humor

DJ Tips

(Granted, techniques have changed since I was a DJ, but the basic idea of keeping the music and your comments as coherent as possible is timeless)

So yesterday as I was driving home from work (in the rain of course), listening to Classic Vinyl, and they played a clip of Graham Nash saying how underappreciated Stephen Stills is as a guitar player.  And I totally agree. Stephen, with his custom tunings, is an outstanding player. I love to listen to him play.

But here’s the issue. They play a clip about a guitar player and follow it up with what, Suite: Judy Blues Eyes, or maybe Southern Cross? Nope, they played Our House. Now don’t get me wrong, Our House is a wonderful song. But it’s a piano song – a guitar is not heard.

From the Wiki:

The song originates in a domestic event that took place while Graham Nash was living with Joni Mitchell (and her two cats) in her house on Laurel Canyon (Los Angeles), after they had gone out for breakfast and had bought an inexpensive vase on Ventura Boulevard. Nash wrote the song in an hour, on Mitchell’s piano.

In October 2013, in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air”, Nash elaborated:

Well, it’s an ordinary moment. What happened is that Joni [Mitchell] and I – I don’t know whether you know anything about Los Angeles, but on Ventura Boulevard in the Valley, there’s a very famous deli called Art’s Deli. And we’d been to breakfast there. We’re going to get into Joan’s car, and we pass an antique store. And we’re looking in the window, and she saw a very beautiful vase that she wanted to buy… I persuaded her to buy this vase. It wasn’t very expensive, and we took it home. It was a very grey, kind of sleety, drizzly L.A. morning. And we got to the house in Laurel Canyon, and I said – got through the front door and I said, you know what? I’ll light a fire. Why don’t you put some flowers in that vase that you just bought? Well, she was in the garden getting flowers. That meant she was not at her piano, but I was… And an hour later ‘Our House’ was born, out of an incredibly ordinary moment that many, many people have experienced.

 

So, to get back on topic here. When you talk about a great guitar player you probably shouldn’t play a piano song right after. No matter how good that piano song is.

So here’s a live version of Suite: Judy Blue Eyes for you. Have a great Labor Day weekend for us in the USA or just a fabulous weekend everywhere else!

Peace,
B

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Not The Song I Want To Hear (Part II)

As I mentioned in part I of this new series, I really enjoy being able to change the station when a song/artist/band comes on that I don’t want to hear, and not have to play it and pretend how great it is like when I was a DJ.

Not that I did much of that, in fact pretty much the exact opposite. When I was an on-air DJ at this particular country station (won’t mention the call letters or anybody’s name – just in case), the program director insisted that we would not play a certain song. He didn’t think it was “country” enough. The music director told me to play it (my shift was overnights, from midnight to 6 AM). He knew the program director wasn’t listening. So I played it quite often. Always the rebel!

The program director couldn’t figure out why he would get calls requesting the song when “we don’t play it” but the caller would insist they heard it last night.  We never told him we were playing it. But he did relent eventually and added it to the rotation.

That song was Swingin’ by John Anderson. It hit #1 on the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard). But yeah, it ain’t country enough.

But, as usual, I’m down a rabbit hole.  Let’s get back with the subject of today’s post.

Stuff that makes me change the station immediately;

  • Bread. Has to be the most overplayed sappy crap of all time. If you can listen to an entire song and not go into a diabetic coma, it’s a damn miracle.
  • Rupert Holmes. Seriously? How did this guy ever get a recording deal? I won’t even get into how bad Escape (The Piña Colada Song) is. I got queasy just typing the title.
  • The Doobie Brothers (but only with Michael McDonald). Early Doobie stuff is excellent. McDonald was to the Doobies as Yoko was to the Beatles.
  • 10cc. Again pure syrup.
  • Damn near any 80’s synth stuff.  Too many bands to list here.

Stuff that gets turned up:

  • Jackson Browne (with the exception of The Load Out/Stay). Way overplayed.
  • Steely Dan. When I was about 14 (this would be about 1972 – 73) one of the older guys across the street from my house told me that the Dan would be the next Beatles. They may not have made it quite that big, but they came close.
  • Santana. Another guitar god. Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile), Samba Pa Ti are two of my favorites. Smooth, on the other hand, gets turned off.

