Not As Varied As Advertised

When I was younger and people asked me what music I liked, I proclaimed eclectic tastes. I listened to oldies. I listened to Album Oriented Rock (kids these days call it “classic rock”). I listened to country. I listened to pop. I even listened to jazz when I could find it.

Well, now I’m older, and nobody asks me that question any more because I’m old (they must assume it’s all 60s easy listening/Sinatra/Alpert, and they’re not far off). But judging by my Amazon purchases over the last six months, my musical taste has streamlined into two categories:

It’s all hard rock or jazz songbirds except for the Leonard Cohen and Lorde.

It’s either something to get me pumped up for the gym or something to mellow.

Although being it is the Christmas season, the one-for-you-one-for-me Amazon ordering protocol is in effect, so the ratios may change as I buy new music on whim. But given that I learn of new artists from the hard rock station on the radio, my Legion of Metal Friends Facebook group, or the radio stations I stream (KCSM and WSIE), perhaps they will not change much at all.

You Can Play That Again

So I’m running through my music library, and I come to Quietdrive’s 2006 album When All That’s Left Is You. I’m not sure where I got it, whether it’s something my beautiful wife bought because she likes the band or something I picked up at a garage sale. The play count shows 0, but that might only mean that I haven’t played it since my Mac crashed.

But I chuckled when I got to track 9, “Time After Time”:

Why did I chuckle? Because in this abbreviated day where I’ve only been at my desk for three albums, the first was Naz’s Time After which also includes “Time After Time”:

Had I more time at the desk today, perhaps I should listen to Erin Bode’s Don’t Take Your Time which also features the track:

As it was, the album I listened to between Time After and When All That’s Left Is You was The Pretty Reckless’s Who You Selling For?. Although “Time After Time” is not on that album, given the lighter sound of The Pretty Reckless’s Second Album, it’s only a matter of time until Taylor Momsen gives it a go.

Meanwhile, I’m still wondering where this Quietdrive CD came from.

Good Album Hunting, October 15, 2016: Thrift Stores

On Tuesday, one of my children called from school to indicate that he was not feeling well. Whenever I pick up a child sick from school with a questionable ailment, I like to take him somewhere that he doesn’t like to go to celebrate the partial day off school: namely, thrift stores and antique malls.

Although his mother convinced the boy to gut out the day at school, we went to a couple of thrift stores after school to help cement the association in their minds.

I got a couple albums.

Gleanings include:

  • James Galway, Mozart: The Two Concertos
  • Perry Como, I Believe
  • Time/Life’s Great Men of Music boxed set for Prokofiev
  • Pete Fountain and the New Orleans All Stars
  • Pete Fountain’s New Orleans at Midnight
  • Pete Fountain, On Tour
  • The Four Freshmen, Got That Feelin’
  • Unforgettable Dinah Washington
  • Terry Gibbs and Bill Harris, Woodchopper’s Ball
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Greatest Hits
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet, Angel Eyes
  • Maynerd Ferguson, New Vintage
  • A Taste of Honey

I haven’t even finished listening to the albums I got last month.

I need to spend some quality time in my parlor with my record player.

Also note the boy is feeling better, or at least covering it better.

Good Album Hunting, October 28-29, 2016: The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

Heh, heh, heh. Did I say that the Clever book sale might be the only one we hit this autumn? Yeah, I recant that testimony.

On both Friday and Saturday, circumstances led me and one or more of my children to the northern reaches of Springfield (almost south Bolivar, really) where the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library had its autumn book sale. The circumstances were that I had some time to kill and the book sale was just sitting there.

Of course, as in recent memory, my main focus was on the LPs. The first day, I hit the dollar LPs, and on half-price day, I looked through the Better Books section’s more expensive LPs.

I bought, apparently, 66 albums.

They include:

  • Al Jarreau Jarreau
  • Anita Ward Songs of Love
  • Benny Goodman Quartet Together Again!
  • Bobby Womack The Facts of Life
  • Boots Randolph With Love
  • Canadian Brass Champions
  • Cheio de Razao Bebeto
  • Chico Freeman Tradition in Transition
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet Jazz Goes to Junior College
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet Jazz Goes to College
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet My Favorite Things
  • Dave Brubreck The Greats!!
  • Dave Gardner Hip-ocracy
  • Dean Martin My Woman, My Woman, My Wife
  • Dean Martin Young and Foolish
  • Dean Martin Happiness Is
  • Dean Martin Remember Me, I’m the One Who Loves You
  • Dean Martin Somewhere There’s a Someone
  • Dean Martin/Jackie Gleason Merry Music Christmas
  • Doc Severinson The Great Arrival
  • Early Music Consort of London Music of the Crusades: Songs of Love and War
  • Eydie Gorme Swings the Blues
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Winelight
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Come Morning
  • Henry Mancini/Doc Severinsen Brass on Ivory
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass You Smile, the Song Begins
  • Herbie Mann Brazil Once Again
  • Herbie Mann Discotheque
  • Hiroshima Hiroshima
  • Jackie Gleason Softly
  • Jackie Gleason White Christmas
  • Jackie Gleason presents Velvet Brass
  • Jackie Gleason The Best of Jackie Gleason
  • Jackie Gleason Music Around the World for Lovers Only
  • Jackie Gleason presents Music to Remember Her
  • Jackie Gleason presents Music for Lovers Only
  • Keel The Final Frontier
  • Keel The Right to Rock
  • Kyu Sakamoto Sukiyaki and Other Japanese Hits
  • Larry Elgart and his Manhattan Swing Orchestra Hooked on Swing
  • Larry Graham Just Be My Lady
  • Linda Rondstadt Simple Dreams
  • Louis Clark / The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Hooked on Classics
  • LTD Devotion
  • Maynard Ferguson M.F. Horn Two
  • Maynard Ferguson Hot
  • Nat King Cole A Mis Amigos
  • Nat King Cole Sings Hymns and Spirituals
  • Olivia Newton John Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2
  • Pablo Casals Beethoven Cello Sonatas Nos. 2 and 5
  • Perry Como Saturday Night with Mr. C.
  • Perry Como Como Swings
  • Perry Como I Think of You
  • Pete Fountain The Blues
  • Pete Fountain The Best of Pete Fountain
  • Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Easy Winners
  • Rocio Jurado Por Que Me Habras Besado?
  • Ron Carter Patrao
  • Sammy Davis, Jr. Stop the World I Want To Get Off
  • Sammy Davis, Jr. What Kind of Fool Am I and Other Show-Stoppers
  • Shalamar The Look
  • Starpoint Keep On It
  • The Teen Tones From Scandinavia
  • Vikki Carr En Espanol: Los Exitos de Hoy y de Siempre
  • A Solid Brass Christmas
  • Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht

I got new (to me) albums from Herb Alpert, Eydie Gorme, Rocio Jurado, and Maynard Ferguson. I got some from easy listening masters Perry Como and Nat King Cole. I’ve broadened my record collecting to include obscure 80s metal bands (two from Keel). I’ve continued venturing into R&B and disco (LTD and Starpoint–I already own Stargard). I picked up a couple from artists who I bought last time and enjoyed (Herbie Mann, Grover Washington, Jr.). I got five and a half new Dean Martin records. I got four Dave Brubeck platters. And the spring sale featured a number of Brazilian women acts from the late 1970s, this time had a number of male acts, but I only took a couple of them; I’m afraid I’ll find their voices are not as deep as Beth Carvalho.

So if anyone needs me, I’ll be up in the parlor spinning discs.

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

When last we discussed my playlist at the gym, I said if I curled my lip, you could tell I was listening to Billy Idol.

Well, I’m afraid I’ve adjusted my playlist, and that instruction is no longer operative. If I curl my lip, watch to see if I’m subtly flipping long hair that I no longer possess. If not, it’s Billy Idol. But if I am…

Continue reading “How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (IX)”

Point/Counterpoint: Being a Lost Boy: Good or Bad?

Arguing for the inherent freedom of the Peter Pan lifestyle, Ruth B:

Arguing that the freedom is ephemeral and an excuse for poor behavior,

I find both arguments slightly persuasive; I am more interested, though, in how suddenly there are two songs on the radio using the Peter Pan metaphor. While it’s never been far from public consciousness, it seems odd that the pair of songs appear at once.

Also, a point to consider: Is Ruth B related to Stevie B?

Probably not, been we start throwing around acts with single initials, I start connecting.

Modern Country Music: A Topical Analysis

As I mentioned a long time ago, I have a special set of headphones for lawn mowing that has a radio built in to them.

Well, the unit has a stubby little antenna that only pulls in two stations reliably from every corner of the yard: 92.9 and 105.1. Back in the early days of Nogglestead, 92.9 was a country station. As it had the strongest signal, I listened to it captively while mowing my acreage, which takes four or so hours per mowing. Then 92.9 changed formats and became The Beat and switched to a hiphoppish pop.

So I started listening to 105.1 which has a slightly lesser signal, but it was classicish country, with songs from the 1980s mixed with some more recent stuff.

