Music

Transitory Ju – Ju

That’s my new term for things that one, can’t be explained and two, come and go. Ju – Ju was how my late friend Mr. Jim would explain things that happened on his computer that he wasn’t sure why. Mr. Jim was no slouch when it came to computers either. He wasn’t trained or schooled in the IT way, but he had a better than basic understanding. But when things just didn’t seem to be “normal”, as in when he couldn’t get his printer to print then it suddenly spit out half a ream of the same print job he sent 100 times, it was Ju – Ju.

I wholly understand the Ju – Ju involved in PC work. I’ve been doing it for almost 30 years, 25 of them professionally. Take the one I have before me now. Micro$oft Windows (the biggest virus of them all), suddenly says this PC doesn’t have a sound card. The hardware is fine as I can test it by booting to a USB drive and I hear the appropriate sounds. It worked fine Friday, but nothing yesterday. It’s Ju – Ju. And bad Ju – Ju at that.

Personally, my Transitory Ju – Ju, is all auditory. I hear music damn near all the time. For new readers, I have a Bi-Polar type 2 diagnosis, and this is just one of the manifestations. I also have, to a lesser extent, visual issues. But this is why I almost always have music playing. At least then I know the source of the music. Last night while I was locking everything up I actually went to my computer desk to make sure the speakers were turned off. I had to pick the speakers up and hold them close to my ears because I was sure they were playing something. Now these speakers do have a bad habit of picking up an AM radio station when I plug them into my laptop. I basically live in the shadow of a set of radio towers, and it’s caused havoc with all kinds of radios over the years. But they were powered off (unplugged even now), and were quiet. So where does the music come from? I guess the tinnitus is getting better organized.

It’s like a song playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening

For A Dancer ~ Jackson Browne

Yes, I know I’ve used that quote before. But it’s fitting. What’s not fitting is this video. It has nothing to do with any Ju – Ju — good or bad. But I’m using for it’s title, plain and simple. Enjoy!

Enjoy the great guitars of Eric & Duane

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 10 September

I have no idea why this song has been stuck in my head for two days now. My best guess is that I’ve enjoyed having my brother helping me paint most of my house the last couple of weekends, and that brought up many talks about music and our parents. This was one of our father’s favorite songs.

I’m not going to get into anything about the song other than it’s a blues standard. I will mention that Maria sang backup for many other artists including Linda Ronstadt. And you know how I feel about Linda.

May I present to you; “Don’t You Feel My Leg (Don’t You Get Me High). Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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The Sound Of Her Voice

The movie “The Sound of My Voice” opened in theaters last Friday, 6 September. In case you’ve never heard of this flick, it’s all about one of my misspent youth’s loves, Linda Ronstadt. Along with Nancy Wilson of Heart, she was supposed to marry me, but I never got closer than the 5th row to tell her that.

I have not yet seen the movie. And since I loathe movie theaters I will have to wait for it to come to on demand so I can watch at home. Another music movie (not a musical, but a movie about the music scene), “Echo In The Canyon” look very promising as well. The two movies should have much in common.

I had two posters of Linda on my bedroom walls during my high school years (only one of Nancy). The version of the Simple Dreams album was a favorite. Rumor has it they had to re-shoot the poster as she was showing a bit too much skin. I guess her robe fell open a little too far.

Simple Dreams album cover. The poster was shot from a different angle.

The only time I saw her in concert was for the “Living In The USA” tour. She started the show dressed just like the album cover, but without the roller skates.

Living In The USA album cover.

But my favorite cover, and the other poster, was “Hasten Down The Wind”. I’m sure you can see the appeal this poster had on a geeky teenage boy.

Be still my heart!

My lady Linda had a slew of hits in the 70’s. Starting with the Mike Nesmith (of Monkees fame) penned “Different Drum” with her then backing band The Stone Poneys. I’ve mentioned that song on this blog before..long ago.

