Monday, December 22, 2008

I heard it.
4:05 pm yesterday.
I was right here

I should correct myself -- it doesn't start with a 'BONG' so much as a deep 'CLANG'.

It's official Christmas to me now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

But I don't know it's Christmas yet...

I'm still awaiting my first "real" hearing of this song.
I've heard it off my iPod but it's not the same.
I have to be in the car, and have that familiar Church bell "BONG!" that opens the song for me to really feel like it's Christmas.
I learned this year it's not the same hearing it on demand.

I like knowing others are hearing it too, that communal effect, like a vibrant audience in a packed theater, or an enthusiastic group on your roller coaster tram. Or laughing your ass off at a Seinfeld classic moment at 11:18pm knowing thousands in your metro area also watching just laughed too.

So I'm re-posting this from last year to tempt the fates to bring it to me.


"Yes I DO know"

Holiday season officially started for me this morning --

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" came on the radio without me wondering about it or waiting for it. Just got on the highway, one song in, heater finally kicking on, really starting to wake up, and bang! My Jam.

Every year I look forward to having that surprise me in the car. Some people need to see "It's A Wonderful Life" to really kickstart it. DTKIC is my trigger.

And admittedly, being an 80s kid, this song just hits it. It's a such a perfect snapshot of what 1985 was musically in pop music. Yeah yeah, all the top pop artists of that time were singing, but I'm talking more than the all-star cast. It's more an all-star musical cast too;

The stark wide landscape intro, setting a nice dramatic open feel. (very Dream Academy)
The slow burn build of the vocal melody
The insta-enjoyable chorus hook
The galloping bass guitar line ( I dare say started by my pals Level 42)
Phil Collins propulsive drumming/drum sound (*and don't forget his ever classic PC over-the-bar line drum fill during the organ solo after the bridge)

And next time you listen, think about how perfectly chosen the voices were, and that for each voice, the *way* they sang they're part was a perfect historical snapshot of what that singer's trademark was. From the actual lyric line they sang to how they sang it. You could teach your grandkids about these people;

"See Timmy, this "guy" Boy George, the way he sings this line... all his songs, he was just that smooth. He was the male Sade. And when he adds that soulful "OOOOOO, HOO..." to tag the pre-chorus hook, he was really good at that.
"And Bono, who sings probably the most famous line of it all, well, at that time he was the ultimate passionate political singer. He was known for delivering cynical comments about humanity's ignorance or denial of human suffering in his own music. The words themselves sound cruel, but when Bono sang, you could hear his own distaste thru his sarcasm. He literally was raising a flag about everything in U2 concerts. this video from Red Rocks. Ohp, there it is, see the big flag he's marching around with?"

"And this Sting guy, though he doesn't have his own solo line, at that time everyone was using him to add a vocal harmony over top of other people's singing which gave it an otherworldly effect, at once soulful but angelic too. It was very distinctive. and at that time in the 80s, you heard more of Sting hovering over things than singing them at you."

I obviously could go on and on.

But anyway, if you were there in the 80s, think about this song as a musical history lesson. Simon le Bon's voice is spot-on.

And for bonus points, quiz yourself with "who was the only American artist(s)/band that was invited to be part of this song project. If you don't know, you'll be surprised. I'd give you a clue, but it's not cause for celebration yet. Because if it was, you'd have seen the clue already in this post.

Merry Holidays.
(Yes, I'm starting my own saying, Frank Costanza-style)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cheech & Chong 2000

I love how this email below starts.

I seriously may print and and frame this, considering how cool it is to me if I think about it per my history with C&C -- to think in 1979, when I was 8 years old and listening to the "Dave? sketch off Star Wars Mike's Dad's C&C albums, that in 30 years, there would be a global interconnecting computer communications network sending digital messages to my PERSONAL COMPUTER, and one of those communications would be Cheech & Chong, as old men, sending ME...also named email starting with "Dave?"... to me.

Remember kids...your cell phone is what Kirk and Co. had.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 11:58 PM
Subject: More dates for Cheech & Chong: Light Up America and Canada


They announced more dates for the Cheech & Chong reunion tour. They are also selling VIP Upgrades which gets you a meet and greet with Cheech & Chong, as well as a goodie bag.
For ticket details and photos and reviews from the shows...
Click on the pre-sale link.

October 2
Hampton Beach Casino
Hampton, NH
This second show goes onsale tomorrow/Friday.

February 21
Palace Theatre
Columbus, OH
Pre-sale is September 16 at 10am local time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Geez halfway thru August... I see the last post from end of April and can't believe it was that long ago.
Busy summer with lots of concerts. Lots.
Montreal (to see George Michael)
Chicago (to see King Crimson, and back there in a few months for Cheech and Chong)
Frampton again (Bekkala's first show)
Rothbury over July 4 weekend. Awesome.
Umphreys McGree (for Bekkala's bachelor party.)
Stevie Wonder
Return to Forever
Eddie Izzard
Drive By Truckers
Don Rickles
The Dalai Lama
Duran Duran
Adrian Belew
The Police, again.
I know there's more but those are the ones pinned on the corkboard above this monitor.

And what's coming that I got tickets for--
Zappa Plays Zappa (they tore it up at Rothbury)
Yo Yo Ma
Kodo drummers of Japan
Wynton Marsalis
Chick Corea/John Mclaughlin/vinnie Colaiuta (that's gonna melt brains)
Adrian Legg
Jonatha Brooke
The Who
Plus all the DSO shows we'll see.

Seeing it in writing is quite something. I see concerts. It seems to be what I really like to do.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Thy Will Be Open

Last weekend was quite a religious themed one. Maybe it's a sign to blog more.

Friday I go to funeral for an Aunt in Toledo. Lutheran service, at this old school church the Belows have been going to since the 50s. I was baptized there. The pastor is relatively new there, but older. Definitely a hippie pastor who's all about church not needing to be depressing and sullen. This guys must have been quite a hippie in the 60s. Because...he actually kareoke'd to a contemporary Christian soft pop song. Didn't sing along, but did calls and answers to the choruses and tried to "lift it" even more. It was so surreal, Christopher Guest could not have staged or improv'd a more incredulous WTF? moment. So many people were squeezing down their smiles and lowering their heads to not laugh in order to get through it. It was quite the introduction to Christian/Lutheran church for Masha who's never been to a funeral, or really hung out in a Christian church service.

Get up Saturday, and go sit in a basketball arena and watch the Dalai Lama teach the basics of Buddhism.

Saturday evening go to Hill auditorium to see Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Jack DeJohnette--
Chick is a scientologist as high in rank as Tom Cruise. It's true.
Bobby Mcferrin is a Buddhist who was on a panel in A2 Friday night with Richard Gere and Steve Segal. Yes, Segal, who is actually a certified Buddhist incarnate. As in, the powers that be said he indeed is the reincarnation of some past lama from the zen Buddhist sect.)
Jack is Christian with some Buddhism mixed in I think.

Sunday I have Passover dinner with Masha's college friends, a couple who live in Ferndale who invited us since 3 of the 4 of us are Jewish. The funny thing is, masha and every friend of hers, Jewish or not, thought I was Jewish when they first met me. I might be from my biological mother's side (which is how you confirm it), but haven't been able to confirm yet.

Now excuse me while I slip into a running suit, sneakers, bunk bed and cut my nuts off. The Heaven's Gate comet is swinging by tonight and I need to be ready to hitch a ride.