How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (X)

Watch closely when I’m working out at the gym, singing along silently to the music on my iPod. You can tell what I’m listening to by what I do.

For example, if it looks like I’m having flashbacks to popular media depictions of ‘Nam, it could be one of two songs.

“Paint It Black” from the television show Tour of Duty:

My father, who worked nights in the 1980s and almost as much of the 1990s as he had left to him, recorded this program on videocassette so he could watch it later, and over the summers, he would watch the program with my brother and I (and people think binge watching was invented in the 21st century). As I mentioned, when my father got out of boot camp, his troop was lined up, and the officer asked the first couple of guys if they knew their alphabet. My father and the others selected probably said, “Sir, yes, sir!” And they went to Okinawa instead of Vietnam. My father, I think, felt guilty about that the rest of his life.

Of course, it could be “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, which is used in the film Forrest Gump:

Of course, I have the whole songs, which sound like this respectively:


Frankly, I think both of the songs rock and I like the thematic material, but because of their born-on dates, they’re associated with the Vietnam War in popular culture.

Well, the popular culture of twenty-five or thirty years ago, anyway.

Not only would I have to explain the music to some of the kids at the gym, I’d also have to explain the Vietnam War. Best I just put the earbuds in and turn the music up.

The Old School Hardware Discount

So I was looking for Cage the Elephant’s song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” to add to my iPod for workouts because I haven’t added anything in like six months.

And I couldn’t find it as a single song on Amazon, so I thought I’d order the CD. Amazon defaults, when searching for music, to its unlimited streaming feature, but it offered to let me buy the whole album in MP3 form for $9.99.

Or the CD form for $6.99.

Buying the CD, of course, comes with a free AutoRip MP3 version of the album, so I don’t have to wait the couple days to get the song onto my iPod.

Still, when Amazon even if Amazon discontinued the AutoRip, I’d still take the cheaper CD version of the album and rip it myself. Because I’m old school that way.

It seems like a lot of things are cheaper on physical media these days than digital versions. Especially if you’re buying them used in stores, book sales, or garage sales. Having patience and my own playback equipment saves me a bundle.

I’ve Marked My Calendar

Herb Alpert, Lani Hall will perform in Springfield:

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall will perform at Gillioz Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. Reserved seating tickets start at $36.50 and go on sale Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m. Gillioz Club members will have a presale opportunity on July 13 from 10 – 10.

You know what I am doing on Friday morning: Burning up the Internet.

It crossed my mind to try to get him to autograph on of my LPs. But which one? Rise? The Lonely Bull? Whipped Cream and Other Delights? I could try to get Lani Hall to autograph one of my Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 CDs. I’ve got a bunch of their CDs as well, including recent work like Steppin’ Out and I Feel You, but, come on, a signed CD is not as demonstrably cool as a signed LP.

I probably won’t do that, but I am surely going to that concert.

I Don’t Want To Make You Feel Old, Old Man

but the song “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins (or is it THE Smashing Pumpkins like they say THE Ohio University?) was released 17 years after the actual year 1979.

But 1996 was 21 years ago now.

Chin up, laddie: The song “1985” is still closer to today that the title year. For a little while yet.

But most of you are far behind the ages mentioned in “It Was A Very Good Year” if I’m not mistaken. Probably past the age the narrator calls “the autumn of my life,” too.

Quiz: Which of the Top Selling Albums of 1980 Do You Own?

Well, it’s not a quiz, Percy. But Best Classic Bands has a list of the best-selling albums of 1980, and I thought I’d list them out, quiz-style for you.

The ones I own are in bold:

  • Glass Houses Billy Joel
  • The Wall Pink Floyd
  • Against the Wind Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
  • The Game Queen
  • Urban Cowboy (Orig. Soundtrack) Various Artists
  • The Long Run Eagles
  • Diana Diana Ross
  • Guilty Barbra Streisand
  • Xanadu (Orig. Soundtrack) – ELO, Olivia Newton-John
  • Hold Out Jackson Browne
  • Damn the Torpedoes Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Mad Love Linda Ronstadt
  • Emotional Rescue The Rolling Stones
  • Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits
  • Crimes of Passion Pat Benatar
  • Christopher Cross Christopher Cross
  • Give Me the Night George Benson
  • On the Radio – Greatest Hits, Volumes I & II Donna Summer
  • Back in Black AC/DC
  • Women and Children First Van Halen
  • Phoenix Dan Fogelberg
  • Kenny Kenny Rogers
  • The Whispers The Whispers
  • The River Bruce Springsteen
  • Cornerstone Styx
  • One Step Closer Doobie Brothers
  • Hotter Than July Stevie Wonder
  • The Empire Strikes Back (Orig. Soundtrack)
  • Go All the Way Isley Brothers
  • Just One Night Eric Clapton

Well, that’s not a lot, but I turned eight in 1980. I didn’t get my first album until I picked up a second-hand copy of Huey Lewis and the News’ Sports at a yard sale in the trailer park in 1986.

