The Week The Music Died… Goodbye Again, Bowie And Now Glenn Frey

images-3Just when we were all still digesting David Bowie’s death, comes yet another major blow to Rock n’ Roll.

Our Rock n’ Roll… MY Rock n’ Roll.

It has been a mere nine days since Bowie passed at age 69… and yesterday, we lost a musician who was much more of a personal connection to me… Glenn Frey left this world at the age of 67.

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The deaths… and those of the great actor, Alan Rickman, also 69, and another icon of my youth, Pat Harrington, Jr. at 86… hit me on many levels.

Three of the four are younger than my Dad, which forces me to realize the end is much closer than ever before. It is scary and makes me want to crawl under the blankets and not come back out.

And yet… we need to… we need to live and fulfill and bring a whole heck of a lot of light to this world!

Speaking of my awesome and beloved Father, he took me to the second concert I ever went to… The Eagles, Heart and the Little River Band at Giants Stadium. My best friend at the time, Harry Atlas and I wanted to go on our own, but my Dad would not allow it. So there he sat for hours and hours… asking the woman in front of us, who was sick from smoking some yellow laced cigarette, if she was okay… and making us leave during one of the Eagle’s encores.

It was odd and strange and funny and frustrating… but I will never, ever forget it.

These artists, especially the musical ones, had a huge impact on my life. Their songs and albums spoke to me and my friends… made us laugh and cry… and kept my sometimes lonely bedroom alive, and filled with such amazing music and lyrics. We were, perhaps, the last generation who sat on their shag rug carpets with a huge set of headphones, listening to records on turntables… vinyl… cassettes… and yes, even 8-tracks.

My stereo was and still is one of my most  prized possessions… but circumstances has forced the use of a small Bose system and an iPod or iPhone. I long to get a Sonos, so I can fill every room of the house with a deep bass and beautiful treble… or go back to the real Old School set up I once had… Boston Acoustic speakers… a Denon tape deck and receiver… CD player… and of course my record player.

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The platter… the arm moved to the side… the record down…
The needle… the drop… the crackle… the hiss…
And then… oh, so many things… Everything.

I had a huge coil cord, so the headsets would reach my bed, which was in the opposite corner.

Eyes closed… mind and ears open… and oh what came through in stereo… Bruce, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles

Don’t think I ever knew that “New Kid In Town” was about Bruce. Or maybe I am at the age where I am starting to forget… Hell, I know I am at that age… Another sad and scary reality.

Marc Eliot’s piece on CNN.com is worth a read. He has great insight into the band AND why we are all in such mourning. And yes, clearly I need to read his book on the band.

The Eagles seemed to be a love it or hate it kind of band. For me, it was always love… from listening to trying to play them on the guitar… and always… always singing along.

When words became important to me, I seized on the lyrics that Glenn Frey and Don Henley wrote. It was not simply about the music and the notes and signing along any more… It became about stopping… taking in… really listening and thinking.

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Hotel California remains one of my most favorite albums of all time… Dessert Island stuff for sure…

Some college friends and I were lamenting on Facebook… and we all seemed to go to that record… and especially the title track and “Wasted Time” and “The Last Resort”.

The lyrics so much more potent for the age we’re at now… where mortality is not only a reality, but thrust in our faces, especially these last nine days…

As I play that one in particular, over and over, I am moved to tears… because of what it was and is on its own… but because now, like listening to Bowie, it will never be the same…

The joy will always be tempered with the knowledge that they are gone.

From “Wasted Time” (Glenn Frey & Don Henley)
“You never thought you’d be alone
This far down the line
And I know what’s been on your mind
You’re afraid it’s all been wasted time.”

“The autumn leaves have got you thinking
About the first time that you fell
You didn’t love the boy too much
No, no, you just loved the boy too well
Farewell
So you live from day to day
And you dream about tomorrow
And the hours go by like minutes
And the shadows come to stay
So you take a little something to make them go away
And I could have done so many things, baby
If I could only stop my mind
From wonderin’ what I left behind
And from worrying ’bout this wasted time.”

