Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Everything Is Kinda All Right

Happy birthday to Charlie Daniels!  Charlie Daniels was born 10/28/1936, so he's 79 years old today!  If you don't know, he's a "onetime Nashville session musician who built a strong bridge between rock and pure country, playing both with authority."  

While Charlie Daniels' career spans 50+ years, I'm a fan of his  mid 70's output with the Charlie Daniels band.  Well, technically 1975 through 1980.    Most notably the 4 albums released in  years (November 1974 through November 1976):

 Yes, CDB was the probably most "rednecky" of the southern rock bands, and they sometimes overdid the gold-old-boy bit.  But they were also a solid band, blending rock, blues country, and more.  And excellent live, I had the chance to see them a few times.   CDB was certainly one of my favorite bands of my mid teens, and I still enjoy them.

That said, the trio of late 70's albums (Midnight Wind, Million Mile Reflections, Full Moon Fever) always seemed to be steps down for me, and I more or less lost track of them.

Anyway, I've been listening to CDB today, and want to wish Charlie Daniels a  HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rainy Day Cross Road Blues

Just a little selective color....  just a little something I saw while waiting for the light...

Monday, October 26, 2015


Another from Saturday's excursion to Miner Park in Glen Carbon.  I couldn't resist going with the "Simplify" effect.  A wonderful plug in (Buzz Simplifier), from a company called fo2pix in England.  Years ago, it was my first international Paypal transaction.  They eventually went out of business, I changed computers a few times, and the Buzz was gone.  Fast forward to earlier this year, and I discovered that Topaz had acquired / updated it.  Yay!

Of course, the problem with Simplifier (and many other effects plug-ins) is the tendency to over use.  And, I'm probably as guilty as anyone.  But I'm ok with it.  I can stop anytime I want...  honest!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hard Choice

Quick trip to Miner Park in Glen Carbon today, managed a few decent images.  When deciding which to put on my 365project, I was torn between 2 different leaves / reflection images.  After much debate, I made a choice.  And immediately started second guessing.  But, I have an easy solution, post one there, and one here!

So, which do you prefer (click fer larger versions)?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Blue Condition

Don't take the wrong direction passing through,
Instead of deep reflection of what's true,
For it's a combination of judgments made by you
That cause a deep dejection all the way through.
No relaxation, no conversation, no variation
In a very dark blue, blue condition.

Just a little ICM, for your viewing pleasure...  Larger version here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pet Peeve # 42,299 - "Reply All"

I'll start with an acknowledgement that this is a certifiable "First World Problem", and I should focus on maintaining perspective.  BUT..... 

So, some guy in my company got promoted yesterday.  And his boss sent out a promotion announcement.  All cool, I'm happy for him.  But, I don't know him, he doesn't work in (or with) my division.  It's not really particularly important to me. 

Except for the subsequent flood to my inbox.  Dozens of people sending "reply all" messages of congratulations.  People I don't know sending congratulations to a person I don't know, about a position that does not impact me. And they're still coming after 36 hrs...

Makes me wanna holler....  That notice probably didn't need to go to everybody in the company who has an email address.  

Of course, YOUR pet peeve may be people cluttering up the internet with Pet Peeves they've already Posted.....   Cause I see I posted about this a mere 507 days ago.  But I'm still posting again, because it really makes me THAT mad.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Free Bird, Fallen From The Sky....

A friend pointed out yesterday (10/20) that it was the 38th anniversary of the plane crash that "killed" the band Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Six were killed in the crash, and 20 injured (10 critically).  This included Ronnie Van Zant, founder, leader, lead singer, lyricist for the band. 

A sad event in the history of rock, which has no shortage of sad events.  But this one was personal for me.  I was 17 at the time, and a complete Skynyrd fan.  I (of course) had all their records, and knew them note-for-note.  I had the tee-shirts, the posters...  I had seen them twice in the previous 18 months, and was gearing up to see them on the just started tour.  (They were scheduled to play Pittsburgh November 27th, the brand new Street Survivors album included an insert with the tour dates).  I remember the night of the crash hearing preliminary reports on the radio, and staying up late hoping to hear updates.

