, maybe it's centimeters.

In my analysis of my trips and falls, it mainly comes down to one thing, distraction.

I'll look up in the distance to see some person or something coming my way, and whoa! 

In the car it doesn't seem to be a problem. I can still watch YouTube videos and text while driving (just kidding).

So what to do old dog? Any new tricks out there?

I did a YouTube Search and typed in, "Pick Up Your Feet." There's a bunch of videos that highlight specific stretches, or how to land heel to toe with your feet. Hey, isn't that how I got plantar fasciitis? 

The only useful thing I found was the lovely little song by Nataly Dawn that starts off the playlist this week.

So after everything, whether I'm walking with my wife or running by myself, I'm training my brain to say to my feet (about every 2 minutes), "Hey stupid, pick up your f*#$in' feet!" 

I can't wait for the moment when I unconsciously say this outloud with my wife and she smacks me upside the head! (Hey that's two "smacks upside the head" references in two weeks.)


On another note-
I just watched the 2014 documentary, Elliott Smith - Heaven Adores You 
(click here on Amazon Prime.) You might want to check it out. It's kicked off my rediscovery of Elliott Smith and I've got one video of his to share this week. It won't be the last.

Enjoy the playlist my friends.