In Memoriam

I was sitting on the porch today enjoying the beauty of the Memorial Day sunshine, when my mom came out to tell me some disheartening news.  A member of our family had passed away; or so it  seemed. Gregg Allman has always been a part of our lives, and to hear of his passing, does create a void in a way. Now I can’t claim to be an Allman Brother’s fan. My father will tell you I have spent most of my life rolling my eyes at him, whenever he begins reveling in the grovel of Gregg’s voice or the 15 minute drum solo of Jaimoe, which my brother and I loving know as “Gregg’s bathroom break.” But, even if we couldn’t quite appreciate or understand Gregg’s music while we were growing up listening to Britney Spears or Eminem,  I can honestly look back and see that Gregg, the Allman Brother’s, and my dad’s love for them, has changed my life.

While each generation finds its own unique sound, I believe that it is the music that our parent’s expose us to from a young age, that truly helps root our appreciation of music and  the genre’s that we will most gravitate to. As mentioned, I was a 90’s baby’s with bubble gum pop ruling my record choices for a good portion of my early years. However, my dad never let us get into the car without listening to at least one of his songs first. “One song, and then you can have control of the radio,” he would promise. Of course it would always be an Allman Brother’s song, which was 10+ minutes long and we would get to where we were going just as the song was finishing! As much as this begrudged us at the time, our exposure to musicians playing instruments and songwriting that had deeper meaning than the puddly pop we were indebted to, was a blessing. It may have taken a while for me to come around, but by the time I was heading into high school, I had come to discover my own rock legends  and delve more into classic rock music.

For me it was and will probably always be Fall Out Boy. My brother passed down a burned copy of their Take This to Your Grave album, and from the moment I heard “Saturday” my music bubble, in which I only listened to Top 4o, was  shattered. I soon was intrigued to learn more about Fall Out Boy’s influences and what musicians inspired them.  I soon was rediscovering and truly appreciating the music that my parents had always had on in the background. Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Neil Young, Bob Seger, and most notably the Beatles.  I even ended up writing my college entrance essay about The Beatles. An essay about how much they impacted me, and how all the music of my parent’s generation influenced me. All the music,  I thought, but the Allman Brothers, which I did in fact bring up in the essay. I still felt that I couldn’t quite connect with Gregg. But, the universe was determined to never let the Allman Brothers get too far away from me, even as I journeyed into adulthood. When I first met my college advisor, he mentioned, I gathered jokingly, that the only reason I got into the school was that the essay mentioned his favorite band. “Oh yeah, the Beatles,” I thought.  Nope! The Allman Brothers, even if it was a line about how I didn’t care for them, he was at least proud that I knew who they were.

Gregg’s passing is truly the end of an error in this household.  I doubt that his music will die out with him, and I in fact am fully prepared to hear his music coming from my Dad’s speakers in an incessant celebration of his life  for the next few days, but it does mean the end of my dad and his 4 brothers donning their Eat a Peach shirts and heading out for the umpteenth time to go see Gregg in concert, and the pure joy that comes along with that. I know this will  hurt, because if my crying at coming within inches of Andrew Mcmahon at a recent show is any indication, I know how awesome it feels to see your idol in concert.

So rest easy Gregg,  they will never catch the Midnight Rider, and they will never be able to find a musician who can fill your shoes.

 

 

Throwback Thursday Vinyl

Well, after an extended hiatus do to my turntable failing on me, TBT vinyl is back!👏👏

To kick things off, a bit a of a tribute. Two weeks ago today we lost a memorable legend of rock, J. Geils. While  born and raised in New York, we Bostonians like to claim him and the J. Geils Band as our own, as they were formed while Geils was attending Worcester Poly Tech and after recruiting local musicians including lead singer Peter Wolf, making the loss even more bittersweet.

The J.Geils Band first came onto the scene in the mid 60’s as an acoustic blues band, but started using electric guitars and adding in keyboard, harmonica, and other instruments and sounds, leading them into the genre of rock, with early performances opening for bands such as The Allman Brothers and The Byrds.

The early 70’s brought most of the bands commercial success, with their third album Bloodshot reaching #10 on the Billboard charts and their single “Must Have Got Lost” peaking at #12 in 1975. Then in 80’s, the debut of MTV help gained the band a #1 hit with “Centerfold,” of their 1981 album Freeze Frame.

“Flamethrower” is one of the B-side songs off the Freeze Frame album, rising to only #25 on the charts, however it does not provide any less vim and vigor than any of their more popular hits. The song is an ode to a woman who is all business during the day, but knows how to bring it when she clocks out. Here’s to working hard and playing harder!

 

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Throwback Thursday Vinyl

Well its been awhile since I’ve done a TBT Vinyl. I’m having some issues with video/audio uploading without anyone getting in a tizzy over copyright infringement and all that legal gobbledy gook. So hoping this works out.

And since it has been awhile I thought it would be good to return to my old stand by and everyone’s favorite, The Beatles.