Anyway...  The anniversary got me thinking.  What would the band's trajectory been if not for the wreck?  Skynyrd was clearly peaking at the time of the crash.  After 4 solid albums, they had broken through in 1976 with a hugely successful live album (One More From The Road), and had just released the critically acclaimed Street Survivors

Clearly, that's just pointless speculation, but this is the internet, so let's go:

The first clues can be found in Street Survivors itself.  It was a much more "polished" record than the previous releases.  Many reviewers used the term "mature".  But beyond mature, it seemed to be signalling a transition.  Besides a song that may have been more "radio friendly", Street Survivors was the debut of new guitarist Steve Gaines (also killed in the crash), and his impact was immediate.  He co-authored (or authored) 4 of the 8 songs on the album.  And (rather dramatically) he sang lead on one song, and dual leads with RVZ on another.  And there's none of the quirky songs from previous albums that were the heart of the band (Mississippi Kid, Curtis Loew, Made In The Shade, All I Can Do Is Write About It)...   All of this points towards a future that was less "southern" of not less "rock".  Which is not necessarily bad...  or good.  IF, of course that's what would've happened.

Look at what did happen:  2 years after the crash, (most of) the surviving members reformed under the name Rossington Collins Band.  Over 2 albums, they proved that they could still write some killer songs....  but the lyrics were a big step down.  And it was especially obvious on the 2nd album.  I suspect that was as much a cause of their demise as the romance between Rossington and the new (female) singer.  A year later, many of the remaining members of RCB reformed as Allen Collins Band.  They only released 1 album, but it is one of my favorites of the time/genre.

So, Which future would've emerged?  Would Street Survivors have been a stepping stone from Southern Rock to Mainstream?  Like the Stones going (growing) from "Star Star" to "Start Me Up"?  Or the Who from "My Generation" to "Sister Disco"?  Would their sound have ended up somewhere between Springsteen and Van Halen?  Or maybe Tom Petty meets Guns And Roses??  Or would the band snap back to their roots, as the survivors did?  Or maybe just fade away, ending up on the same trajectory as the survivors, ending up as a only slightly more than Skynyrd cover band?

Ah well, it's all babbling, and solidly in the LT/DR category.

But I took the time to ponder, so I'm gonna publish.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mississippi Mud Flats

Also on 365Project, click for larger version

Took a quick trip out to West Alton Saturday, looking for photo ops.  Naturally, we (my son and I) were slow getting started, so it was getting close to noon by the time I was shooting.  Not exactly the golden hour.  But I came up with a couple decent shots.  The one above, and this one

This is right below Melvin Price Lock and Dam, where a flow of water dumps into the Mississippi River.  (In fact, that's the Mississippi in the background).  Looking at Google Maps, this is actually a spur (slough?) of the river, though it may also drain some of the ponds in the area.  This day, the stream was only a couple of feet wide.  But the ground was quite unstable.  Although I was trewading as lightly as possible, at one point, my left leg dropped knee deep though what looks like solid ground.  Muddy, muck, which we got to smell on the drive home.  But worth it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Lost In My Dream Of Fear

I was taking a lunch-time walk earlier this week, at Pleasant Ridge Park.  We're at that time of year (late summer into fall) when the foliage is at its most dense.  And the overall feeling can be foreboding...  That's the feeling I was trying to convey here:  Dense, challenging, walling a viewer off from the light.  I'll let you judge if I was successful.  Also posted over at 365Project.

In pondering a title, I settled on "lost", and skimming through my iPod, "Lost In My Dream".  This is from the old Spooky Tooth song.   This (naturally) led me to play the song, which led me (somewhat predictably) to do a Genius Playlist based on it.  Which supported my commute, and my morning background music today.

Here it is:
  • Lost In My Dream - Spooky Tooth
  • Simple Sister - Procol Harem
  • Take A Look Around - James Gang
  • Heavy Load - Free
  • What About Me? - Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • Shanghai Noodle Factory - Traffic
  • Do What You Like - Blind Faith
  • Anyway - Stephen Stills / Manassas
  • Sunshine Help Me - Spooky Tooth
  • Eyes Of A Child - Moody Blues
  • Special Care - Buffalo Springfield
  • Woman - James Gang
  • The Barbarian - Emerson Lake And Palmer
  • Shine On Brightly - Procol Harem
  • Remember - Free
  • Just Call My Name - Poco
  • Try Me - John Entwistle
  • That Was Only Yesterday - Spooky Tooth
  • Still I'm Sad - The Yardbirds
  • Fresh Air - Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • Heaven Is I Your Mind - Traffic
  • So Deep Within You - Moody Blues
  • Rock And Roll Crazies / Cuban Bluegrass - Stephen Stills
  • Funk #48 - James Gang
  • I Got A Line On You - Spirit
 Overall, it's a really strong playlist, only a couple of head-scratchers.
I found almost all of it on Spotify (except "Try Me"), so I made a playlist. 
Check it out:  Lost In My Dream

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Album Cover Challenge 54

Regular readers have surely seen some of my album cover experiments.  Something I've done for a long time, but really ramped up with the challenges at 395Project.  The challenges at 365Project have you pick a band/artist name randomly from Wikipedia.  And an Album title randomly from the quotations page.  Obviously, it can be a little hit or miss, and I have used "poetic license" once or twice.

