Who Are You is an interesting song to use as a way to compare the playing styles of the various drummers that played live with The Who. Of course, the basic form of the song took shape with Keith Moon still in the band, but it would be his last album sadly. Other drummers managed to put their own style into the music - who did it best? Who? Who?
There are times when,
against the grain of all rational signals not to do so, having a
little faith in the universe might be the best option for sanity
preservation purposes. Sanity, or whatever variant along that
slippery slope as can be hoped for, seems like a scarce resource in
the world these days. Maybe its nothing new. History tells us that
turmoil can be as common as change. Perhaps the two go hand in hand.
Where's this all going?
Change. New Year.
Different horizons. Every new year can be a time for reflection. This
blog has been, for me, an opportunity to use the writing process to
give shape to my own reflections using music as a guideline. Although
I've had some wonderful visitors here, my ongoing quest has been to
document my theories, reactions and questions for my own sanity. And
maybe to pass along the word on current vibrations I've encountered.
Hey, John Peel I ain't! But there was only one of him.
I have to admit to
being fairly amazed at the changes that I've witnessed (musically and
otherwise) since I started this blog many years ago. The resurgence
of vinyl LP culture was totally unexpected, yet I'm glad if it has
helped people connect with great art in a new and meaningful way. The
kinetic pleasure of watching the record spin while digging great
sounds must have been grossly underestimated. It's fun! What is a bit
sad is knowing that each one of the different record labels – from
the big ones (like Columbia) to the little independents – tells the
story of the rise and fall of industry in the United States. Vinyl
record manufacturing was such a big business, it employed many people
working in many factories around the country. Those days may be gone
forever, but at least there's an emerging market again to both employ
people and bring inspiration and enjoyment to consumers. Music
delivers! Like the new White Denim album for instance - great stuff!
This place has been a
mechanism for me to track a little bit of that trend and to dip my
ear into some of the product. And there's A LOT of new music out on
vinyl. I've tried to spotlight some of that here. Yet, I know I can't
hear it all and I'm only one person with two ears and only so much
time and money to devote to the cause. If you stumbled upon this blog
it will be readily apparent I am no threat to the likes of David
Fricke, Richie Unterberger and any of the other great music writers
of our times. I just like to check out new (and old) sounds and I
like to write.
What I've discovered
over the years of maintaining this blog is how different the process
of connecting with new music is compared to when I was in my teens
and twenties – before the internet. I have been quite stunned over
the variety and quality of rarely-heard moments of musical genius
made more widely available because of the internet. Even though I was in a band with Murali
Coryell for a bunch of years in college, I never knew about these
great shows featuring Larry Coryell, Jack Bruce and Mitch Mitchell!
Let alone, here's a live recording on u-toob:
Wow! It is even possible
to have access to some great musicians via social media platforms
and music discussion sites. It may sound like a bunch of fan-boy BS,
but one of the first musicians I connected with on facebook was Dave
Davies. Not that I had the nerve to strike up a conversation with
him, but because of some things he posted I ended up having a major
puzzle of my life solved for which I'm beyond grateful. It is
literally FREAKING AMAZING times to be a music fan.
Shows. How about
shows? I'm still buzzing from seeing the Roger McGuinn and Chris
Hillman “Sweeheart of the Rodeo” 50th Anniversary
concert at the Egg in Albany back in September. Y'know what? Frig it
– I saw THE BYRDS that night, man. It may have been two Byrds and
Marty Stuart with his excellent group The Fabulous Superlatives. But
that night I heard THE BYRDS and it blew my mind. I got goosebumps on
top of goosebumps. I didn't want it to end. I wanted to move into
that reality permanently. For any lucky folks who got to see that –
you know. Just beautiful stuff. Heck, I even bought Marty Stuart's
record on vinyl and it's good. I'd see those guys on their own
without their fine feathered friends.
And there are more
tales to tell for sure. I even have that last King Crimson entry to
write up someday. Along with the Part Two for the Omniverse Edition.
Yet, I've been feeling less inspired to chase after the New Music
monster as a particular focus. If I run across something great I'll
pass on the word here for sure. But I have new ideas for my other
blog – Hyperprism – that I'm quite enthused about putting into
motion. Increasingly I am discovering my listening is rarely tied to
long stretches of any one genre. What captures my imagination is the
smearing of boundaries between musical forms and genres. All too
often, genre-specific language attached to music boils down to
marketing. Which is not all bad, but that approach takes a little too
much of the mystery out of the experience. And life is far too
mysterious to be put into a little box.
So, if I am ringing
in the New Year with a short-ish entry here – consider joining me
over at the other blog for more wide-ranging adventures. Time for a
little sonic off-roading! Onward.............