 

From “The Last Resort” (Glenn Frey & Don Henley)
“They call it paradise
I don’t know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss it goodbye,”

Biting… accurate and so powerful. Damn…

 

“Already Gone”, while not written by either Frey or Henley, it was written by Robb Strandlund and Jack Tempchin, this song has two sets of lyrics that are amongst my most favorite ever written and is one of those band-defining tunes for me…

“Just remember this, my girl, when you look up in the sky
You can see the stars and still not see the light .”

“Well I know it wasn’t you who held me down
Heaven knows it wasn’t you who set me free
So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.”

Luckily I had seen The Eagles live many times… but it’s ironic…
I missed this last tour due to concert budget restrictions, and was upset because everyone who went said it really featured Joe Walsh and let him stand out more than ever before. But like so many other things, I figured there’d be another…

Life ain’t like that sometimes, and we are once again reminded… “If not us, then who? If not now, when?”

I leave you with the prophetic and all too meaningful and painful song that is, of course, getting the most play right now… the Mexican tinged beauty “It’s Your World Now” that Frey wrote with his other major collaborator, the aforementioned, Jack Tempchin,  for Long Road Out Of Eden

“It’s your world now
Use well the time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now.”

It is our world… so let’s make the best of it… for ourselves and for the generations to come…

The universe seems to be in an odd spin these days… crazy politics… world on fire… death and destruction.

The last thing we need is the loss of our music… and of our artists.

So listen while you can… on your stereo… at the local club… at the arena…
Sing out loud.
Dance… not as if no one was looking… but knowing that they are… be free… be alive.
Bond… embrace… and let the music play… NOW… and ALWAYS…

RIP dear friends… RIP…

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Special Post: The Death Of A Famous Stranger… A Friend We Never Met (My Contemplation On The Death Of Celebrities)

What is it about the death of a celebrity that makes us comment on Facebook… or, before that, send an email chain out to our friends… or, long before that, make a bunch of phone calls to friends and family?

In most cases, we did not know the person other than their work and public persona. And yet, we somehow feel connected… as if we DID know them… or at least a part of them. Working in the entertainment business, even from the fringes, usually has this hitting a little closer to home… and the degrees of connection are very often less than six.

But mourning a stranger… is or can be an odd thing.

There is nothing more overwhelming than getting “that call” or “that text”, telling you that a loved one has passed. At least for me, the floodgates open wide and the emotional impact is swift and strong and immediate.

I still have vivid memories of the call telling me my grandmother Mildred had passed… still cry when I see her picture… still physically and viscerally miss her. Granted this was less than a year ago and it is still a bit fresh and raw, but I may never forget that moment.

As far as celebrities go… people in the spot light… there will be an obvious scale of reaction, depending on how closely connected we felt to them… on how much we loved their work… how much they affected us… inspired us… moved us…

A friend of mine said that with a musician, the reaction was more powerful because a song is something we can hum and sing on our own… but a film or TV clip needed something else to play it and to truly, fully recall it.

I agree, mostly, but certain film scenes and lines and captured images are locked into the theatre of my mind… and can be called up whenever the clip needs to roll. That is the power of movies… of flickering images… on a screen, large or small.

To me, nothing has the punch of a great song… of music…

And while lyrics affect me more than most, partly because of being a writer, music… notes… a melody… are truly universal… and can be shared with almost anyone.

A musical passage… a string of notes… a chord… a theme… can move us to tears… or to dance… or to get up and run a flight of stairs at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art.

“If music be the food of love, play on.”

Age and cause of death has a lot to do with our reaction. If someone dies of old age, we are sad, but hopefully comforted in the notion that they lived a full life. Though, as I say this, I go back to the brilliant line in Billy Crystal’s movie Mr. Saturday Night… a film I was an extra in…

He is at the funeral of his beloved grandmother and says, and I am paraphrasing because I cannot find the exact line anywhere… “She lived to be a 100… but it wasn’t enough…”

Disease and tragedy has a lot to do with our reaction… A LOT!

Up until the recent death of David Bowie, I can think of four famous deaths that had a huge impact on me.

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The first was Thurman Munson, the catcher and captain of the New York Yankees. He died in a plane crash on August 2, 1979 while I was away at Camp Weequahic. I will never forget my reaction to hearing the news…

I was already having a horrible summer… being teased incessantly… and when it was announced that he died, I immediately broke down crying… and in order to make sure no one saw me, I ran off into the woods to be alone, hysterical.

