Saturday, June 25, 2016

Album Oriented....

As we close out the first 1/2 of the year, I wanted to look at some of the great albums released over the span, back in 1966 (50 years ago), 1976 (40 years ago) and 1986 (30 years ago.

I'm going to start with 1976, 'cause that was when I turned 16, and (arguably) when albums were peaking as a music form.  Not the best or most popular, but albums that impacted me (all of which I have on vinyl):

  • Blue Oyster Cult - Agents Of Fortune
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Heart - Dreamboat Annie
  • Poco - Rose Of Cimarron
  • Ramones  -Ramones
Aside:  heart is the only one of those bands that I did not see live (and in the 70's)

Also worth noting, 2 big Greatest Hits" collections:
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - Chronicle
  • Eagles:  Their Greatest Hits

Moving back to 1966.  I was just a kid, but I could still recognize great stuff when I hear it!  I did NOT own any of these in the 60's though

  • Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  • Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence
  • Rolling Stones - Big Hits and High Tides (Compilation)
  • Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde

And 1986, when I was all growed up, and married (but no kids yet!).  My tastes were shifting less mainstream...
  • Joe Jackson - Big World (The rock first album I had on CD)
  • Bruce Hornsby And The Range - The Way It Is
  • Peter Gabriel - So

Sunday, June 19, 2016

my father's footsteps...

"Now I'm just another traveler, On another winding road. 
I'm trying to walk some kind of line, I'm trying to pull some kind of load. 
Now sometimes I move real easy, Sometimes I can't catch my breath. 
Sometimes I see my father's footsteps, And man it scares me half to death...
But one day

One day - There's love for the lonely
One day - We walk in the sun
One day - Rest for the weary
Rest for the weary ones"

Marc Cohn, "Rest For The Weary"

Saturday, June 18, 2016

This Month In Music - June 1986

June 1986...  30 years ago!  What was happening in the music world:

There were four Saturdays in June, '86, so there the charts came out 4 times.  But only 2 songs made it to #1. Madonna started atop the charts with "Live To Tell", but Patti Labelle took over and held the last 3 weeks of the month with "On My Own:.

Here's the Top 10 songs of the month, based on average chart position over the 4 weeks:
  • Song  -  Artist   -  June Ave
  • On My Own  -  Patti LaBelle  -  1.3
  • There ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)  -  Billy Ocean  -  4.3
  • Live To Tell  -  Madonna  -  4.5
  • Crush On You  -  The Jets  -  4.8
  • I Can t Wait  -  Nu Shooz  -  6.0
  • A Different Corner  -  George Michael  -  7.8
  • No One Is To Blame  -  Howard Jones  -  8.3
  • Holding Back The Years  -  Simply Red  -  9.8
  • Greatest Love Of All  -  Whitney Houston  -  10.5
  • Who s Johnny ("Short Circuit" Theme)  -  El DeBarge  -  11.8

Eighteen (18) songs made their chart debuts.  Listed below with their peak position during the month:
  • Song  -  Artist   -  June Ave
  • InvisibleTouch  -  Genesis  -  8.0
  • Nasty  -  Janet Jackson  -  9.0
  • Danger Zone  -  Kenny Loggins  -  14.0
  • Opportunities (Let s Make Lots Of Money)  -  Pet Shop Boys  -  23.0
  • Mountains  -  Prince And The Revolution  -  24.0
  • Mad About You  -  Belinda Carlisle  -  25.0
  • Dreams  -  Van Halen  -  26.0
  • Love Touch (Theme From "Legal Eagles")  -  Rod Stewart  -  27.0
  • One Hit (ToThe Body)  -  The Rolling Stones  -  28.0
  • Modern Woman (From "Ruthless People")  -  Billy Joel  -  30.0
  • Digging Your Scene  -  The Blow Monkeys  -  31.0
  • Glory Of Love (Theme From "The Karate Kid Part II")  -  Peter Cetera  -  32.0
  • If She Knew What She Wants  -  Bangles  -  33.0
  • We Don t Have To Take Our Clothes Off  -  Jermaine Stewart  -  35.0
  • Secret Separation  -  The Fixx  -  36.0
  • Out Of Mind Out Of Sight  -  Models  -  37.0
  • You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)  -  Jeffrey Osborne  -  39.0
  • Hyperactive  -  Robert Palmer  -  40.0


Friday, June 17, 2016


Fluffly clouds, hard branches...  Dark lines against a bright sky.... Dry bones of a dead tree, and the potential of life giving water (from those clouds)....

Or am I over-thinking the whole thing?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Parallel Lines

Beans!  It's a hot, hot, hot week.  And humid.  June in STL area, I suppose.  Summer is upon us, and it's time to slow down, and stay cool.

Good Times, Bad Times, May 2016

A little late on this occasional series....  reviewing my posts at 365project.  I'm well into my 2nd year, and still doing pretty well.  Kind of pretty well.  May becomes my first month with a couple of "holes"  Over the past 47 months I've missed a day here and there, but always made it up in short order.  Seems ike I'm missing days more often, and struggling to make them up.  We're1/2 way through June, and still struggling.  I think it is just a summer thing...

Anywaaaaayyyyy.....  What're my favorites from May?
Past Pier - This one is my computer desktop at work.  From our quick trip to Sanford FL

Sunning Anhinga - also from the FLA trip
Days Gone By - Probably my most "popular" post of the month. 

And the ones I don't like??  Well, lots to choose from, but...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Kind Of Blue...

Or perhaps Kinds of blue? Doing the good husband thing today, helping my wife pick fabrics for a quilt project. But I did sneak a couple of photos of the fabric displays.  The title is (of course) a reference to the classic Miles Davis album.  Which allmusic calls:  "an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album. ... the Citizen Kane of jazz -- an accepted work of greatness ".  Perhaps a touch of hyperbole, but it is a great album.

I posted this at 365project, but also used it as the basis for an Album Cover Challenge.  this is where you make a mock album cover based on randomly selected band name/ album cover.  Here's how that turned out:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This Month In Music - June 1976

June 1976...  40 years ago!  What was happening in the music world:

There were four Saturdays in June, '76, so there the charts came out 5 times.  But only 2 songs made it to #1.  the month started Diana Ross's Love Hangover staying at #2.  Then Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs" bounced back to #1, and stayed through the rest of the month.

Here's the Top 10 songs of the month, based on average chart position over the 4 weeks:
  • Song  -  Artist  -  June-Ave
  • Silly Love Songs  -  Wings  -  1.3
  • Boogie Fever  -  The Sylvers   -  2.3
  • StrangeMagic  -  Electric Light Orchestra  -  3.3
  • Love Hangover  -  Diana Ross  -  4.3
  • Sara Smile  -  Daryl Hall John Oates   -  6.0
  • Shop Around  -  Captain & Tennille  -  7.3
  • More, More, More Pt. 1  -  Andrea True Connection  -  9.0
  • Shannon  -  Henry Gross   -  9.8
  • Happy Days  -  Pratt & McClain with Brother Love  -  13.3
  • I'll Be Good To You  -  The Brothers Johnson  -  13.8

Twenty-Three (23) songs made their chart debuts.  Listed below with their peak position during the month:
  • Song  -  Artist  -  Peak (June)
  • Dance Wit Me  -  Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan  -  7
  • Take TheMoney And Run  -  Steve Miller  -  17
  • Got To Get You Into My Life  -  The Beatles  -  18
  • Rock And Roll Music  -  The Beach Boys  -  19
  • The Boys Are Back In Town  -  Thin Lizzy  -  20
  • Get Closer  -  Seals & Crofts (Featuring Carolyn Willis)  -  22
  • You're My Best Friend  -  Queen  -  23
  • If You Know What I Mean  -  Neil Diamond  -  24
  • Today's TheDay  -  America  -  25
  • Let Her In  -  John Travolta  -  26
  • That's Where The Happy People Go  -  The Trammps  -  27
  • Making Our Dreams Come True  -  Cyndi Grecco  -  28
  • Tear TheRoof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk)  -  Parliament  -  29
  • Turn The Beat Around  -  Vicki Sue Robinson  -  30
  • Save Your Kisses For Me  -  Brotherhood Of Man  -  31
  • I'm Easy  -  Keith Carradine  -  33
  • Last Child  -  Aerosmith  -  34
  • Mamma Mia  -  ABBA  -  35
  • Somebody's Gettin' It  -  Johnnie Taylor  -  36
  • Good Vibrations  -  Todd Rundgren  -  38
  • Happy Music  -  The Blackbyrds  -  39
  • Sophisticated Lady (She's A Different Lady)  -  Natalie Cole  -  39
  • Young Hearts Run Free  -  Candi Staton  -  40

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Waitin' For The Wind

"Wind called on me, How it took me by surprise, 
'Cause night comes upon me, Creeping through the distant skies, 
Wind tell me what you can, 'Bout the life - Where I came from, 
A breeze blew and whispered then, In a voice rich as the sun, 
Hang on... Don't ever go... Life's here... I know..."

Spooky Tooth - Waitin' For The Wind

 Over at 365project, folk run lots of challenges.  I participate at least semi-regularly in several.  This photo is submitted to the "Song Title" challenge, I've only done this one a couple of times.  I don't take it too seriously, and it adds a fun twist.

I took this photo with my iPhone,. while walking the dogs.  I liked how the setting sun was hitting the old wind mill blades.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Growing Season

 While the iPhone camera will never be mistaken for "professional", there are times when it does quite well.  I've taken quite a few that I rather like (here, here, here, here)

This was taken yesterday afternoon, about 4:30, on a short walk near my office.  These cornstalks are only about 3 ft tall, but I held the phone at ground level angled up.  I'm sure anybody driving by must've thought I was nuts, down and my hands and knees at the edge of the cornfield....

I'm really pleased with the bold colors, bright clouds... 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

At A Loss....

Sometimes I have no problem coming up with a title for an image.  Something clever or appropriate will leap to my mind.  Other times...  not so much.  Not real sure why I care, it's not like Ansel Adams came up with song inspired titles for his images, or punny little quips.  Nope, Just The Facts (TM)....  Like "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico" or "Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain"...  Other times I'm lost, and struggle for anything.  Ofttimes I resort to the lazy "Untitled", usually with a number (either the file name, or perhaps the date in numeric format from Excel)..

This is an image that I just couldn't come up with anything.  I suppose I could go with the Ansel Adams method and say "Pond, Reeds, Reflection"....

Monday, June 06, 2016

Concert Review: Boston / Blue Oyster Cult / Gary Hoey

Last Friday night (June 3) was concert night!  We saw Boston / Blue Oyster Cult / Gary Hoey at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO.  So…  I thought I’d write a review:

The venue:
Well, I’ve been to 3 shows at the Family Arena (, and it is what it is.  A multipurpose arena, with capacity around 10k people.  Home to indoor football, MMA, and Concerts.  It isn’t exactly pretty, but it serves the purpose.  My biggest gripe is that it is 40-45 minutes from where we live, on the other side of St. Louis.  If it were closer, we would probably go more often.  We had floor seats, just off the right side aisle, 15 rows back.  Nice!

Opening Act:  Gary Hoey
 I feel like I’m pretty well versed on rock music, but I’d never heard of Gary Hoey.  But in fairness, his big hit (a cover of “Hocus Pocus” by Focus) was in 1993.  Anyway, he’s a guitar virtuoso, the ad claimed “one of the top 100 guitarists of all time”.  So I had high hopes.  Well, showtime comes, and he announces his backing band missed their flight connection, and that he would be playing along with his iPhone.  Awkward.  Then he seemed to compensate by turning the tracks absurdly loud.  And then cranking his guitar louder still.  And then turning both up a couple of times through the set.  He’s certainly good, but it really wasn’t an enjoyable experience.  OTOH, it can’t be easy playing to 6,000 people with an iPhone for backing.  Not terrible...  but....

Support Act:  BlueOyster Cult

(picture credit:  M.S.Lawhead)

Truth be told, I was more excited about BOC than Boston.  I’m a big fan.  Saw them twice in the late 70’s and they were great.  But it’s always a little worrisome when you go see a band that’s been touring for 45 years or so, with lots of turnover….  Only Eric Bloom (71 years old) and Buck Dharma (68 years old) remain from the original band, but they’re the frontmen, so I was pretty comfortable.  And after checking some youtube videos, I was convinced it would be good.  And it was excellent.  Starting with a reasonable volume, with clear, balanced sound.  A nice varied set, with songs focused on their 1973 through 1981 catalog.  They seems to be having fun, with Eric Bloom even pretending to play cowbell on "Don't Fear The Reaper", like the SNL skit.  My only gripe:  as a support act, they cut their recent setlist significantly, playing 45 minutes with no encore.  

Headliner:  Boston

My previously noted excitement about BOC should not be interpreted as ambivalence over Boston.  Especially as I never saw Boston in their prime.  They were supposed to be warm up band when I saw the Doobie Brothers back in November 1976 (just 3 months after their first album was released).  But apparently their equipment truck broke down (at least that’s what was announced) and they didn’t play.  So, this would be a “make up” session.  There was the same worry I had w/ BOC; a band that’s been around 40 years, with lots of turnover.  In fact, Tom Schotz is the only original member left, and he’s 69 years old.  On the other hand, he was always the key guy.  But original singer Brad Delp had died in 2007, so that was a concern.  But, again, after checking some youtube videos, I was convinced it would be good.  And again, it was.  They had a "big" show, lots of lights, videos, but also good energy.  They played most of their first album (excepting “Let Me Take You Home Tonight” and “Hitch A Ride”), which makes sense, as this is the 40th Anniversary summer.  They did play one new song, from a pending album, which led to one awkward moment:  Guitarist Gary Pihl asked the crowd if we’d like to hear a new song (polite applause) or something from their first album (deafening cheer)…  They did both, of course.

All in all, it was a great time.  Good music, good times with family….  

Next stop on the concert list will be a different tone:  Al Stewart and Gary Wright at the Wildey Theatre.  Look for a review!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

This Month In Music - June 1966

June 1966...  50 years ago!  What was happening in the music world:

There were four Saturdays in June. '66, so there the charts came out 4 times.  Three songs made it to #1.  June started with Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Women" topping the charts, for the second week.  The Rolling Stones took over for two weeks, with "Paint It Black".  June ended with the Beatles' "Paperback Writer" at #1 (though it would only be there for the one week)..

Here's the Top 10 songs of the month, based on average chart position over the 4 weeks:

  • Name  -  Artist  -  Jun-Ave
  • Paint It,Black  -  The Rolling Stones  -  2.0
  • Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?  -  The Lovin' Spoonful  -  3.0
  • I Am A Rock  -  Simon & Garfunkel  -  4.0
  • When A Man Loves A Woman  -  Percy Sledge  -  5.0
  • Strangers In The Night  -  Frank Sinatra  -  5.8
  • A GroovyKind Of Love  -  The Mindbenders  -  7.3
  • Barefootin'  -  Robert Parker  -  9.0
  • Green Grass  -  Gary Lewis And The Playboys  -  10.8
  • Sweet Talkin' Guy  -  The Chiffons  -  11.3
  • Cool Jerk  -  The Capitols  -  11.5

Twenty-Nine (29) songs made their chart debuts.  Listed below with their peak position during the month:

  • Name  -  Artist  -  Peak
  • PaperbackWriter  -  The Beatles  -  1
  • Please Don't Sell My Daddy No More Wine  -  The Greenwoods  -  6
  • You Don't Have To Say You Love Me  -  Dusty Springfield  -  9
  • Don't BringMe Down  -  The Animals  -  14
  • Hanky Panky  -  Tommy James And The Shondells  -  15
  • Double Shot(Of My Baby's Love)  -  Swingin' Medallions  -  19
  • Ain't Too Proud To Beg  -  The Temptations  -  20
  • Hold On! I'm A Comin'  -  Sam & Dave  -  21
  • Dirty Water  -  The Standells  -  21
  • Mama  -  B.J. Thomas  -  22
  • Girl In Love  -  The Outsiders  -  22
  • Little Girl  -  Syndicate Of Sound  -  24
  • Crying  -  Jay & The Americans  -  25
  • He  -  The Righteous Brothers  -  26
  • Popsicle  -  Jan & Dean  -  27
  • Rain  -  The Beatles  -  29
  • I Love You Drops  -  Vic Dana  -  30
  • I Love You 1000 Times  -  The Platters  -  31
  • Along Comes Mary  -  The Association  -  32
  • Hey Joe  -  The Leaves  -  34
  • Come Running Back  -  Dean Martin  -  35
  • The Land Of Milk And Honey  -  The Vogues  -  35
  • Dedicated Follower Of Fashion  -  The Kinks  -  36
  • Day For Decision  -  Johnny Sea  -  36
  • It's Over  -  Jimmie Rodgers  -  37
  • Let's Go Get Stoned  -  Ray Charles  -  37
  • (I Washed My Hands In) Muddy Water  -  Johnny Rivers  -  38
  • S.Y.S.L.J.F.M. (The Letter Song)  -  Joe Tex  -  39
  • The Last Word In Lonesome Is Me  -  Eddy Arnold  -  40