Anyway, here's my most recent entry, for AC Challenge #54, which closes tomorrow:

I especially like how this one turned out.  The actual image is several years old (from outside Spokane WA), but I fit what I wanted to do with the title. I envision this as a new-age type of thing...  Maybe like the old Windham Hill samplers, or George Winston.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Late In The Day, Early In Autumn

Another image from Lake Yeager, from Saturday's trip.  Following yesterday's post here.  And at Happenstance...  And 365Project...

This was a nice little spot, a good find on an Saturday excursion.  Somewhat reminiscent of Silver Lake in Highland IL, where I spent many lunch-times way back when.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Time may change me, but I can't trace time...

My wife and I took a little road trip today, a jaunt up to Litchfield, IL.  We went by Lou Yeager Lake, and found Shoal Creek Nature Preserve.  There's actually several photos I like, but here's a start:

At first I fingured this for a "toss off", but the more I look at it the more I like it.  Am I looking with "father's eyes"?  Or is it actually good?  Regardless, I decided to make this my daily post at 365Project.  

Simple Intentional; Camera Movement ...  But I do like it.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Grand "Maker"

Still working through images from last weekend's Worldwide Photo Walk.  In Alton, Illinois.... 
So far I've processed 33 "final" images, probably not a lot more to come.  You can check them all out at the Flickr Album I made.  I'd love feedback, I have to select 1 to submit to the contest by October 12.... 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

RRHOF - 2016 Nominees!

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has announced their nominees for the class of 2016.  And they are taking fan votes again, so make yourself heard!  Here's the slate, with my comments.  As I've done in the past, they're ranked by how many songs appear on my iPod:

  • Yes - Finally!  I've long thought that Yes was the worst oversight in the RRHOF.  They brought progressive rock to mianstream, mixing radio hits with epic musical adventures.  I saw them twice in the late 70's, they were outstanding both times.  I have 53 Yes songs on my iPod, including all 6 classic studio releases from 1971 through 1977.  Obviously, I think they should be voted in, a no-brainer.
  • Cheap Trick - Well, I'm little ambivalent here.  The first few Cheap Trick albums are solid, and "In Color" is great.  And their live "At Budokan" ruled the music world back in 1979.  But is that worthy of RRHOF?  I'm still at "maybe".  I saw them back in '79 or '80, they were a blast.  I have 51 Cheap Trick songs on my iPod.
  • Deep Purple - Well, this is the band that recorded "Smoke On The Water".  What more needs said?  How about recording what many feel is the best live album of all time "Made In Japan"?  On the other handthey had a lot of turnover in personnel (especially singer), not all of their music is awesome...   Still, like Cheap Trick, I'll give them a yes. And there's 31 Deep Purple songs on my iPod.
  • Steve Miller - I was frankly surprised by this nomination.  Yes, Steve Miller was really popular, as evidenced by the 30 songs on my iPod.  But really?  Few of the sangs are really memorable, I've never really thought he was influential....  I'd vote no.
  • Chicago - I admit that I hadn't really thought about Chicago as a RRHOF nominee.  But now taht I think about it, I like it.  While they devolved into sweet pop songs in their later years, they were quite ground breaking at the start, with the whole rock / jazz fusion thing.  There's 27 songs on my iPod, skipping most of the later fluff.  I'd vote yes.
  • The Cars - The first cars album (1978) was ear-catching.  A new sound, captivating...  GREAT.  But, I think each subsequent record went a little downhill.  Sure they pumped out some hits, but lots of bands pump out hits.  I wouldn't have nominated them.  That said I do have 21 Cars songs on my iPod.
  • The Spinners - I only have 2 Spinners songs on my iPod, but I recognize the vaue / impact of these folk over the years.  I'll stick with "maybe", willing to be convinced.
  • Nine Inch Nails - Well, I essentially don't know enough about NIN to make a call.  I sure see a lot of their bimper stickers....  Only 1 song on my iPod.
  • Chaka Kahn - I have a lot of respect for Chaka Kahn as a singer.  But only 1 song on my iPod.  Nothing personal, but I don't see RRHOF here
  • Chic  - The RRHOF desribes Chic as "
    the preeminent disco band – emphasis on the word ‘band’ – of the late 70s - See more at:
    preeminent disco band... of the 70s".  I'm willing to accept that, but is that qualification for RRHOF?  I'll pass.  Meanwhile, only 1 song (on my iPod.
  • Janet Jackson - I don't have any JJ songs on my iPod, but I recognize her import and influence.  I think she's an easy yes for induction.
  • Los Lobos - I don't know these folk beyond their cover of Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba".  No songs on my iPod.  Like NIN, I can't say yes or no.
  • N.W.A. - Yet another that I'm not really qualified to judge.  I'm not a hip-hop fan, don't know NWA except to know they have a strong reputation.  No NWA songs on my iPod
  • The Smiths - Yet another band that I don't know.  This is my future as far as RRHOF nominees, I suppose.  Predicatbly, no songs on the iPod.
  • The J.B.'s -  Primarily know as Jame Brown's backing band, and starting point for Bootsy Collins and the backbone of Parlaiment-Funkadelic.  I never realized they had some recordings as the J.B., and I don't have any of them.  I struggle with the concept of backing bands in the RRHOF, maybe they should have a separate wing for "sidemen"?  0 songs on my iPod (not counting James Brown songs).
 Somewhat predictably, we're see in a shift in the nominees.  Most of the worthy folk from the glory days are already in.  The pool of new nominees isn't so strong.  I mean, really, name the "important" bands/performers who made their first recordings in 1990.  perhaps it's just because I wasalready old and responsible in the 90's, but still....