I was a huge Yankees fan, and remember my parents sending me each and every article about the crash. The reason it hit me so hard was that it was tragic… shocking… unexpected. Even though it was long after the fact, my brain now goes back to the line from La Bamba… “Stars don’t fall from the skies.”

But they do… they do.

The other reason it hit me so very hard is this… Back in those days, players started and finished their careers with the same team. So it wasn’t that I was just a Yankees fan… but that I was a fan of each and every player on the team. You felt a kinship… a connection… that is all too and sadly rare these days.

RIP #15… Oh Captain, my Captain.

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The second was John Belushi. His death was a tragedy… yes, it was partly self-inflicted, but a tragedy nonetheless.

My reaction to Belushi’s death was sadness, followed by an almost immediate anger… Real, deep and frustrated anger. I was pissed, really pissed. How dare he waste his talent? How dare he piss on all that he was given and worked for?

As they carried his body out of the Chateau Marmont on March 5, 1982 I was beside myself. This man had everything I wanted… He was funny, brilliantly funny… was on Saturday Night Live… a dream I had for years and let go way too easily…

Yes, regret is filling up inside me as I write this… how easily I let too many of my dreams go, without the proper fight and battle… But that is a discussion for me and my therapist… a deep, ongoing discussion.

Then he was a movie star… Animal House was the first R-rated film I saw… I was underage and so my Dad took me to see it. It is still, to this day, one my favorite and most beloved films…

And then he was a rock star. The Blues Brothers got to play with some of the greatest musicians in the world. He had it all…. and then… he didn’t.

 

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The third celebrity death that most messed with me was Clarence Clemons… The Big Man. He died on June 18, 2011… at age 69. What is with that number??? Bowie… Alan Rickman today… and Clarence… all 69. Damn!

I am sorry, but that is way too young… and with Clarence, that is PART of the sadness.

I remember I was out to dinner at Itzik Hagadol in Encino, CA. My folks were visiting and we were in the middle of a meal when my brother texted me.

Now Clarence had, had a stroke but it seemed like he was recovering… so the news came a bit of nowhere. I broke down immediately… hysterically. I excused myself from the table on the patio and walked out onto the sidewalk… hiding from my family and anyone dining near us.

My parents freaked out… assumed it was some horrible news about one of our family members.

When I sat down and told them what had happened, they looked at me incredulously. They could not even remotely fathom how a grown man could react to the death of someone he did not know with such emotion and chaos. They were irked… truly irritated that I did what I did.

But I did know Clarence. And I knew Danny… and every other member of the E Street Band.

Out of all the live shows I have ever seen, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band elate me like no other. They give me energy and a life force that lasts for hours and days. I walk out of those shows feeling alive and invincible.

And yes, real life quickly sets back in… but until recently, these concerts… these shows… were as close to a true religious experience as I have ever had.

I had never met Clarence… though I have met Little Steven and Max and Roy and Nils… and no, I have never met the Boss… some day… some day… but their music is such an important part of my life, that the personal connection seems real.

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The fourth is Robin Williams. I am still in shock over this one, for so many reasons.

It was most definitely self-inflicted, and brings into focus… or at least demands our attention… to the damaging and destructive power of mental illness and depression.

I idolized Robin Williams… as a comedian, improviser and actor. His energy was astounding… and while some of it may have been fueled by drugs, at least at the beginning… the break neck speed of his brilliant mind was a pleasure to watch…

And I did… from his standup… to Happy Days and Mork and Mindy… to his incredible body of film work.

I was in awe.

It was sadly ironic that he visited Belushi on the day of his death… a point that sits uncomfortably with me.

And yet, with Robin Williams, there was a deeper sadness… a more personal connection.

No, I did not know him. Nor did I ever meet him. But, in recent years I had come to know his companion… his nemesis… the cause of so much of his pain… depression.

Whereas I once could not even contemplate or fathom how someone seemingly having it all could take his own life, I now got it… I now understood on a cellular level… in a very specific and detailed way… the gripping, relentless power of depression.

