Archive for the ‘music’ category

Music Sale!

April 1, 2008

Music lovers, have I a deal for you!

I am selling my entire collection, about 1200 CDs, cassettes, and vinyl albums, of 1960s-1990s rock music. I have lost nearly any desire to listen to rock anymore, and I am now listening exclusively to Gregorian chants.

Yes, Gregorian chants. That wonderfully nuanced medieval form of music, mostly heard in Roman Catholic churches.  The multitextured complexity, as well as the lovely choir vocals, have captured my ear, and are not letting go. It’s the best music for driving yet devised, bound to both keep you awake and stir the soul.

Before you mail in your request, take note of the posting date.




May 25, 2007

Lately, I’ve been playing with an idea:

There are musicians these days, mainly the older ones, who still play benefits for causes they believe in. I wonder what the procedure would be for organizing such a benefit concert for a cause, so far as attracting the acts.

I’ve considered some I know have done benefits. Jackson Browne. David Crosby and Graham Nash. Invite Congressman John Hall of NY out of retirement to play some old “Orleans” tunes? Maybe George Clinton or Bootsy Collins. Earth, Wind, & Fire? Chicago? Melissa Etheridge? Jimmy Buffett? Steve Earle? Phil Lesh and Friends? Carly Simon? Carole King? Keith Jarrett? Robert Cray? Chick Corea? Mix jazz, acoustic folk, country, a touch of funk, and blues?

Have to educate them on the T community. I hardly think that difficult.

I thought maybe making it an all-acoustic show might be a good hook.

Open to suggestions and how-tos. I’ve read David Crosby’s “Stand and Be Counted”, and see this as a risky, but possible, venture.

Of course, I’d love to sing just one song in harmony with Crosby and Nash before I die. Time was, I could take Nash’s part fairly well. Nowadays, I sound like a cross between Stephen Stills and a UPS truck with a bad muffler. For my money, Nash and Crosby are the best harmony singers on the planet.

But, it’s all about the money. Takes money to win rights and do advocacy.


Indian Restaurants That Curry My Brain……

May 7, 2007

 I’ve been enjoying the web site of a favorite musician, one Ian Anderson, the flautist/songwriter/guitarist/bandleader of Jethro Tull.

There’s much more to this page than music, however. Anderson writes on the subjects of kitten husbandry, photography, his love of the Wiltshire countryside, and Indian food.

Of interest to my transgender friends and readers (both of them?)  will be the section on DVT. As we know, DVT is a hazard common to those taking cross-gender hormone therapy. Anderson isn’t doing that, but he has had a bout of DVT related to a knee injury (sounds familiar)  that could have killed him. Read of his experience, and watch for the same yourself.

My favorite part was his column on Indian cuisine.  If you’re a novice to the delights of Indian food, you should read on. I can’t share Anderson’s affection for prawns, as I am allergic, but Susan and I happen to love vindaloo, the hottest of Indian dishes, which can be made with lamb, chicken, or prawns. While we’re on the subject of Indian cuisine, our favorite Indian restaurant, Shalimar  (   has a wonderful luncheon buffet, and the Chicken Tikka Masala over rice makes a generous and filling, yet healthy, lunch.  Tandoori Chicken is also a great starting place; mild, yet spicy in a savory, not hot, way, and very healthy for those dieting. Indian cuisine may be spiced any way you wish, mild to hot; ask your waiter for advice, and be sure to tip well. Kingfisher is a nice beer, native to the region if you go for such, but frankly I prefer Samuel Adams with my vindaloo or masala.

Sure beats scrounging for seal.  Just don’t order beef, or steak, or a burger. You probably will never be served again. If you must ask why, go join Focus on the Family and watch the 700 Club, and join the “I’m As Stoopid As George Bush” club.

Haute cuisine,


Like music? Try this

March 19, 2007

Anybody else out there still like vinyl records? For those of you who weren’t born until after Keith Moon died, there used to be this thing, flat, about 12″ round, called a record. You play them on a machine called a turntable. They played music, and it sounded good, unless you had a bunch of scratches on said record.  Of course, the music was better when records were the only way to listen, but that is for another posting.

Anyway, now, there’s this neat program called Golden Records. I bought a copy – it’s a cheap download. You plug the tape outs on your receiver to your sound card’s mike input. And it will digitize your records and clean the pops and clicks as you play them.

How cool is that? I just digitized my entire Jethro Tull album collection. You rarely hear Tull anymore, and I had the unmitigated fun of charging to work today with the “Critique Oblique”, “The Foot of our Stairs”, “Overseer Overture”, “Lucifer’s Flight”, and “Magus Perde” movements of “A Passion Play”, absolutely cranked.  Yum. Look down and I’m doing 90 on an urban freeway on a Sunday afternoon. Whoops. No cops, thank goodness.

A few notes on “A Passion Play.” That is the Jethro Tull album, released in 1973, that falls between “Thick as a Brick” and “WarChild”. It is, for me, the Tull album that determines whether you’re a real Tull fan, or whether you just liked “Locomotive Breath” and “Bungle in the Jungle” when you heard them on the radio.  It’s a serious, difficult work of music, containing many changes of time signature, of instrumentation (you hear a lot more soprano saxophone than the normal flute you find on Tull records), and of unusual minor keys. The critics of the time slagged it to high hell,  none understood it, and indeed it is a work of music that is rarely understood on first hearing.  Lyrically, it is about an actor who dies, goes first to heaven, then to hell, then chooses to return to earth. The lyric line “I gave up my halo for a horn, and the horn for the hat I once had”, from the “Flight from Lucifer” explains the basic concept, but there’s a lot more to it than that.  Go down to your friendly local used record shop, or log onto Amazon and order the enhanced CD, and check it out. I doubt you’ll be able to steal it off Limewire.

While I’m on the subject of Tull, I discovered an album of outtakes from the sessions that produced the basic musical themes for “A Passion Play”, called “Nightcap.”  The band went as tax exiles to France, and recorded in a chateau that had been converted to a studio, and previously used by Elton John and Cat Stevens. It didn’t work for Tull, but the tracks contained musical themes that saw later use on a couple of albums, and the animal theme of the tracks would have made an interesting concept album, perhaps more accessible than “Passion Play” is for many. Ian Anderson refers to it as “the Chateau D’Isaster tapes”. I like them a lot, and have them in the disk changer now.

The years from 1966-1977 are, for me, the golden age.  Nearly all forms of music flew their highest then – great rock, fantastic classical performances, jazz fusion, “outlaw” country, classic soul and R&B, Motown, Stax/Volt, blues, folk, singer-songwriters…… it was all good.  There’s been some good stuff since then – REM, U2, John Legend, Pink, and John “Cougar” Mellencamp come to mind. But that was the golden time.

So, get “Golden Records”, and rediscover your vinyl collection. By the by, if your turntable isn’t working, there is a store on Baxter Avenue in Louisville called the “Magnetic Tape Recorder Company” that repairs them, and also stocks belts, cartridges, and styli for them.  Then pull the old albums off the shelf, and give them a spin. And smile a bit.