But this last year, 105.1 has changed to all bro country music. Earlier this summer, I thought, Man, pop songs can’t be worse than bro country, so I switched to 92.9 for a couple of songs. Which were like bro country with less musical artistry, more autotune, and more celebration illegal drug use. And the topic matters were almost the same. So I switched back to 105.1.

Which lead me to conduct an academic study into the topic matter covered by modern popular country music as I rode in counterclockwise circles (just like NASCAR!). I present the findings below:
Continue reading “Modern Country Music: A Topical Analysis”

The Top Three Bopping Songs

One of our new administration of cats is a largish orange tabby. Because he was the biggest of the three we got at the same time, I nicknamed him the Big Bopper. When we got another male in the new administration, I nicknamed him the Little Bopper. However, the kitten has grown bigger than the Big Bopper, but he is still the Little Bopper. It only makes sense in my mind, and perhaps “sense” is too strong of a word.

In honor of the Boppers, I present the three top Bopping songs in the history of mankind. Which is to say the three with “Bop” in the title that first came to me.

Dan Seals, “Bop”:

That song is 30 years old now. The video depicts some “teens” from the 1950s going dancing in the 1980s. The aged versions of the teens look far older than the late forties or early 1950s. I mean, I hope it’s for effect. I was a teen then and am thirty years older now and would like to think I look better than that. But I guess the styles of dress from teen to middle age doesn’t act as the marker that it used to.

Rick Springfield, “Bop Til You Drop”:

The song is older than “Bop” now and comes from Rick Springfield’s dystopian future video stage. I have it on 45 record and used it to pump myself up. I should get it onto my YMCA playlist so I can recycle this video in a How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym post.

Cyndi Lauper, “She Bop”:

Yes, yes, I know, this is supposed to be a family blog, but the video features a book with the title The Big Bopper. Also, note the breaking of shackles theme carried over from the Rick Springfield video.

Sorry, no

And what would this post without “Chantilly Lace” by The Big Bopper?

Worse.

Also, please note, no man put the bop in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp. Thank you, that is all.

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

When you see me running like Forrest Gump around the track above the YMCA gymnasiums, take a look at my arms. Are they pumping madly like I’m trying to use my upper body strength to pull me around the track one more time?

Or are they pumping like the wheels on a freight train? If it’s the latter, I might be listening to…. Continue reading “How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (VI)”

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

If you happen to catch me at the gym with an Existentialist look on my face, kinda wondering what I’m doing there perhaps, it could be that I’m listening to a song with a chorus that includes the lines:

I tried so hard,
and got so far,
but in the end, it doesn’t really matter….

The song, of course, is…. Continue reading “How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (V)”

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

It’s not uncommon at the YMCA for me to start thrashing on the walking track (but only in the walking lane for safety reasons).

It looks more like a seizure than it used to because I no longer have flowing golden locks:

But watch closely: when I’m at the gym, does it look like I’m thrashing a mullet, or does it look like I’m thrashing braids? It’s a subtle difference, but the second certainly indicates I’m listening to….

Continue reading “How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (IV)”

Harsh a Mellow Today

Remind a retro-counter-culture Baby Boomer that Sha Na Na played Woodstock.

They ain’t your daddy’s rock and roll, but they’re sure pretending they are.

Full disclosure: I like Sha Na Na from an early exposure to their television program. But I’m less a fan of retcounculs of all ages.

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

I’m old enough that I just don’t care how I look, so when I’m working out at the gym, I often lip sync the words with the songs that come on the radio. At least, I hope I’m not really singing the words. And sometimes I’ll smile when I hear a song I haven’t heard in a while but that I clearly think rocks or it wouldn’t be on the iPod Shuffle.

But sometimes, I’ll hear the opening of a song, and I’ll stop mouthing the words in case anyone at the gym can read lips and I’ll glance furtively about to see if there’s anyone close enough to hear any of the loud music leaking from my nostrils.

If you see me doing this, you know it’s probably…

Nickelback.

I know, I know. They’re like a Canadian rock version of the Gin Blossoms (the comparison is likely to get me into fights with actual Gin Blossoms fans if any), but a couple of their songs

“How You Remind Me”:

“Photograph”:

I’m not going write up an academic-level defense of Nickelback, but some of their songs are going to have staying power longer than their usage as a punchline amongst rock fans. Even if it’s just on my iPod.

Good Album Hunting April 28, 2016: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library moved the semiannual book sale from a location about fifteen minutes from me to a location about forty-five minutes away, plus or minus fifteen minutes with traffic. So I’m only going once this year, and I made a beeline to the record albums. I knew I was going to be in trouble when the second album I touched was Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos More Amor.