And it scared the shit out of me. I do not have money or fame… and yet, in the face of sadness and depression and mental illness, neither of those things means anything. Fame and fortune cannot save you.

This, of course, is a huge lesson… and one realizes that the basic needs of connection and love are paramount…

Happiness and bliss can be achieved in any economic state. But it is up to us and our chemical make up, to fight to be happy… to talk to someone… and if need be, to have those chemicals in our body altered… Ideally, naturally, with food and meditation and exercise and counseling… and therapy… but also recognizing that medicines can and do help.

We must not be silent… we must speak out, cry out and ask for help. We must know that we are not alone and seek out professional help and guidance when we need to. And above all, society must not judge us… bullies must not tease us… people must realize that mental illness is a very real thing.

Yes, naïve… living in La La Land… but when people take mental illness seriously… when we stop ignoring cries for help… and stop teasing and tormenting… the world will be a much better place.

While we will always have Robin Williams captured on film and video, I miss the man… deeply. I still cannot believe he is gone, let alone by his own hand. His death haunts me more than most.

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The most recent, of course is David Bowie… and while I will not expound on his death here… because I am working on a separate piece about it… let me say that it came as a surprise because it was so unexpected. The fact that such a public figure could stay so private is remarkable… He lived… and died… the way he wanted to.

Not that he wanted to die, of course… but he controlled it… managed it… as best he could… and gave us Blackstar, a haunting new album before he shuffled off this mortal coil.

His death puts regret into perspective, because I had never seen him live and now never will. I hate that as a huge music guy, I let a live Bowie show go.

But at age 69, it also makes me realize I better get off my ass and start creating and putting my light out into the world. His video for “Lazarus” is now even more haunting and specific… and should have us all living each and every day, as if it was our last.

My friend Jason’s point is proven as “Space Oddity” and “Where Are We Now” keep popping into my head… at random times and places…

Suddenly I’ll be walking the dog and out of nowhere start singing “the stars look very different today… “ or looking to the heavens and pleading… asking “where are we now?”

All I want to do is play Bowie… and songs that move me right now.

Such is the result of death… and the reason the passing of a famous stranger can mean so much… because even they though we did not know them… in our own way… we did… we all did.

RIP all.

 

 

 

 

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The Stars Look Very Different Today, As The Heavens Welcome David Bowie – Where Are We Now?

I have not been feeling well for the last week, and was set to go to sleep early last night after watching a most lackluster Golden Globes. I was a bit sad and depressed already, for a multitude of reasons, but quite disappointed at the horrible speeches that almost all of the recipients delivered.  There were some great exceptions… but they were too far and few in between. An acceptance speech should not be a stumbled through, laundry list of names to thank. Sorry.

I am not saying that everyone has to take a political stance or say something meaningful like Leo did, but at least inspire us… Speak from the heart… Let the soul burn and ring and sing a few verses. Inspire the rest of us who dream of those moments.

Inspire the world to get up and be creative… to embrace and love art even more… because art does mean something. Film and TV CAN change the world. Music CAN change the world, and it does! It moves it, and heals it, and brings us closer together!

As I lay in bed, getting ready to drift off, I saw a friend had posted that David Bowie had died. At that point, only two other news sources were picking up on it, so I was hoping it was a hoax… and in fact, there was an article talking about it being a hoax, but that was from a few months ago… And since I had been sucked into the Hugh Hefner one some time ago, I was not re-posting until I knew for sure.

And then… one more news outlet posted… and then the next… and the next… and then CNN had its Breaking News… and I knew…

It was done… over.

69 years old… had privately been battling cancer for the last 18 months… His son, film director Duncan Jones tweeted:

“Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”

Reality! No, not A Reality Tour… actual reality.

Tears… shock… heart-break.

His death comes just two days after his 69th birthday, in fact… and two days after the release of his new album, Blackstar… One I have just gotten and not even had the chance to listen to in its entirety… yet. Clearly this album will be revelatory, in terms of what was in Bowie’s thoughts and heart, as he privately fought his illness… an illness that I am still amazed we have not yet figured out how to properly battle and kill. We have so much brain power… so much intelligence…

Cancer sucks!