That’s my list for today.  I’m sure there’ll be more to come.

Here’s Steely Dan doing Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, which I’ve heard is about Rick Derringer (Rock And Roll Hootchie Coo). Rick and the Dan were set to record together, but Rick didn’t come back after the first session. At least that’s the story I’ve heard.

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head

Welcome to a new series!  The “What’s Stuck In My Head” series will be, mostly, music, but will also have other items I can’t seem to shake. Maybe a news item (but not a lot of politics), art pieces, meme’s, books etc… In other words, totally random, just as the blog title says.

So going off of yesterday’s random music video post, today’s “What’s Stuck In My Head” is a comedy video. I picked what I believe to be one the greatest comedy skits of all time. Abbot & Costello’s Who’s On First.

I do hope you enjoy that skit as much as I do. Please leave me a comment or two, and maybe a recommendation of something to add to the series. I’d love to hear from you!

Peace,
B

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A Day That Will Live In Infamy

(No… not that one)

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On 19 August 1977 (41 years ago), we lost one of the greatest comedians of all time. Julius “Groucho” Marx. He was, at the least, the driving force behind the Marx Brothers comedy. Somewhere I have bootleg copies of all of their movies. A Night At The Opera, Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Duck Soup, and my favorite A Day At The Races. But I do have to admit that Cocoanuts, a story about the Florida land boom of the 1920’s is still very relevant today. Just read any of Carl Hiaasen’s “Skink” books or Tim Dorsey’s “Serge” books, and you can see they fit into the same mold.

Groucho has always been one of my favorites, from the grease paint mustache (said to have come about because he arrived late to set and didn’t have time to put the fake mustache on, or he hated taking off the fake one since it hurt!), the stooped over walk, and especially his always ready quick comebacks. To this day I still use one of his standards “Now that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!” (in a very poor imitation) in damn near every situation.

Some notable quotes:

I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend on reading it.

I sent the club a wire stating, “PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”. (I have used this quote when giving lectures several times. My all time favorite.)

Source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Groucho_Marx

When he was turned down for membership to a country club due to being Jewish, it is rumored that he asked “Can my daughter go into the pool waist deep? She’s only half Jewish”.

I did watch reruns (I’m not THAT old!) of Groucho’s TV show You Bet Your Life,  and while at times very funny, the censors wouldn’t let most of his asides on air. A lot of the Marx Brothers’ movies were “pre-code”, meaning there wasn’t as much of the more risqué stuff cut. Naturally, there was no foul language or nudity, it was the 20’s and 30’s after all, but a lot more innuendo was allowed then.

Here is one source for some audio clips of all the Marx Brothers.  A quick search of YouTube turns up some great Groucho clips. Here’s one:

Peace,
B

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Not The Song I Want To Hear

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For those just joining the party, a little history.  In a previous life, I have been a DJ. I worked at a country station, a big band station, and did mobile DJ work.  All in the early 80’s in and around Miami.

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On Crandon Park Beach.  Employee party for the T.G.I. Friday restaurant chain. With Reflections Productions.

Also in a previous life, I was a worship leader for several churches in the Daytona Beach area. I have been told that I was the “Christian Tom Petty” and that my voice was like the guy from Lady Antebellum. I take both as huge compliments.

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Long ago, in a universe far far away…

Now that we have that out-of-the-way…

What I came here to talk about today are artists/bands/songs that either make me turn up the volume or change the station.  This is not a comprehensive list and I ask for comments, both where you think I’m wrong and anything that could be added. And as I’m writing this post, Jethro Tull’s Aqua Lung is playing.  While I love this song (and the “follow-up” Locomotive Breath) Wifey® will leave the room when either play, and I’ll turn it up. So that’s a perfect kick off!

Stuff That Makes Me Change The Station

  • Anything, and I mean anything, by George Thorogood. There is just something about his whole style that I do not care for. And I love the blues in general, just not his version.
  • Along the same lines is Bruce Springsteen. But not every song, just most of them. Again it’s a style thing for me.
  • Almost anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Especially Free Bird. I will let Simple Man and Curtis Lowe play.  Growing up in Florida, they had to be the most overplayed band of my youth. Along with our next entry.
  • Led Zepplin. Again, they were like every third song on the radio. I’m so over them.

