Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Song of the Day: "Point of No Return" by Gene McDaniels

OK, I've always like this song, more so than "100 Pounds of Clay", which is why it's been stuck in my head the past few days after hearing it played on SIRIUS/XM's the 50's on 5. But this song was released in 1962, you incorrigible chartsters cry out.

Yeah, but musically, according to all forms of radio, the 50s started in 1955 and continued into early 1964, when the Beatles debuted at #45 (National Breakout!) with "I Want to Hold Your Hand". (Chart shown below.)

Less than 3 months laters, they owned the top 5 spots, a unique feat in Hot 100 chart history.

1. Can't Buy Me Love

2. Twist and Shout

3. She Loves You

4. I Want to Hold Your Hand

5. Please Please Me

Wednesday's Wambulance Run

Letters: Obama is the one dividing America. ( Obama has surrounded himself with radical, left-wing administrators with a history of socialistic ideals. No wonder people are upset, especially after the recent attacks on the press.)

Snobbish media spin speakers at meetings.
(What happened to our American constitutional right to speak out-to freely express our views and thoughts on what is happening in our country and with our government?)

Not a thing, honey. It's just that some people prefer informed discourse.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Song of the Day: "Central Park" by Les Dudek

Anyone who's listened to the radio during the past 35+ years has heard Les Dudek, even though his songs on a series of mid-to-late '70s aibums -- Les Dudek, Say No More, and Ghost Town Parade -- received nearly zero airplay. That's because Dudek plays lead guitar on the Allman Brother's "Ramblin' Man", a song that's remained in heavy rotation since the 1973 release of Brothers and Sisters.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Song of the Day: "Sloth" by Fairport Convention

UB freshman housemate Paul Rosen introduced me to Fairport Convention --via Full House -- in booth #3 of the music room in Norton Union in the fall of 1970, within days of the album's release, perhaps. I immediately went out and purchased my own copy, one of the few pieces of vinyl I haven't discarded. The liners notes alone make it worth keeping. (Think Firesign Theater.)

Some call Full House the pinnacle of the folk-rock movement. I agree. One reviewer described "Sloth" as "haunting, moody, dazzling". I would add "powerful", particularly the guitar/violin interplay -- twin solos -- of Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick. Trite to say, but it still sends shivers up and down my spine every time I listen to it.

An essential. No other way to state it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 29: On this important date in history

October 29, 1959 dedication.

My first ride on this roadway occurred in December 1971, hitchhiking from Minneapolis to Buffalo, the last leg of a "well-thumbed" trip originating in Laguna Beach, California. (Click on link to see where I worked from August through November. It's where I learned to make spinach lasagna, eggplant parmesan, and stuffed acorn squash -- among other vegetarian items.)

Ole and Sven Rule Minnesota


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Song of the Day: "Lonely Boy" by Iron Butterfly

Ball, Iron Butterfly's third release, actually did quite well for itself, considering everyone should have been in-a-gadda-da-vida'd out by March 1969. It reached as high as #3 on Billboard Top 200 albums during its 44-week run. In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida peaked at #4, though it spent nearly 3 years on the charts. (140 weeks, to be exact.)

I've always liked "Lonely Boy", even with its Cowardly-Lion vocals -- an almost choking ah-ah-ah-I'm..........

Friday, October 16, 2009

Song of the Day: "Nothing is Easy" by Jethro Tull


Live (from 2005, and sounding very fresh!)

I have Curt Kieffer to thank for introducing me to Tull. Curt was one of 10 UB freshman who shared the two halves of 482 Allenhurst Road.

Side A: Herb Kleinberger, Paul Nelson, Paul Rosen, Tony Szczygiel, and Kenny Tuchman

Side B: Jack Fishner, Curt Kieffer, Joe Poskanzer, Hal Rosenthal, and Bruce the Stoner.

Tull's 1st 5 albums
as they charted
on Billboard's Top 200

Jethro Tull:
Not a singles band.
All their appearances
on Billboard Hot 100.

Song of the Day: "Lilac Wine" by Jeff Buckley

A cut from Grace, my favorite album of the 1990s, if not of all time.

What a voice! What an instrument!

What a tragic loss.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Putting-the-Yard-to-Bed Kind of Day

But not completely.

Some of it can wait until November.

The snow on the mountain, as usual, took care of itself.

The ferns were the first to go, thanks to the first 20 hot and dry days of September.

The former owner of this house removed the lower limbs of this tulip tree, ruining its perfect form in the process.

Still holding on. "Don't cut us down," they shrieked.

The now forlorn-looking pathway to Bastille Day festivities. (Still a lot of work yet to be done here.)

22 years ago, these two evergreens barely reached above the rooftop of our house.

A patio table reflects on another great summer.

Birdbath sentinels. ("Wristband?")

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Song of the Day: "Auntie Aviator" by John and Beverley Martyn

In the fall of 1973, I found The Road to Ruin in a bargain bin -- for 49 cents!! -- at a K-Mart in Etna, a grimy suburb of Pittsburgh. I had a vague memory of hearing "Auntie Aviator" on the radio in college a few years earlier, John Martyn's haunting, sinuous guitar work finding a comfortable place to curl up inside my head. It's a song I never tire of hearing.

Art. Sup. Ply.

Alcohol for dessert?

Paul's Book Store, Madison Wisconsin

Browsing like it's 1978, my first year in Wisconsin.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Song of the Day: "Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse" by Amon Duul II

Can't quite remember how I used to describe this group to people. The Paul Winter Consort blended with early Pink Floyd? I think that's the combo. Anyway, after 35 years -- I bought the album in 1974 at Heads Together in Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh -- I never get tired of listening to Wolf City.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Song of the Day: "Whiskey Woman" by the Flamin' Groovies

One of the great unknown bands in rock'n'roll.

If they received any radio airplay upon the release of Teenage Head in 1971, I certainly didn't hear it. Flipping through the bins of a Cavages store in Buffalo, I bought the album on a hunch. Plus I just couldn't resist the hokey, low-budget cover photo. Money well spent!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Song of the Day: "Post Toastee" by Tommy Bolin

I remember hearing the news of Bolin's death on the radio, a distinct note of disgust reverberating in the DJ's voice. I imagined him wanting to say, "This is so 1970. Dying of a drug overdose is just stupid now."

Quite a loss nonetheless. I certainly felt the void. At 25, Bolin had already developed quite a resume in his musical career. "Post Toastee" is his magnum opus.

Song of the Day: "Shakin' All Over" by the Guess Who

I heard this song for the first time on a school bus, traveling from Meadville to Warren, Pennsylvania, after a high-school track meet in May of 1965. By the time the song ended, all conversation had been brought to a momentary halt. You’d think that with this kind of stunned-into-silence reaction, the song would have reached the top 10 – and perhaps it climbed this high in regional markets – but it peaked in June at #22 (no bullet) for 2 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100.