As I listen to the album now, I am haunted and saddened…

Just yesterday, I was listening to KCSN and was so happy to hear them playing the new Bowie. I had a smile, a big smile… and a fleeting thought that he would be touring again, and that I would finally be able to right the wrong of not seeing him live. Finally!

After staring at the TV screen and CNN for what seemed like an eternity, I shut off the TV. It was too much.

I lay in bed and I started playing Bowie… and lamenting the same thing I have lamented way too many times…
Yet another favorite artist I had never seen live… and now, sadly, frustratingly and inconceivably I never would.

Why?  Why did I keep doing that? I am usually quite resourceful… and will beg, steal and borrow my way into shows.

Why did I wait? Lack of money? The hassles of sometimes seeing a live show in LA? (Mostly that means the seeming inability for the general populace to get great seats at face value… at least in LA. It’s a scam and a sham.)

I could not recall what my reason was… but whatever it was, it now left me feeling empty… lost… like I missed out on something I needed.

For those of you who get live music… understand the importance of it… the holiness of it… you will feel my very real pain.

For those who don’t, well… I wish I could help you understand the magic and power of live music. It will change you… transform you… It will literally make your life and the world a better place.

It brings humanity together… swaying and dancing and singing… and for a fleeting few hours, leaves all your problems… all the world’s problems at the door.

“Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.”

“Where Are We Now?” was my favorite song from his fantastic, previous album, The Next Day… the first he had put out in over a decade… and so, now, here I was asking myself that very question…

Where are we now?

Rumors stirred of a tour for that one… and perhaps now we know why it never materialized.

My soul came into this world in New York City… and that is where David Bowie’s left…
No… wait… that is where his body left this earthly realm.

I would like to think that his soul will be in the air… on the air… for a very long time to come.

I always go back to those lines in La Bamba, so perhaps it was no coincidence that I saw Lou Diamond Phillips in my Trader Joe’s yesterday…

Buddy Holly: “The sky belong to the stars.”

Ritchie Valens: “My mom reckons I’m going to be a star. And stars don’t fall from the sky.”

We really don’t think they do… We believe they are invincible… And yet we have lost many… literally… to falling from the sky.

David Bowie died peacefully… not in the air… not in the sky, and yet he was a Spaceman… a Superman. He was a star… a bright, shining, shooting, glowing, most memorable star.
He was almost like an alien, a man who came to earth to influence music and art and fashion. And he did… he did.

I remember the story my friend Josh tells of being in a record store (Tower or Virgin) and looking through the Bowie section… when he looks up to see who else, but David Bowie himself. I gave him a lot of shit… A LOT… for not having immediately bought out the section and had him sign each and every one. Or at the very least gotten one for each of us. Agh!

A few months back, thanks to KCRW, I got to go to the closing night party of  Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust, The Rise of David Bowie & Co. at the TASCHEN Gallery. 

I really, really wanted to win the book they were raffling off… It was utterly astounding…
Pieces of art bound in a true piece of art. I didn’t Oh well. I didn’t win the Powerball either… well… except for $4!

I guess TASCHEN was as close to Bowie as I will ever get.

So here’s to David Robert Jones… a man who did not sell the world, but changed it…

Here are a few photos I took at the gallery… and some of my favorite Bowie songs…

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My Top 15 Favorite Bowie Songs:
15) Where Are We Now

14) G-d Knows I’m Good

13) Young Americans / I’m Afraid Of Americans

12) Suffragette City

11) Five Years

10) All The Young Dudes

9) Ziggy Stardust

8) Ashes To Ashes

7) Under Pressure – Yes, I know this was with Queen… but come on… what a song!

6) Life On Mars?

5) The Man Who Sold The World 

4) Space Oddity

3) Starman

2) Heroes – Let us make it so!

“We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What do you say?”

“We can be heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day.”

1) Changes – This song moves me each and every time I hear it… Stunning… Rocking… Meaningful… quintessential Bowie.

“Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse of
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
Mmm, yeah I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re goin’ through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinatin’
Ah, changes are takin’
The pace I’m goin’ through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n’ rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time”

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My Favorite Lyrics Of 2015… “Wait For It” From The Musical Hamilton And “Things Happen” From The Goldsmith Boys And Dawes

There are two songs that just hit me in the right way this past year… that forced me to listen and listen, and keep the song in repeat mode, over and over.