So I bought a lot of LPs.

Don’t bother counting. That’s sixty albums. They had a large number of Brazilian albums, mostly samba and MGB, so I ended up with a pile of them now.

Here’s what I got:

  • Angela Bofill Angie
  • Artie Shaw Tiara Spotlight Series
  • Bent Fabric Alley Cat
  • Beth Carvalho Sentimento Brasileiro
  • Beth Carvalho Suor No Rosto
  • Billy Ocean Love Zone
  • Boots Randolph Plays the Greatest Hits of Today
  • Burl Ives Christmas Album
  • Burt Bacharach Bacharach Baroque: The Renaissance
  • Charlie Barnet Presents a Tribute to Harry James
  • Chick Corea Touchstone
  • Clara Nunes Sucessos de Ouro
  • Dean Martin Favorites
  • Dean Martin Welcome to My World
  • Donna Summer Bad Girls
  • Eartha Kitt The Fabulous Eartha Kitt
  • Elba Ramalho Coração Brasileiro
  • Elis Regina Nada Será Como Antes
  • Elis Regina Vento de Maio
  • Eric Gale Touch of Silk
  • Estela Núñez Uno…
  • Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos More Amor
  • Gal Costa Fantasia
  • Gal Costa Baby Gal
  • Ginny and the Gallions The Two Sides Of
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Baddest
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Skylarkin’
  • GRP Live In Session
  • Harold Gomberg The Baroque Oboe
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Going Places!!
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Summertime
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass What Now My Love
  • Herbie Mann Waterbed
  • Hiroshima Third Generation
  • Jackie Gleason The Best of Jackie Gleason Volume 2
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano
  • Johnny Mathis and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Live It Up!
  • Kiri and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Blue Skies
  • Leny Andrade Leny Andrade
  • Les Elgart Half Satin Half Latin
  • Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Lush Life
  • Maria Bethânia Alteza
  • Nelson Ayres Mantiquiera
  • Pete Fountain Salutes the Great Clarinetists
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 Herb Alpert Presents
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 Look Around
  • Simone Amar
  • Stargard Stargard
  • The Commodores Midnight Magic
  • The Commodores Natural High
  • The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen
  • The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen Volume II
  • Tony Bennett The Many Moods of Tony
  • Tony Bennett Who Can I Turn To?
  • Toshiko Akiyoshi Notorious Tourist from the East
  • The Baroque Trumpet
  • Baroque Fanfares and Sonatas for Brass
  • Voices of the Middle Ages
  • Sucessos Inesquecíveis Da M.P.B.
  • A&M Records Million Dollar Sampler

I got three albums (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Going Places!! and What Now My Love and Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 Look Around) because they had better covers than the ones I already have. I got two albums (Blue Skies and Live It Up!) because of the “and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra”.

And I’ve got a couple weeks worth of listening for about $60.

I got three books, too, as you can see. And my children found a Perry Como title in the CDs for me, but when I got home, I discovered it was a copy inside, so I discarded it. I try to be careful about that, but I was too busy worrying about the records to check the CD I guess.

Also, I tested my beautiful wife’s love as never before as I brought in this ten inch stack of records. Followed soon by the greatest test ever of my furniture making skill as I try to create a storage solution for my hundreds of LPs.

How To Tell What Brian Is Listening To

At the gym, I’ve finally entered the late 20th century and got myself one of these new Walkmans that play computer files, so I’m always jacked in to something playing at a level too high for my ears.

In case you’re wondering what I’m listening to, here’s a cue:

If I’m turning my head side to side while mouthing the lyrics, it’s Billy Joel’s “I Go To Extremes”:

I fancy myself to be Liberty DeVitto in those moments, I guess.

Everything I Thought I Knew Might Be Wrong

So I’ve heard what I thought were Stacy Kent songs on KCSM lately.

Not this one, which is from The Boy Next Door, which I have around here someplace. I know this is Stacy Kent:

So I’ve been hearing what I thought was Stacy Kent on the station lately, and although I didn’t recognize the song, I thought I recognized the voice.

But, wait a minute: Could it have been…. Cyrille Aimée?

I have a new mission: to learn to distinguish easily between the two vocalists.

On a single listen of Cyrille Aimée, I cannot easily.

Eat the Soap for Digestive Health

At a place we recently stayed, they provided a very large digestive health aid in case our weekending dining took a turn for the worse:

There are two types of people in this world: those who have the song stuck in their heads now, and those who don’t.

This long distance dedication goes out to those of you in the second category.

Welcome to the party.