Perhaps I'll make a post of worst oversights in Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees.  Yes would've been at the top of that list (IMHO), but I can come up with a few others.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Songs about questions, from my iPod:

  • Question - Moody Blues
  • Questions - Buffalo Springfield
  • Questions 67 and 68 - Chicago
  • Questions Of My Childhood - Kansas
  • 13 Questions - Seatrain
  • 20 Questions - Amy Rigby
  • Don't Ask Me No Questions - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Hey Lord, Don't Ask Me Questions - Graham Parker
  • Lover's Question - Sha Na Na
  • Out Of The Question - Gilbert O'Sullivan
Nice little collection...  Who could ask for more??  Did you say "Ask"?

  • Ask For Jill - The dB's
  • Ask Me Now - Thelonious Monk
  • Ask Me Why - Beatles
  • Asking Too Much Of You - Marshall Tucker Band
  • Asking Us To Dance - Kathy Mattea
  • Do Not Ask For Love - Monkees
  • Don't Ask Me - Joe Jackson
  • Don't Ask Me Why - Billy Joel
  • I Didn't Ask To Be Born - Rick Derringer
Well, that list is rather more eclectic.    But I think I like it, too.

Meanwhile, the image above is completely unrelated to the rest of the post.  It is another from last weekend's Worldwide Photo Walk.  I've posted 30+ images at Flickr, about ready to decide the rest are just chaff.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


And Now For Something Completely Different...

So, last Saturday (10/03/2015), I participated in Scott Kelby's 8th Annual Worldwide Photography Walk.  And while it was the 8th annual walk, it was a first for me.  The first time I've done any sort of formal group photography experience.  And I survived!  I even enjoyed it, and think I came up with some decent images.

I discovered the event through a forum posting over at 365project, where I've been posting this year. Turns out there were a couple of walks near me, closest being in Alton, IL.  Long story short:  I decided to sign up, and then two acquaintances from 365 joined, and suggested we meet up and shoot together....  yikes!  Even further outside my comfy little box!

Anyway, It was cool and overcast Saturday, not the best light for photos, but the show went on.   Two hours of wandering Alton, lots and lots of photos taken.  I've only processed a fraction, but there's a few I'm pretty pleased with.  And a lot that are at least decent (IMHO).  I created an album over at Flickr to collect the all, check it out at: 

 Verdict?  This was a good thing, I need to do more good things... 

Friday, October 02, 2015

365Project - 3/4 the Way There....

Well, 73.425% to be exact.  As of 9/30/2015.  (I didn't start until 1/6 you see).  Still plugging along, though there were a few lags in September. At least 5 or 6 that were back-posted, taken on a different day.  But that's life, I suppose.

It continues to be an interesting challenge, to take/post one picture per day for a year.  And while it may have driven occasional instances of quantity over quality, I do think that there's a lot of quality in the mix.  Looking at all on-line venues (including this one), I've posted more photos this year (so far) than 2014 and 2013 combined (plus the last quarter of 2012). 

Here's what September looked like:

So, which are my favorite five for the month?  A quick selection, listed alphabetically: