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Monday, December 14, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
This week is a cornucopia of something old and something old as I present two playlists this week.
First, fifty years ago today is a wonderful BBC Concert with James Taylor. James has gone into his music vault and has remastered the original British television broadcast into YouTube video clips. I was impressed by the audio quality and I think you will enjoy his playlist as he has recently been releasing a song a week from the concert. So far, he has released nine videos, and don't hesitate to come back here to see if he's added a few more.
Second, is the very impressive month of album releases from November, 1970. I couldn't believe how many great albums were all released in this moment in time. I put together a playlist of seventy-two songs rather quickly as you will see I basically lifted almost all the songs from several personal favorites.
A quick story. I'm fifteen and had a bunch of kids over from my church youth group. Being painfully shy, the thought of being a host for anything was terrifying. As the kids started coming into my family room and gathering, I was flummoxed, what to do to get this thing rolling? I had recently purchased Cat Stevens' Tea For The Tillerman and quickly retrieved it from my bedroom. I put the record on my parents stereo console in the family room and took a breath. Tommy Wishard, a couple of years older than me and a star basketball player at my high school, turned to me and said, "I love this album!" The evening went well, and another day saved by rock 'n' roll, not to mention my mom's French onion dip for the chips.
So I think I have you covered this week, enjoy, stay well and mask up!
James Taylor BBC in Concert • November 16, 1970
Monday, November 04, 2019
|Rickenbacker 360-12 Electric Guitar|
This documentary has gotten a few harsh reviews, as notably Joni Mitchell is not even mentioned, even in the context of the California Sound evolving from surfing and car songs to more socially conscious and interpersonal songs. For god's sake, as a Laurel Canyon resident who released Ladies of the Canyon in 1970 she (and The Doors) deserved a little shout out here. Also the overuse of clips from the 1969 art film Model Shop as Slater's and Dylan's inspiration for the documentary is annoying but is easily put aside.
With that said, this 1 hour and 22 minute doc has plenty of great clips of its own as you get a snapshot of the the mid to late 60's in Laurel Canyon with some of the famous musicians who lived there and some famous musicians who didn't. My favorite was getting to watch Tom Petty talk about music one more time as this was his last recorded interview. The beginning of the film with Tom is a fantastic hook that for me is my ultimate sweet spot of Monday Monday jingle jangle 60's rock 'n' roll and my original inspiration for writing this blog. For me, learning anything new about three of my all-time favorite bands- The Mamas & The Papas, The Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield are gem pieces to the rock 'n' roll puzzle for those of us who just can't get enough of this stuff. Man, to have a time machine and be a young adult in Laurel Canyon and on the Sunset Strip in the mid-sixties, would be...
Here's several key elements that make this film 'a must see' that covers the folk to folk rock transformation.
This starts with the transition of folk musicians and studio recording in New York mostly moving to Los Angeles shortly after The Beatles stepped off the plane in 1964. John Sebastian tells how Roger McGuinn started singing Beatles' songs in folk clubs in New York and Los Angeles with no success but with the guts of a pioneer and a Beatles inspired 12 string Rickenbacker 360-12 electric guitar.
In the film, Roger McGuinn gets a much deserved feature as a major architect from musicians singing folk songs with acoustic guitars to composing folk rock songs with electric guitars. Here's a quick clip (not in the film) of Roger and his Rickenbacker.
Then, Brian Wilson is blown away by Rubber Soul and that inspires him to write Pet Sounds in 1966. In turn, The Beatles are inspired by Pet Sounds, and in 1967 create Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. (As a side note to the playlist below- I also include Buffalo Springfield's (Stephen Stills) Questions, which morphs into Carry On with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and then Eric Clapton adapts the Questions riff for his song, Let It Rain (1970) .
|July 25, 1965 - Newport Folk Festival|
As the documentary unfolds, I realize Jakob is the perfect medium to tell this story. His quiet casual manner and approach to the material works perfectly for the famous musicians who take his questions and run with it (e.g. David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, Lou Adler and Michelle Phillips).
Jakob brings in his own generation of musicians to update 13 songs from the California Sound era that in their interpretation remain both current and true to the originals. In the playlist below, I start with the original 60's version and then follow it with the Jakob and friends take. I love his selections as Jakob goes for some of the deeper cuts, not just the hits and hey that's my kind of playlist! I highly recommend you make the time to watch echo in the canyon this week on Netflix, it's a trip!
Monday, May 13, 2019
|Back and Front Album Cover - Photo by Henry Diltz | Source - PopSpots by Bob Egan|
Monday, February 13, 2017
In this next video, you'll see my point exactly from my comments above...
Dan Hicks, the master of satirical country swing. MK played me a couple of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks albums on our first dates together in 1973 and I guess from my positive reaction, we were meant to be. Dan, you are missed!
Stephen Stills gave us all permission to not be so faithful. I guess this one came to him based on his experience with drugs, sex and rock n' roll.
But Simon and Garfunkel gave the ladies an all is fair in love with this one.
Now for some wedding musical comedy.
And, from marriage often comes the babies in the carriage.
Hey, this Valentine's myth is just getting old and the pressure that we all have to be coupled to preserve some religious plan, screw that.
Can't have enough Dan Hicks today!
Don't got it all figured out? Kacey says you're in good company.
Here's a fun love story song.
and maybe this is how the whole thing goes down in time.
Damn it Paul McCartney, you made me hum this song until I finally caved over the years and liked it! I'll let Kurt Hummel and Glee take us out with this one.
Here's My Funny (unconventional) Valentine Playlist.
Note - For some reason my Playlist would not embed in my blog this week, so I have broken them out in individual videos today.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Monday, July 18, 2016
The Rides are a kicking Blues band with Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepard and Barry Goldberg (on keyboards). Stills from Florida and Louisiana and Shepard from Louisiana bring a tradition of Delta Blues along with a complementary sharing of lead and rhythm guitar duties. The two are a powerful combination as they both play off each with mutual respect.
You have to hand it to Stephen for being the elder star here as he equally shares the stage with grace and style in a trio totally in sync with one another.
|Can't Get Enough - Amazon|
|Pierced Arrow - Amazon|
Growing up, Stephen Stills was always one of my favorite musicians with a spectacular career in two of the most iconic bands in rock 'n roll history. Buffalo Springfield is one of the first bands that really grabbed my attention to "stop, children what's that sound" and listen to a unique band that just ended much too soon. Their second album, Buffalo Springfield Again is the first album I ever bought myself (with my paper route money, along with Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced). Then, the long ride with CSN and CSNY. His solo career with Stephen Stills, Stephen Stills 2 and Manassas are just great memories of music in high school.