 

Stuff That Makes Me Turn Up The Volume

  • The Beatles. When my granddaughters on riding with me in my truck, we always have The Beatles channel on SiriusXM playing. But not too loud, don’t want their ears to get as bad as mine.
  • CCR.  I love John Fogerty’s style. Every one of their songs gets me rocking.
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash (with or without Young). Songs I learned to play very early. Although I could never quite get the right sound out of my guitar. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that Stephen Stills used an alternate tuning.
  • So we also need to add Neil Young as a solo artist. Wifey® doesn’t care for Mr. Young. Something about his voice. But I love his melodies, harmonies, and lyrics.
  • Just about any other “Southern Rock” band other than Skynyrd. Molly Hatchet (Especially their cover of Dreams), .38 Special, the Outlaws (High Tides and Green Grass), Marshall Tucker Band.
  • The Allman Brothers. Sure you could place them in the “Southern Rock” category, but they play the blues more, and better than the others. Is it odd that I like their instrumental works best? Melissa, Jessica, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Now that I’ve put that down, maybe it’s because they’re all named for women?
  • Bob Seger (except for Turn The Page, again way overplayed). But if  Main Street or Night Moves comes on, the volume goes up.
  • Eric Clapton. Doesn’t matter which band. The Yardbirds, John Mayall Blues Breakers, Cream, Derek & The Dominoes, or solo (even with Delany & Friends). His guitar soars above everything else. And that leads me to –
  • Steve Winwood. Just like Clapton, it doesn’t matter which group or solo. Spencer Davis Group (as “Little Stevie Winwood”), Traffic, Blind Faith etc, etc…
  • So lets put them together. Clapton and Winwood did a three-day gig at Madison Square Garden.  Has to be one of the best of all time. They covered each of their bands and other stuff. That cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing is my all time favorite.
  • Jimi Hendrix (oh nice segue there dude). Such an amazing guitar. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • The Monkees. Yeah, it’s bubblegum, but my very first album I was “More Of The Monkees”.  I watched the TV show every week. It was the one night I didn’t have to help with dishes! And, in my opinion, Michael Nesmith is a very talented musician. His music, both with and without The Monkees are some of my favorites.
  • Staying with the “pop” genre, let’s go with The Bangles. Great music, and easy to look at. Their cover of Simon & Garfinkle’s Hazy Shade of Winter is so much better than the original. But the video sucks.  Wifey® would add The Go-Go’s here, but they weren’t my favorite (but I do follow them on Twitter).
  •  Yes.  That’s the band there, not just some random exclamation. Such interesting melodies, not to mention Jon Anderson’s vocals! I also have several of Rick Wakeman’s solo albums. The Six Wives of Henry VIII is so out of this world, I used to blast it outside on Halloween night.
  • Heart. I have seen these ladies in concert three times. They put on a great show! I had a poster of (my wife to be – before I met Wifey®), Nancy Wilson in my bedroom.
  • The Who. Really anything by Pete Townsend. His style of blending guitar, keyboards and either his or Roger Daltry’s vocals are superb. It’s that “wall of sound” that gets me.

Stuff That Doesn’t Get Turned Up, But I Don’t Change The Station

  • Cat Stevens/Yusef.  His music saved me during those tough High School years. But I have to admit, I did turn up the volume now and then.
  • Dan Fogelberg. More music that saved me after those tough High School years. I tend to like the earlier stuff better.
  • Linda Ronstadt. Hers was the other poster up in my room. Her voice was what I fell asleep to most nights.
  • John Denver. Yes, John Denver. Just something about the folksy sound I really enjoyed. Except for Grandma’s Feather Bed et al…

As you can see, I have a lot more likes than dislikes. And I’m happy that I’m no longer behind the mic and have to play stuff I don’t care for, and pretend that I enjoy it.