Tonight’s selection is from Abbey Road. Recorded in September of 1969, it was the band’s last album, although not the last to be released.  Let It Be had its mishaps, including friction among the Fab Four, and was not released until 1970, a year after it was recorded. While the band continued to feud, they somehow came together to go out with a  bang, as Abbey Road is one of their most memorable and revered albums, with their long time producer George Martin touting it as their best, despite the chaos in both their personal and professional lives.¹

Hunter Davies, author of The Beatles Lyrics, believes that You Never Give Me Your Money is a song of scraps. While catchy, he thinks that there are various interpretations based on what part of the song you look at.  He theorizes that the opening could be referring to their money battles with Apple Records, or perhaps a metaphor for the feelings Paul had towards John at the time; that John was giving more of himself to Yoko Ono than the band.  The end also has several theories, with Paul himself explaining it away as memories of his trips with Linda in the countryside, while author Walter Everett reads it as nostalgia for the bands touring days, which were done at the time of the album.²

Whatever its meaning, this tune keeps us humming along and tapping our toes with its variations in style throughout the piece.

Enjoy!

 

 

¹Davies, Hunter. “Abbey Road.” The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories behind the Music, including the Handwritten Drafts of More than 100 Classic Beatles Songs. New York: Little,Brown, 2014. 333. Print.

2Everett, Walter (1999). The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512941-0.

My Jam Monday

Monday again! Oof! Its almost over everyone, don’t worry!

To help you get over your Monday blues, some music! Tonight I have 2 songs. Both artists are not new or undiscovered, actually quite the opposite, but I feel that they  both should be recognized for another reason.

Music legends are born  by the way they are able to adapt and recreate their sound in order to grow with their audience and the generational shifts. Both started out at Disney, which can be a hard place to transition from. Both also were part of boy bands, another very challenging genre to grow from. But these two artists are making waves in the music industry, and no one is shirking at their abilities because of their background.

The first artist is at this point very seasoned even though he still young at 35. His music has not only topped the charts, but he has been recognized with many accolades including the MTV Video Vanguard Award and the iHeartRadio Innovator Award. His newest song is so catchy and continues the growth that he shows every time he releases new music. So in case you wanted this song further stuck in your head, here is Justin Timberlake’s  Can’t Stop The Feeling.

The next artist is just beginning to break the mold, but is no slouch at following in JT’s footsteps. Nick Jonas has grown leaps and bounds from his Jonas Brothers days. From his look to his lyrical content, he is clearly on the move and only going up! So I hope you also enjoy Close feat. Tove Lo.

My Jam Monday

Hello there,

This Monday I wanted to share with you some music from a group that I have grown quite fond of after discovering them on the oh so addicting show The Royals on E!

While the show itself maybe a disastrous guilty pleasure, the music of Slow Club is not.  This duo of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor, produces music of a soothing yet eerie quality, with just the right amount of British Folk. The pair formed in 2006 and have toured extensively  since then, mainly in the UK, on their own, and as supporting acts for KT Tunstall, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford & Sons.

Slow Club’s third album Complete Surrender is what I have been tuning into and it was their song “Everything is New” which was featured on the show which really drew me in.  So take a listen to “Everything is New.” Enjoy!

Throwback Thursday Vinyl!

When recalling bands that defined the British Invasion, most music fans easily deffer to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. And, rightly so. These bands all had a significant impact on not just Rock and Roll, but history itself. But there is another band from across the pond that can stand tall in this right as well. Coming in only second to The Beatles in terms of lifetime album sales and having the 4th most sold album of all time¹, Led Zeppelin has left an impact on music like none other.

Released in 1971 the untitled IV album is their most widely received and the one which has solidified the band’s legendary status with hits such as “Stairway to Heaven”, “Rock and Roll”, and tonight’s featured tune “Black Dog”.

The song was not really one of the band’s lyrically strong pieces, with Jimmy Page saying

I put a lot of work into my lyrics. Not all my stuff is meant to be scrutinized, though. Things like “Black Dog” are blatant let’s-do-it-in-the-bath-type things, but they make their point just the same.²

However, the musical stylings in this song are particularly strong. While the band originated out of the bluesy Yardbirds , their influences grew to take a different direction especially on the IV album. Both Page and Plant had grown up in the realm of British folklore and were inspired by mythology, Middle Earth, and the occult.³ This may have had something to do with the “edge of mayhem arrangements”³ that this song highlights and can be found throughout the IV album.

And for all those inquiring minds, the name of the song has no ties to the songs actual meaning. It was simply named after a stray dog that the band encountered often while recording.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

¹”The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum.” Led Zeppelin Biography. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Musem, 15 May 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

²Crowe, Cameron. “The Durable Led Zeppelin.” Rolling Stone. N.p., 13 Mar. 1975. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

³”Led Zeppelin Biography.” Rolling Stone. Ed. Chuck Eddy. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

My Jam Monday-David Bowie

Today music lovers everywhere woke up to some sad news. They had lost one of the greats: David Bowie.

First arriving to the music scene in the early 70’s, Bowie was an innovator in so many ways. From his androgynous style, to his sound, and his Ziggy Stardust persona, David Bowie opened a whole new door in music history.

While I have not quite delved into much of Bowie’s music, he had some stand out songs that not many could forget including, “Fame,” “Space Oddity,” and my jam, “Fashion”