Linda is not a song writer. She just interpreted other people’s music, and she did it very well. She has more than 10 Grammys and other awards, such as Best New Female Artist – 1974 from the Academy of Country Music and a Primetime Emmy in 1989 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety of Music Program. Plus a 1981 nomination for a Tony – Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, Linda Ronstadt in The Pirates of Penzance as “Mabel”. See her Wiki.

Sadly, she can no longer preform due to Parkinson’s disease. But I still have her recordings, but no posters any longer.

I’m really at a loss as to which song of hers to use for this post. There are just so many good clips on YouTube, I must have spent 30 minutes just looking at the list, and another hour watching and listening. But I picked this live track. I hope you enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 17 July

This is day 3, of 5, in my Certified Ethical Hacker class. It’s been 2 days of review for me, so I’m bored. But that has nothing to do with what’s stuck in my head.

When Cracked Rear View came out in 1994, I was immediately taken in by the group’s sound. It was a great blend of acoustic and electric pop rock and the emerging new country sound. But was so different that the “grunge” style that was just gathering steam. To me, it was an updated Loggins and Messina.

Contrasting with the sound of their grunge contemporaries, the band’s music was described as “a mainstream pop variation of blues-rock” with “equal parts of jam band grooves and MOR pop.” The band’s sound was also described as heartland rock, roots rock and jangle pop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hootie_%26_the_Blowfish

I also found the band name silly; Hootie and the Blowfish. I remember seeing front man Darius Rucker on an interview and he said that the name came from the nicknames they had given two guys while in college. It wasn’t exactly a nice nickname either. May not be a “nice” nickname, but it makes for a great band name! And it proves that something good can come out of USC. (That’s the University of South Carolina, not the University of Southern California).*

So here ya go!

Peace,
B

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(*) I have have no dog in any fight over any college, sports team, or whatever. I only says this because my SC family seems to think that Clemson is the only university in the state, maybe the country. I have no idea why. Not a single one of them have attended any college, in any state or country. But I do have one nephew that graduated from Clemson, so I guess that’s it.

Where Does The Time Go??

Seems like today is the second anniversary of this blog. I would like to give my faithful, and casual, readers a big thank you! I realize that I do not post anything world-changing. In fact I tend to post mostly useless stuff!

But if you really want useless stuff, then today is also my eleventh anniversary on Twitter! Talk about useless stuff. You should see my feed, it’s all over the place.

But such is life!

Totally irrelevant video..

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 27 June

This one got stuck yesterday morning. They played a demo version on SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks channel. I had never heard this version, and it was beautiful. I cannot find any media to play here of that demo.

This track is usually viewed as George’s statement of the breakup of The Beatles;

All Things Must Pass” is a song by English musician George Harrison, issued in November 1970 as the title track to his triple album of the same name. Billy Preston released the song originally – as “All Things (Must) Pass” – on his Apple Records album Encouraging Words (1970), after the Beatles had rejected it for inclusion on their Let It Be album in January 1969. The composition reflects the influence of the Band‘s sound and communal music-making on Harrison, after he had spent time with the group in Woodstock, New York, in late 1968, while Timothy Leary‘s poem “All Things Pass”, a psychedelic adaptation of the Tao Te Ching, provided inspiration for his song lyrics.

The subject matter deals with the transient nature of human existence, and in Harrison’s All Things Must Pass reading, words and music combine to reflect impressions of optimism against fatalism. On release, together with Barry Feinstein‘s album cover image, commentators viewed the song as a statement on the Beatles’ break-up. Widely regarded as one of Harrison’s finest compositions, its rejection by his former band has provoked comment from biographers and reviewers. Music critic Ian MacDonald described “All Things Must Pass” as “the wisest song never recorded by The Beatles”, while author Simon Leng considers it “perhaps the greatest solo Beatle composition”. The recording was co-produced by Phil Spector in London; it features an orchestral arrangement by John Barham and contributions from musicians such as Ringo Starr, Pete Drake, Bobby Whitlock, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voormann.

