Thursday, February 21, 2019

Who Are You - An Evolution

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?

Early Jam from Oct 1976:

Kilburn '77

The recording session featured in the movie:
Here's a link to the whole film in better quality:

1979 with Kenny Jones:

1989 with Simon Phillips:

2015 with Zak Starkey

Friday, January 25, 2019

If Bob Can Sing So Can You!

 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.............