I’m sure you can add others to both sides of this list. I didn’t go into much of 80’s music. But there are some I enjoyed, some I didn’t, and some that are hit and miss. I didn’t go into any Beatles solo projects either.  But I’ll save that for another post…

I’ll leave you with a video of Clapton & Winwood.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Catching Up

So it’s been a while since I posted anything. So let’s catch up, shall we?

The reasons I haven’t posted are several. I had a killer head cold for about 2 weeks, that I couldn’t shake (same one I mentioned in my Celebrate Good Times (Come On)! post).  My work issued laptop died on me, and I’ve been so busy at work that when I get home and I feel like crap due to the cold, I had no desire to sit in front of any PC. When you consider how much computer time I log at work, it’s rather surprising how much I use one at home.

But not everything was bad. I bought a new SiriusXM radio for my aging truck. It’s an external device that plugs in through the aux port on the existing radio. I also stream, mostly the “Classic” (oh, how I hate that term. Can we go back to AOR please?) stations. I like SiriusXM over the local radio because the DJs don’t think they have to be funny so they can get hired and go to a larger market. SiriusXM’s market is North America. Quite a bit bigger than any terrestrial market. Plus these DJs know what they’re talking about.  I also like SiriusXM over most streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, etc.) because they play the music the way it was recorded. One thing that always pissed me off with the various streaming services is they tend to cut apart songs the segue into each other. A classic example is Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out/Stay”. Streaming radio turns those into two separate songs. It increases the total number of songs in their library, but it totally screws up the listening experience.

My office replaced my very small Micro$oft Surface Book with a beautiful 17″ HP laptop.  This thing is a beast! An i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and this wonderful huge screen! These tired old eyes can see again!

Wifey® and I have planned, and made the deposit on, something that is on both of our bucket lists. A trip to Scotland, the land of our heritage. We’ve both did the Ancestry DNA tests. I’ve posted about this before.  Turns out both of our DNA points directly to Scotland/Ireland/Land of the Vikings. I’d like to try to find the ancestor that made the trip over the pond to settle in America before we go. But that costs money, and right now we’re trying to save, not spend so we can blow the whole wad while in Scotland.  I’m hoping the duty-free shop in the Edinburgh airport has a good selection of native scotches.  I will have a separate post(s) about the trip as things get closer, and when we are in country.

We had a wonderful dinner the other night with my brother and his wife here at my house.  I smoked three whole chickens. Not that I expected we would eat them all that night, I planned on leftovers so we (as in Wifey® and son-the-younger and myself) could make pot pies from the leftover chicken and other veggies we made that day.

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Yup, there are 3 whole chickens in there!

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We ended up with 10 pot pies of varying sizes

I confirmed something I learned the last time I smoked chicken. From now on I’m only buying leg quarters. There were 4 and a half breast quarters left, but only one leg quarter. Seem we prefer the dark meat!

And I’ve read a couple of good books too. I won’t write any reviews.  If you want book reviews, there are plenty of sites that have them (I recommend Once Upon A Spine).

I’ll leave you with a video. Has nothing to do with this post, but the opening line “Been away, haven’t seen you in a while”, fits with the theme. Plus it’s Dave Mason.  I’ve been a fan of his since his days with Traffic.

So what have you been up to?

Peace,
B

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Celebrate Good Times (Come On)!

Yesterday we had the final celebration of Wifey® and granddaughter-the-elder’s birthdays. Since they both have birthday’s on or around the 4th, and we live in a tourist area, sometimes we have to do our celebrating in stages. Plus it’s more fun to keep the celebrations going for a while! Then this morning, Wifey® reminded me that today is our 73rd six-month anniversary. Yes, we celebrate every six months since that was how long we were told we would last. Ha!

So yesterday the family went to Universal City Walk and had a great time. It was all son-the-younger’s idea. Since Wifey® and I both agree we have too much stuff, we would rather do things with whichever family members we can get together. Son-the-younger picked Blueman Group, and since none of us have ever seen that show, I immediately agreed.

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My fam-damily!

And boy did we pick a hell of a day!  The rain was so bad on the way over to Orlando, we could barely see the hood of the car. But there was no rain in Orlando (surprise!). We had crazy heat. Well maybe not crazy, after all, we are Florida natives (except for son-the-younger, he’s our “token Eskimo” – he was born in Alaska).