Although the Beatles failed to formally record the song, a 1969 solo demo by Harrison appears on their compilation Anthology 3 (1996). An early version from the All Things Must Pass sessions was released on Harrison’s posthumous compilation Early Takes: Volume 1 in 2012. Paul McCartney performed “All Things Must Pass” at the Concert for George tribute in November 2002, a year after Harrison’s death. Jim James, the Waterboys, Klaus Voormann and Yusuf Islam, and Sloan Wainwright are among the other artists who have covered the song.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Things_Must_Pass_(song)

The main reason I truly love this song is the lyrics. The words combined with the beautiful musical arrangement show a view of optimism over fatalism. It’s not an overly religious song, although George was the most spiritual of the Beatles. But when taken along with all the songs on this three-album set you can see where George “finds hope and meaning only in God, who does not pass away”.

Normally I don’t like videos with lyrics, but I’m using one this time so that you can read the poem at the heart of this song. But George’s vocal is clear enough that you don’t really need to read, just listen. And enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 9 June

(A.K.A. The longest post ever!! In start to finish time)

So, yes, I started this post about 5:30 AM this morning, and it right at 8:30 PM now. I had this song in my head (as the title implies) for several days. I just couldn’t come up with anything to say about it other than how much I enjoyed the song.

The song is a beaut. In its album version, the song segues from “Have A Cigar” (A wonderful semi-true story) as such;

In the original album version, the song segues from “Have a Cigar” as if a radio had been tuned away from one station, through several others (including a radio play and one playing the opening of the finale movement of Tchaikovsky‘s Fourth Symphony), and finally to a new station where “Wish You Were Here” is beginning.[5] The radio was recorded from Gilmour’s car radio. He performed the intro on a twelve-string guitar, processed to sound like it was playing through an AM radio, and then overdubbed a fuller-sounding acoustic guitar solo. This passage was mixed to sound as though a guitarist were listening to the radio and playing along. As the acoustic part becomes more complex, the ‘radio broadcast’ fades away and Gilmour’s voice enters, becoming joined by the full band.[6]

The intro riff is repeated several times, before Gilmour plays further solos with scat singing accompaniment. A third verse follows, featuring an increasingly expressive vocal from Gilmour and audible backing vocals. At the end of the recorded song, the final solo crossfades with wind sound effects, and finally segues into the second section of the multi-part suite “Shine On You Crazy Diamond“.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wish_You_Were_Here_(Pink_Floyd_song)

I really loved the “AM Radio” sound of the 12 string with the overlay of the full on six string acoustic.

The song is often thought to be tribute to Syd Barrett, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd. But as Co-writer (along with David Gilmour) Roger Waters said, and as the best music always is;

Waters later adds that the song is nevertheless open to interpretation.

Ibid

And, of course, that’s not what I came here to talk to you about. Today has been a bittersweet day for Wifey and I. Son-The-Elder is once again deploying with his National Gauard unit overseas. Do not ask me where is is going, I will not tell you. As an Army retiree I strongly believe in Operational Security policies. “Loose lips sink ships” was an old military poster, and it still is the truth today. I will only tell you, he is not going to a war zone. So family members can rest easy.

Although he may not have left yet, we already miss him. Here is Wish You Were Here. This is for any and all service members the world over that are seperated from family and loved ones for any damn reason. Hopefully one day there will no longer be any armies and we can all live in peace.

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 31 May

While this song has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it many years ago, it only bubbles up to my conscience now and then. But we heard it several time during our visit to Scotland earlier this month. (We’re ready to go back too!)

It’s not surprising that the song was featured during our trip. The Proclaimers are a set of Scottish twins, they sing in a thick Scottish accent, and the song has been featured and covered by lots of folks, including a Comic Relief 2007: The Big One version for the BBC. It took it’s inclusion on the Johnny Depp movie Benny & June for the song to take off in America. It reached #3 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1993.

Not everybody on our tour knew all the words, in fact I don’t think any of us Americans knew them all, but everybody sang along on the chorus! Almost all of us could sing along when Puff The Magic Dragon came on. Out tour director claims that Puff is actually about Nessie. And while I never thought of that connection, it kinda makes sense!

So, here is I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles). Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Conference Time – 2019

Once again, I had the pleasure of attending the KnowBe4 Security Awareness Conference. This is the second year they’ve held the conference, and my second year of attending.  As usual, the wonderful folks at KnowBe4 put on a great conference.  I will admit that there were some things I thought were better last year than this year, but I will hold those criticisms for the email survey they will send.  I’m sure the problems I found were more related to me, and not the conference itself. I am by definition a “grumpy old man”.  The majority of attendees were probably younger than my kids. So, I’ll leave it at that.

I will mention one issue here.  One night there is a “customer appreciation dinner”.  No issue there, except for one like me with some severe social anxiety. This year there were almost 1000 attendees (up from only 300 or so last year). Before the dinner, there was an open bar (big plus in my book). My problem (all me, not the folks that set everything up), was that even with free beer, there were so many people in such a small space. The crowd noise was so overwhelming (added to my tinnitus) that I had to leave quickly. I only had 2 beers and went back to my room. My head was pounding, and the anxiety was so high, I’m surprised I didn’t have tears running down my face. I would have stopped and ordered food and drinks at one of the restaurants, but at $9 for a local craft beer that was not an option ( and the scotch/bourbon prices were way above anything I’ve ever seen before).  If I attend this event next year, I will go back to the Holiday Inn across the street.  Drinks and food prices there are much more reasonable.

ProTip:  In the Orlando, FL area avoid the Marriott World Centre unless you have big bucks backing you. Everything is extremely overpriced.

Of course, that is not what I came to talk about.  Let ‘s talk traffic.  Regular readers of this blog (both of you) know how much I hate traffic.  There are several posts about this already. For this conference I had to travel to Lake Buena Vista.  Basically, into the heart of Disney. If there is one thing I hate more than driving Interstate 4 (we used to call it the devil’s highway. Not it’s God’s Highway – because nobody else will claim it!), it’s Disney.

ProTip: Orlando’s Airport code is MCO. It stands for Mickey Controls Orlando. And they control much more than that. Their environmental policy sucks. They only bow down to the almighty dollar.

I-4 is undergoing a major “improvement”. They call it Ultimate I-4.  As in an ultimate pain in the ass. There are daily lane and exit changes. What once was a simple right lane exit, has now become, overnight, a left lane exit.

On Wednesday afternoon. It only took maybe an hour and a half to travel the 60 or so miles to the hotel/conference center.  The return trip home was a completely different story. Almost two and a half hours to make to 60-mile trip.  Why?  Because I-4 is a parking lot the majority of the day.  It just happens on different sides depending on the time of time.  Add in the Ultimate (pain in the ass) project, and most parts of I-4 are a parking lot most of the day. And since all the theme parks (Disney, SeaWorld, Universal, et al) are on the west side of Orlando, I avoid them at all costs.  I hate I-4 and Orlando beyond belief.  In fact I want out of #Floriduh in the worst way.  

In “honor” of sitting in the parking lot also known as I-4 for the majority of my Friday afternoon into the evening, here’s “I Can’t Drive 55”, because I don’t think I ever got above 45!

Peace,
B

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P.S. We’re under 6 days for #Scotland2019

What’s Stuck In My Head – 25 April

A.K.A. The History Edition

Let me set the scene;

  • Date: Summer of 1979
  • Location: Somewhere in Georgia, maybe Duluth.

First a little back story. I was in the Air Force, stationed at Homestead AFB, just south of Miami. My family home was also just south of Miami, just not as far south. My parents had a 32′ motorhome that was used to travel around the eastern seaboard for vacations.

This particular summer, my brother and his wife were going to join mom and dad on vacation.  Their plan was to go to New Orleans, then up into the mountains of North Carolina, then to the Atlanta area, finally ending in Disney World where my brother was to play in a company golf tournament.  My plan was to take some leave and stay at the house and basically party the entire time.

