March BlogCast ~ Don’t Touch That Dial!

I swear to my Creator that there’s not a speck of narcissism involved. Just for the pure fun of it, this DJ is about to spin five tunes about DJs, radio stations, radio static, etc.

Synopsis: As our story begins Chuck Berry’s intent is to request a song… to “write a little letter” and “mail it to (his) local DJ”… followed by Bob Seger listening intently to the Heavy Music on his radio “when the big bad beat comes on.” btw, the song title below is a link to a video which features Fred Astaire dancing to Seger’s Heavy Music. A bit of a caveat, while the visual aspects are excellent, regrettably, the sound quality is poor… in DJ parlance the off center vinyl pressing created a mild case of the “wows”.

Soon after that, the Kinks supersonic rock sends us soaring up, Up and Away on our musical journey Around the Dial… however… at this juncture, there’s a bit of mystery unfolding… Ray Davies’ lyrical reportage claiming “one of our DJs is missing.”

Perhaps an alien abduction is afoot… as suggested by David Bowie’s Starman… lyrics about the late night ambient lighting set low and the listener leaning back on his radio… more to the point… “That weren’t no DJ that was hazy cosmic jive”. Oh, btw, many of you Sci-Fi aficionados will likely recognize this Bowie tune from the film soundtrack: The Martian.

Coming full circle… once again we’re back on terra firma, where the earthly static reasserts itself ala Ten Years After rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ us to wrap up this March BlogCast.

 

Chuck Berry ~ Roll Over Beethoven

Bob Seger ~ Heavy Music

Kinks ~ Around The Dial

David Bowie ~ Starman

Ten Years After ~ Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You

If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, my next blogcast will be on April 1, 2017… no foolin’!

 

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It’s Oft Best To Say Nothing At All

As of late, the three words to best describe me: Emotional Train Wreck. While that’s not my preemptive excuse, your knowing this will bring something useful to the peace table… in this blog… on this day.

To Long-Story-Short the situation… after posting my response to a comment on one of my blogs… upon rereading it… I realized that I was sounding more dogmatic than diplomatic. Ugh!

While what I had said was essentially true… I could’ve said it far better than I had.

While it’s OK to be passionate / opinionated… carrying this to extremes is NOT productive.

In our severely divided world… especially in Blue State-Red State America… where finding agreement on much of anything is getting more and more difficult with each passing nanosecond, I don’t want to be fanning the flames of rancor.

Finding common ground… even if it is measured in mere inches, not acres, is what I am actually attempting to promote.

I do consider myself fortunate that my comment was posted on my own blog, for I was able to delete my own immoderate words. Indeed, that comment is now in the trash… right where it belongs.

From this day forward, before I express myself, be it posted in a blog or in a comment section, if I am emotionally impaired, I plan to first put my words through my “Verbal Breathalyzer” and “take a reading”.

If I’m “BUI” (Blogging Under the Influence) I’ll shut up. Conversely, I’ll only click a post button if I am sober.

For nearly fifty years, since I was a teenager, I’ve been a big fan of the poet / songwriter / musician Bob Seger… have been in tune with the timeless wisdom his lyrics oft present. There’s no need to dig too deeply into his discography to find applicable passages when something isn’t going right in my day-to-day life.

With regards to my self-deleted comment… and any comments I may be about to post in the future… this verse to Bob Seger’s song, Wait For Me, will act as my Verbal Breathalyzer:

There’ll be times when I rise…

There’ll be times when I’ll fall…

There’ll be times when it’s best…

To say nothing at all!

 

Going to California… in my mind (pt. 1)

Just as James Taylor sings about going to “Carolina In My Mind”, I now find myself blogging in a similar state of mind. The differences beyond the fact that J.T. is famous and I am not? Well… the state I’m longing for is California AND I’ll be blogging my words, not playing musical notes, to tell you just how homesick I am for the Golden State… but wait a moment…

Maybe it is possible to set my blog to music. After all… I did train to be a DJ. Folks, we’ll get those tunes spinning… after this brief message…

Here’s the backstory to my homesickness. It’s been ten+ years since I last set foot in La La Land to attend a family reunion for two… yes… essentially… my sister and I represent our entire family census… not counting distant relatives (who I could walk right past on any city street on any given day… and never know it).

By now I can hear you ask, “Ten+ years? Why wait any longer? Why not simply book a flight, pack up your bags and board the next westward bound jet?” Long sigh…

Well… since my last trip to the Left Coast… so much has happened… and not all those events would get entered into the plus column of my Life’s Ledger. To CliffsNotes it… there’s been a reversal of my good fortune… both money-wise and otherwise.

Naturally, I am thankful for reasonably good health, the roof over my head and the bare essential furnishings, devices and supplies under that roof… but… nonetheless… another long sigh… I do miss California. And I don’t feel it odd for this lifelong Michiganian to consider the greater Los Angeles area to be my home away from home.

Now… I do have one regret re my past visits… that I had only done my en route sightseeing from my widow seat at an altitude of 38,000 feet… instead of through my car’s windshield while traveling America’s highways and byways. But… what’s done is done.

And so… I’ll just have to settle for going to California in my mind ~ To be sure, no trip would be complete without first producing a “mix tape” featuring great road songs. To that end… I recently produced two C-90 cassettes to enhance my imaginary western journey… and at this time… there’s also a third project in the works (Volume 3 to feature a more hard driving rock genre).

As for this blog… I’ll be sharing my Volume 1 soundscape with you. Whether or not a similar posting for Volume 2 and 3 will occur is highly dependent on the number of hits and comments this blog receives.

A brief heads up… since this music is all courtesy of YouTube… from time to time there are bound to be interruptions of musical service.

For starters… these videos do frequently get deleted due to artist objections / copyright issues. Lastly… there are all of those commercials, which YouTubers tack on. But… what the H… “To dance to the music we must pay the piper”… right?

BESIDES… would not these gaps also enhance the realism of the road trip? Imagine this as if your car radio has temporarily lost a drifting, low wattage AM signal… something easily remedied by switching stations… i.e., clicking onto the next link. Also consider each commercial interruption as being akin to what we hear on AM top-40 formatted stations… as we all know… they’re oft forced to overbook advertisers… simply to pay for the electricity to stay on the air.

On a more positive note… since some of these YouTube videographers have poured a vast ocean’s worth of their talent into the visual aspects of their productions… it’s easy to trip out while viewing these scenes… thus making our going to Carolina OR California in our minds all the better… OR for that matter, anywhere else our l’il ol’ hearts may desire.

Replicated below is my liner notes printout, which I cut out and inserted into my “Volume 1” cassette’s case.

Well, that about covers the preliminaries… Without any further ado… everyone pack your bags, lock up your home sweet homes, kick the tires, adjust your rear view mirrors and car seats, buckle up, turn the key in your ignitions, get ‘er in gear and KICK OUT THE JAMS!!! We’ll soon find out if the Moody Blues gents got it right… that “Thinking is the best way to travel.”

To now paraphrase a Lennon/McCartney sentiment… let’s  listen to the music playing in my head… and… hopefully… in yours, too!

 

Hit The Road Tracks – Volume 1

SIDE A: 02/29/16 ~ DOLBY B ~ 46:30

01 2:51 Canned Heat – Going Up The Country

02 2:42 Vanity Fair – Hitchin’ A Ride

03 4:27 Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee

04 4:13 Judy Collins – City Of New Orleans

05 2:41 Boz Scaggs – Waiting For A Train

06 3:16 Norah Jones – The Long Way Home

07 2:26 Roger Miller – King Of The Road

08 3:00 Natalie Cole – Route 66

09 1:09 Nelson Riddle – Route 66 TV Theme

10 2:11 Ray Charles – California Here I Come

11 4:15 James Newton Howard / Kenny G. – Driving North

12 3:56 Roy Orbison – California Blue

13 3:36 Led Zeppelin – Going To California

14 2:11 James Newton Howard – San Francisco

15 2:58 Scott McKenzie – San Francisco

16 1:09 Nelson Riddle – Route 66 (Reprise)

 

SIDE B: 02/29/16 ~ DOLBY B ~ 46:30

17 5:38 Refreshments – Interstate

18 4:23 Eagles – Ol’ 55

19 3:42 Bob Seger – Wait For Me

20 2:59 Lobo – Me And You And A Dog Named Boo

21 3:46 Gordon Lightfoot – Me & Bobby McGee

22 4:06 America – A Horse With No Name

23 3:28 James Taylor – Country Road (Single Mix)

24 3:35 Simon & Garfunkel – America

25 2:44 Lovin’ Spoonful – Never Going Back

26 4:33 Arlo Guthrie – City Of New Orleans

27 4:17 Neil Diamond – America

28 3:36 Ray Charles – America The Beautiful