I think the lyrics certainly stand on their own, but because of things going on in my life, they became that much more powerful… that much more vital and dead on.

The first song brings me to tears every time. It’s beauty and power and insight is astounding. It slays me… literally… and the chorus, which alters slightly… Wow… just wow! A heartfelt thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Wait For It” – Aaron Burr’s song in the music Hamilton.
Sung by the amazing Leslie Odom, Jr. I cannot WAIT to see this show!!!  I MUST see this show #Hamilton, #Lin-ManuelMiranda, @Lin_Manuel
“Theodosia writes me a letter every day.
I’m keeping the bed warm while her husband is away.
He’s on the British side in Georgia.
He’s tryin’ to keep the colonies in line.
Well he can keep all of Georgia.
Theodosia, she’s mine.

Love doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep loving anyway
We laugh and we cry
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there’s a reason I’m by her side
When so many have tried
Then I’m willing to wait for it
I’m willing to wait for it

My grandfather was a fire and brimstone preacher
But there are things that the homilies and hymns won’t teach ‘ya
My mother was a genius
My father commanded respect
When they died they left no instructions
Just a legacy to protect

Death doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway

We rise and we fall
And we break
And we make our mistakes.
And if there’s a reason I’m still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I’m willing to wait for it
I’m willing to wait for it
Wait for it

I am the one thing in life I can control
I am inimitable
I am an original

I’m not falling behind or running late
I’m not standing still
I am lying in wait

Hamilton faces an endless uphill climb
He has something to prove
He has nothing to lose

Hamilton’s pace is relentless
He wastes no time
What is it like in his shoes?
Hamilton doesn’t hesitate
He exhibits no restraint
He takes and he takes and he takes
And he keeps winning anyway
He changes the game
He plays and he raises the stakes
And if there’s a reason
He seems to thrive when so few survive
Then Goddamnit
I’m willing to wait for it

I’m willing to wait for it…

Life doesn’t discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway,
We rise and we fall and we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there’s a reason
I’m still alive
When so many have died,
Then I’m willing to wait for it”

 

My other favorite set of lyrics comes from my namesakes, the Goldsmith brothers and Dawes!

Things do happen… so does shit… It just does… That’s all they ever do… and this song nails it. #Dawes

“Things Happen”

“I could go on talking or I could stop
Wring out each memory til’ I get every drop
Sift through the details of the others involved
The true crime would be thinking it’s just one person’s fault

Like an honest signature on a fake ID
Like the guilty conscience with the innocent plea
You can just ignore it, put it out of mind
But ain’t it funny how the past won’t ever let something lie

Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do

In a different time, on a different floor
I might mourn the loss of who I’m not anymore
So I’m driving up to Oakland for a good look back
And a few revisions to my plan of attack

Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do

I think I’ll see Lily, see where she stands
I can’t help how I feel, I don’t think anyone can
Sometimes we’re lovers, sometimes we’re friends
Behold the magnetism between two dead ends

Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through
Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to
I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do

Lets’ make a list of all the things the world has put you through (We can qualify the spirit guides we listen to)
Lets raise a glass to all the people your not speaking to (Or why are moms compelled to bronze our baby shoes)
I don’t know what else that you want me to say to you
Things happen, that’s all they ever do
That’s all they ever do
That’s all they ever do
That’s all they ever do”

 

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Marc’s Muse Top 15 Albums For 2015

Ahhh, 2015… A year of things to remember… and things to forget.

Then again, isn’t that every year?

I’m still playing catch up and rounding out my Top 10 list of films.

But music, sweet music… There is so much great music being put out into the world. Sometimes, it is overwhelming and I am actually still behind for 2015, so apologies to the new ones from Atlas Genius, Grace Potter, Toro y Moi and Frank Turner!!!

With that said I am hereby creating my Top 15… Cannot limit it to 10… and it is 2015, so 15 just makes much more sense!!!

And even with that I am including a long list of honorable mentions… so there!

Have a most musical, happy, healthy and wonderful New Year.

May 2016 bring us all much joy, bliss, creativity, success, happiness and love!!!  And yes… MUSIC!!!!!