Of course, I didn’t tell them that. As far as they knew my leave was not approved, which was a big fat lie. I can say this now since both mom and dad have passed. 

During this trip, they would call back to the house on a semi-regular basis. Obviously checking up on me. I’m guessing my brother knew what was up.

Everything was fine until the one evening they called, and I was, shall we say, just a bit drunk.  While talking to my brother I let it slip that my leave had been approved.  Plans were immediately set for me to fly up to Greensboro, NC to meet them and spend the rest of the trip with them. I was not too happy about this plan. The motorhome didn’t have that many sleeping places. Dad was an emphysema patient and had a nebulizer in the back of the RV where his and mom’s beds were. Having spent several other vacations in that RV, I knew how loud that nebulizer was at 2 AM.  I wasn’t looking forward to cramped sleeping quarters and being woken up at any hour of the morning.

In the end, it was a good thing I joined them.  The new plan was for me to fly into Greensboro and rent a car, then drive to meet them at the campground, just across the state line in Greensboro, SC.  Big problem.  I was only 20 at the time.  The minimum age to rent a car was 26. Even with a military ID, they legally could not rent me any vehicle.  So, the family unhooked the motorhome and drove up to the airport to rent a car and pick me up.

I’m not sure who exactly rented the car, but I was listed as the primary driver. Following them back to the campground I noticed something very bad.  None of the lights on the back of the RV were working. No tail lights, no turn signals, no brake lights, nothing!  When we made it back to the campground and got everything hooked back up we started looking at what was wrong.

If I remember correctly (always a challenge), we found a bundle of wires that had been burned out. But that wasn’t the worst of it.  Every single wire in the RV was brown.  Not brown as in burned or singed, but molded in brown plastic. None of the usual red, black, and green wires.  Everything was the same dull brown, from the front to the rear.  It would appear that the previous owner rewired the RV with only one color of wire. We had no idea which wire was hot, neutral, or ground!  That meant one thing. I was to follow, as closely as possible, the RV to Atlanta where we would park it in a friend’s driveway and rewire the entire motorhome. An entire weekend of vacation would be lost. But it was something very critical.

As I remember (again – we’re talking shaky ground here), we fixed all the wiring and all the lights worked, and we took off for Disney for that golf outing. That’s when the next issue showed up.  And now, we’re up to date, and where are somewhere around Duluth, GA.

As I mentioned dad has emphysema. While we were working on the motorhome, we could all see he was sinking into a major breathing issue.  That’s when we made the stop at a local hospital to see if we could get dad breathing better, hoping a more powerful breathing treatment would allow him to continue with us.  It didn’t work.  He spent a night or two in that hospital (my brother thinks it was “Joan Clancy Hospital”). Then he and mom flew back to Miami, while my brother, his wife and I went to Disney.

But, that’s not what I cam here to talk about.  While dad was in that hospital, my brother pointed out someone to me.  Down the hospital hall was a young guy with a big beard and longer than usual hair. His room was the only one that didn’t have a name outside the door. We would see this gentleman walk up and down the hall, stop and chat with the nurses, and really look like he didn’t need to be there. Plus, he looked very familiar to us.  It took me a little bit, but then I saw it. If it wasn’t Kenny Loggins, then it was a doppelganger! It looked just like him.  But why was he in the hospital? To complete the conspiracy theory, once he realized we noticed him he didn’t come back out of the room while we were there.

Was it Kenny?  Doubtful. But it’s fun to look back and wonder. 

All this finally leads to today’s video.  The song was originally released on the 1976 album The Best Of Friends.  The video isn’t the best, but I used this version for two reasons. The live version, while musically beautiful, is very boring.  They just stand there nothing exciting.  Second, the image of Kenny Loggins (the guy on the left) is who we saw in the hospital!

Enjoy!

That’s him! There on the left!

Peace,
B

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