Of all of the ones I don’t have now, the only ones I’ll keep my eye out for, probably on vinyl, are Linda Ronstadt’s Mad Love and maybe The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack. I won’t turn aside Back in Black, On the Radio, Christopher Cross, On the Radio, the Van Halen, and a couple of the others if I find cheap CDs of them, but it’s not likely. Funny, I don’t really seek out old albums for themselves. I pick up what’s available at book sales, garage sales, and the thrift stores, but mostly on LPs.

At any rate, your mileage may vary, especially if you’re any younger than I am.

Good Album Hunting, Friday, April 28, 2017: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

I did manage to drag myself up to the Ozark Empire Fair Grounds on Friday morning to peruse the dollar album selection. However, there wasn’t much to choose from. I don’t know if they’re running out of album donors or if the collection had been cherry-picked in the first couple of days by dealers who’ll post said albums in Relics at $4 each for me to look at and reject later.

At any rate, I did find 13 albums. Which matched the amount of cash in my wallet, so I didn’t have to write a check. It’s called financial self-discipline. Look it up (I did).

I got:

  • Son of a Preacher Man Nancy Wilson
     
  • Lush Life Nancy Wilson
     
  • Chartbuster Ray Parker, Jr.
     
  • Italy After Dark Cyril Stapleton and His Orchestra
     
  • Brass, Ivory, and Strings Henry Mancini and Doc Severinson
     
  • Make Way For Dionne Warick
     
  • Hit Boots Boots Randolph
     
  • At the Movies Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme
     
  • Amor Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos
     
  • Jackie Gleason Presents Rebound
     
  • Wild Flower Herbert Laws
     
  • The Best of Sammi Smith
     
  • Cha Cha Charm Jan August

I actually had to put some down to make it to 13, but a couple of them looked a little scratched, and I put back a couple of Pete Fountains’ works because I have a bunch that I don’t listen to that often.

Still, it ran me out of protective Mylar covers as it took my collection over another hundred mark, and it keeps me from overrunning the existing storage too much more, but that’s another story.

Musical Throwdown: The Ship of Forgetting

Speaking of Spanish language classics (which we weren’t, but this is my blog, and I’ll direct the conversation, thank you, but I want to give you the impression, gentle reader, that you were a part of it), we have “La Nave de Olvido”.

First up, we have José José, an artist I found when looking for test data that uses accent marks (don’t judge me–I am a software tester, and I judge YOU!).

Next, we have Vikki Carr, a pop singer from the 1960s who had a string of 60s sounding hits, but she was born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas-Martinez Cardona, so she could sing in Spanish naturally. As a matter of fact, she included “La Nave de Olvido” on her 1972 album En Español:

Of course, I have to go with the songbird here, too, favoring Ms. Carr’s version. In most cases, I’d rather hear a woman sing of love than a man.

But if you don’t want to make up your mind, here they are singing the song together:

Another Summerfest Missed

In a stretch from high school to beyond college, I attended every Summerfest, the ten-day musical festival in Milwaukee. Most years I went multiple times. I saw a number of acts there, including Richard Marx, Warrant/Trixter/Firehouse, Poison, Steppenwolf, the Turtles, and so on.

However, I haven’t been back since because I’ve been at least 400 miles away and playacting at being an adult since then.

Every year, though, I look at the lineup and think, man, to be in Milwaukee again. And twenty.

This year, I’m torn as to which act I’m sadder to miss. As befits my musical taste, one is a hard rock act and one is a songbird.

A point of order for those of you unfamiliar with Summerfest: It opens at noon and the music starts shortly thereafter on ten or more stages scattered around the grounds. Bands play sets from then until about midnight. At seven or eight, the big show starts at the ampitheatre. Everything else is just a stage with some benches, picnic tables, and bleachers. Both of the aforementioned international acts are in those smaller stages. It’s not like the ampitheatre, where on July 9, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, and a host of smaller acts will take the stage.

So I’ll just have to console myself with YouTube videos.

Continue reading “Another Summerfest Missed”

Good Album Hunting, April 10, 2017: The DAV Thrift Store

Yesterday, I had a couple of minutes to kill, so I ducked into the Disabled American Veterans thrift store to browse the albums therein. A warm-up, perhaps, for the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library book sale later this month which will also feature a large number of albums for a buck each. At the DAV, they were less than a dollar each, which is lower than the norm.

At any rate, what I got would make Gimlet jealous, perhaps.