Fingers crossed that I will be taking my daughter to her first Bruuuce show in 2016!

 

MARC’S MUSE TOP 15 ALBUMS OF 2015 (YEAH, 15! SUE ME!)

  1. Laura Marling – Short Movie

 

  1. Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color

 

  1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

 

  1. Calexico – Edge Of The Sun

 

  1. Brandi Carlile – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

 

  1. Great Lake Swimmers – A Forest Of Arms 


  1. Israel Nash – Silver Season

 

  1. Darlingside – Birds Say

 

  1. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear

 

  1. Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording

 

  1. Adele – 25

 

  1. Leon Bridges – Coming Home

 

  1. Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

 

  1. The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World

 

And… Drum Roll Please…

MY # 1 ALBUM OF 2015

 

MY MORNING JACKET – THE WATERFALL

 

Honorable Mention and Right Up There:
Avid Dancer (1st Bath)

Dawes (All Your Favorite Bands)

Death Cab For Cutie (Kintsugi)

Florence + The Machine (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Chasing Yesterday)

Lianne La Havas (Blood)

Mercury Rev (The Light In You) 

Promised Land Sound (For Use And Delight)

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Self-Titled LP)

Sufjan Stevens (Carrie& Lowell)

 

 

Best Band Discovery of 2015
The Damnwells

 

Listen… love… laugh… or be moved…

Music is what we make of it… what we need… what gets us all through.

A life with music is a life worth living.

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The Seeds Of Music And Life – Neil Young Storms And Thunders The Forum On 10/14/15

Strange… this did not post a few weeks ago. My apologies… But enjoy it… Just a bit more after the fact!!!

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real
Rebel Content Tour
The Forum

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Forum

“Hey, hey, my, my
Rock and Roll will never die.”

Have I had my doubts about the state of Rock n’ Roll Music? Hell yes, I have.

Were they erased last Wednesday night? Almost.

Watching a 69-year old legend rock like a 20-year old kid is enough to renew the faith. Neil was on fire… in voice and guitar. People who have seen him far more than I, have said repeatedly that they have not seen him rock that hard in years…

It was truly something to behold.

He was happy… the crowd loved him… and luckily there were no fights or reasons for Neil to yell at the crowd. And he WILL yell at the crowd.

Social Distortion opened up and rocked us pretty hard, too. I just like those guys… A fun, high energy band!

Neil came out after 9 pm… and I was told specifically that this would be a long show… but NOT a greatest hits tour… And also that there would be a lot of the Monsanto stuff…

Look, I hate Monsanto as much as the next guy… Maybe not as much as Neil, but they are a disgusting, greedy and truly evil corporation. I appreciate his stance and what he has done in terms of a whole album… The Monsanto Years… but yes, I could have used less of that.

Though… the lessons are clear and important… We must stand up for injustice… and Neil flaunted this and the new, utterly absurd “Seed Law” by willingly breaking that law and handing out seeds to the crowd.  It was a classic Neil moment… a rebel moment… and a social justice moment. It frustrates me, in terms of the politics, back-door deals and money pandering… but it gives me hope that  Grass Roots movements can grow and bloom and thrive!

I went in with no expectations… and that is the best way to go into most things! And three hours later, filled with the second-hand smoke of probably three joints in my lungs, I was spent, exhausted, elevated and blown away.

Thanks to Chris and 100.3 The Sound for the amazing hookup. And floor seats no less!

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With the first four songs I thought everyone was wrong… all classics… and while that run would not be the way the evening would finish… He did play a lot of cool songs… and a lot of Crazy Horse tunes.

The highlight on almost every song was the jamming he did with the kids… and they were kids, literally two of Willie Nelson’s kidsLukas and Micah Nelson… and also the rest of the twenty-somethings… Anthony LoGerfo on drums, Corey McCormick on bass and Tato Melgar on percussion.

“The whole show was this big eruption, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any heavier, we just kept pushing each other,” said Micah Nelson in Rolling Stone.

They would form a circle and riff off each other… They would jump and stomp and run across the stage. It was magical… pure musical magic. This is what a band does… especially a band so in synch and in joy!

Here is a little taste from their show at Red Rocks.

And another…

25 songs… almost three hours… THIS was a show!