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Feels like 108!

So our basic “plan” (we never have a plan – or if we do we don’t follow it), was to get to City Walk around 3PM, walk around and shop a bit, then catch an early dinner and the finally the Blueman Group show at 6PM. But as luck would have it, we sat down at the Lone Palm Bar (part of Margaritaville) and had a few beers. Son-the-younger took his girls and walked around. They found the hot dog stand. And they know that I love hot dogs. But, even cooler, they found stadium seats from some major league stadiums! They also know that papa loves baseball!

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My baby girls in the doughnut chair

Once we realized that we had missed our time for an early dinner, we decided that another round of beers was in order and that we would go to the theater and wait for the show.

Since it was so hot and humid outside, the theater was like an ice-box. But man did it feel good! Plus we were allowed to bring in our drink and snacks! I won’t give much of a review of the show as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing it.

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Beer, popcorn, and Minecraft swords! Oh, my!

The Blueman Group show was totally awesome! I have not laughed that hard in a long time. I was already fighting a head cold and scratchy throat before we went, so now I can hardly talk. But it was completely worth it. wp-1531740904422..jpg

After the show, we went to the restaurant that we used as a ruse to plan this whole adventure. We didn’t tell Wifey® about the show, only we were going to dinner. But since we had waited so long, there was now an hour wait. What to do? What else, go have another beer!  So back around the park, we go back to the Lone Palm Bar. But our very cool server, Bethany, was off shift now. But we only had time for one beer, so it was all good.

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It was 9PM or so by the time we got to eat. The girls were very hungry, almost to the point of feeling sick. But the milkshakes they had took care of that quickly. I will say I was not happy with my meal, but I don’t blame the restaurant. By this time I was feeling so bad, between the heat and the head cold, that nothing would have tasted good to me.  Everybody else said their meals were great, so I’ll take the heat on this one.

Other than stupid Orlando traffic, and all the damn construction, the drive home was a little easier. Traffic on I-4 (AKA The Devil’s Highway), which according to a recent study is the most dangerous road in America, was light. But we still didn’t get home until midnight.

But all in all, a most spectacular evening! I highly recommend Blueman Group. We’ve already made plans to bring the girls to the Universal Theme Park and Harry Potter.  Stay tuned for that review!

So, how was your weekend?

Peace,
B

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Truth! (In Advertising??)

Let’s talk about a strange, but very interesting, ad. I don’t know if this commercial runs outside of the USA, so for reference here it is:

So let’s pick this apart shall we?

First, while it is true that text messages are being broadcast into space, after all everything that has ever been broadcast by humans has been sent into space. How do you think aliens are learning our anatomy & physiology? They’re not abducting us and doing rectal probes. They’re watching all the p0rn and sexting messages were sending out. Basically, aliens have as much of a screwed up expectations of our sex lives as a 16 year-old boy.

Second, if you were the astronaut in space, do you think you’d actually be monitoring text messages? I won’t even go into the lack of a lag it the messages. I know here on earth, my texts don’t get delivered in real-time. Can you imagine the bounces a message would have to take to finally make it to someone in space?

Next, both of characters are in a night-time scene. This would mean that the “space station” she is working on is close to the terrestrial location the guys is locked out of his car. That would indicate that the station is in a geosynchronous orbit. But the space station isn’t in that type of orbit. In fact it makes a complete orbit around the earth about every 90 minutes. So they would both see the same moon for a very short time.

Lastly, if one member of a couple is an astronaut I think they could afford something a bit more fitting of the astronaut’s earning capabilities than a Hyundai.

But that’s just my opinions.

Can you find any other “not quite right” moments in this commercial, or any others? Leave a comment if you do (or feel free to pick apart my pseudo-science).

Peace,
B

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Nothing To See Here

Just here to post this meme son-the-elder sent me.

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This is relevant because my boss has pugs. Whenever he gets sick we say he has the “pug flu”.  I will admit that pugs are not my cup of tea but to each his own. Also, man buns are without a doubt the stupidest haircut for men since the mullet.

Peace,
B

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