I got:

  • Hoch Die Tassen! by Xaver Hirschleitner, Original Münchner Blasmusikanten (I think).
  • Ich Bin In München Verliebt by Die Kaiserlich Böhmischen Und Die Bayerischen Königsjodler.
  • Christmas with Julie Andrews because it has a perfect cover, and the one I have is defaced with some childish inking.

Man, that is some German music (complete with konigsjodelling). It reminds me of the church festivals in Milwaukee, and it makes me homesick for my homeland. Which is not Germany, but it hearkens back to that country.

Overheard at the Springfield Art Museum

So we’re at the Springfield Art Museum in the very back, amid the American Art, when the children spot an iPad mounted on the wall, and being deprived mostly of electronic devices at home, they zero right in on it and hope for a couple minutes (or hours) of gaming.

“You can only listen to jazz on it,” I said, for it plays a couple songs from Count Basie and Miles Davis to illustrate the American musical art form. “Count Basie and Miles Davis. You’ve never heard of those guys.”

Except, of course, they have. “You listen to heavy metal all day and jazz all night,” the oldest said.

Analysis: TRUE.

Allow me to illustrate: Continue reading “Overheard at the Springfield Art Museum”

Eydie vs. Herb: The Ultimate Head-to-Head Musical Throwdown

As you might know, gentle reader, I favor the music of Eydie Gorme, and when she does a song that someone else does, I think Eydie does it better. (see this and this).

I also favor the stylings of Herb Alpert (as you can see how often his name appears on my Good Album Hunting post list and whatnot). As a matter of fact, I might own more Herb Alpert albums than Eydie Gorme.

So what happens when they do the same song?

Continue reading “Eydie vs. Herb: The Ultimate Head-to-Head Musical Throwdown”

I Feel Like A Traitor To Ella, But…

I prefer Linda Ronstadt’s rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”.

Here is Ella Fitzgerald’s version, which I’ve enjoyed for decades:

Back when I was filling my evenings with eBay doings and then writing a book, an Ella Fitzgerald compilation featuring this track was in the 6 disc CD changer in my office, so I heard it nightly.

But I recently (December) got the last record in the Linda Ronstadt/Nelson Riddle trio, For Sentimental Reasons, which features this song as well:

Ella’s presentation is a little more seasoned, a little more knowing, which puts the emphasis on again. Ronstadt’s is younger, a little more emphasis on the bewildered. I dunno why, but I prefer it.

Eydie Gorme did not do a version of this song that I can find. Otherwise, as you can guess, it would probably be my favorite.

I was excited to see a cover in the Ronstadt video for something called ‘Round Midnight, which I thought might be a different record, but it’s actually a compilation of the three Riddle/Ronstadt collaborations. Although I already own them on vinyl, I thought to buy them on Amazon, but it’s $40 (but free to stream–wouldn’t you rather spend $10 a month streaming subscription instead of $10 on a CD, son? Amazon would prefer it for you!). Eesh, I think I’ll look for it in person. I did learn of her two Spanish albums and her recent (2004) jazz record (also extortionally priced on Amazon) to look for.

In the Mail (Cause I Ordered Them)

So I was listening to WSIE, and another jazz singer caught my ear: Sacha Boutros. So I checked Amazon, and her CDs are crazy expensive: $30 and up. But her Web site offers them for $19.99. Autographed. Since it accepted PayPal, and I had some money in my PayPal account from a writing assignment payment last year, I ordered her two studio albums.

I didn’t get a shipment confirmation immediately, so I sent an email, and Sacha replied herself with a phone number, telling me to text her if they didn’t arrive soon. So I’d like to mark this down in my lifetime achievement list as “Having beautiful jazz singer tell me to text her.”

The CDs arrived the next day, of course.

Upon seeing that Ms. Boutros signed Simply Sacha “with love,” my beautiful wife warned the CD that she is almost a black belt in martial arts.

At any rate, Sacha Boutros has a rich, fluid voice that inhabits the songs on both CDs very well. The arrangements are classically (Big Band/jazz classically) aligned, which makes for some mellow music indeed. The two CDs have songs in English, Spanish, and French, so she checks my foreign language box. She reminds me a bit of Jane Monheit, Naz, or Ella Fitzgerald in vocal style (not breathy like Erin Bode nor a bit husky like Stacey Kent or Billie Holiday). So if you’re into jazz, you should check her out.

Now, gentle reader, if you’re worried about my maintaining the aforementioned balance in my musical listening, note that my next CD purchase shall likely be Gemini Syndrome’s Memento Mori. Thank you, that is all.

UPDATE: You’re right to be skeptical of my recommendation alone. Here is Sacha Boutros performing “Amor Imposible”: Continue reading “In the Mail (Cause I Ordered Them)”