SETLIST:

  1. After the Gold Rush
     (Neil solo on piano)
  2. My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)
     (Neil solo on acoustic guitar)
  3. Helpless
    (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover) (Neil solo on acoustic guitar)
  4. Old Man
    (Neil solo on acoustic guitar)
  5. Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)
    (Neil solo on pump organ)
  6. Hold Back the Tears
  7. Out on the Weekend
  8. From Hank to Hendrix
  9. Human Highway
  10. Wolf Moon
  11. Words (Between the Lines of Age)
  12. L.A.
    (First since 01 Apr. 1973)
  13. Burned
    (Buffalo Springfield cover)
  14. September Song
    (Kurt Weill cover) (Lukas Nelson on lead vocals)
  15. A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop
  16. People Want to Hear About Love
  17. Big Box
  18. Monsanto Years
  19. Cowgirl in the Sand
  20. Workin’ Man
  21. I Won’t Quit
  22. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
  23. Mansion on the Hill
  24. Love and Only Love
    Encore:
  25. Vampire Blues

You can actually stream the Forum show HERE! Yes, they have more than just Widespread Panic shows!

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Curry… Damien Jurado… Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – The Night Was Hot And Rockin’

The Wiltern is a mixed bag. One one hand it is one of my favorite venues… old school, art deco, historic… And I absolutely adore K Town.

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On the other hand, it is run down, with some of the velvet covered seats being broken or taped together and there always seem to be issues…

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But… if I can pull out one more hand… they do accommodate and try to make things right… so thanks to Danielle for doing that last night.

Yeah, I know we were in K town… but we were in a rush and ate at the Japanese Curry House on Western. It was reasonable and good… No issues… Well, I won’t bore you with the details of the morning after… but they need to use less salt for one…

Doors open at 7… so the GA crowd can rush in and claim their spots… and oh yeah… buy booze… for an hour. Venues are not very forthcoming with the real start/set times because they want to sell booze, food and snacks…

One more issue… if we buy tickets AT THE VENUE… why are we paying a window service charge???  Really?  That is just silly… and annoying… and pisses us off. But we did… for aisle seats… Doh!

We made our way up to the balcony (i.e. Mezzanine)… seats were right in the middle… WTF?

But Damien Jurado was on stage… Self deprecating humor… pleasant… and a stunning singer and guitar player… Simple… full… rich… One man and a guitar… and a looping pedal can make some great music… and he did!

He is a brooding, poetic and melancholy singer/songwriter, with touches of Nick Drake and Elliot Smith, but as he addresses the audience there is a genuine warmth and passion that comes across… One would not necessarily know that he started off in punk bands, but that was exactly how this Seattle native got his start. Highlight albums include: Rehearsals For Departure, Ghost Of David and I Break Chairs.

His story about his son incredulously asking him how people can pay to hear him sing such sad songs was priceless… as was the follow-up where he told us that his “selling out” by letting one of his songs be used in the TV show House allowed him to buy his son huge amounts of Legos!

During what was about a 30-45 minute break… Oh yeah… to buy more booze and snacks and such… we were actually moved to the floor. This was awesome and greatly appreciated.

Jason Isbell came out ready to rock, opening with the new and powerful song “Palmetto Rose.” Usually artists test the waters before building up to a frenzy, but most artists are not Jason Isbell. He came out with all cylinders/guns/whatever phrase works firing.

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This is the prefect combo of Alt. Country, Americana and pure Southern Rock, with influences from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and a slew of the Outlaw Country greats.

His band, The 400 Unit, is immensely talented and so tight and you can see the pure joy he has playing with them… making sure to give each one their due notice and spotlight and attention, by gracefully moving to each of their areas of the stage.

The set had something for everyone and showed his range as a thoughtful singer/songwriter to all out, ball busting Southern rocker! I think I heard everything I wanted, including the new “24 Frames”, “Alabama Pines”, “The Life You Chose” and two of my all-time Drive-By Truckers faves: “Decoration Day” and “Danko/Manuel.”

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He plays with a fire and passion, that surprisingly seems rare these days… and when he lets loose on the guitar, especially with the slide in hand… watch out! I was blown away on so many levels. I have all of his records, except Sirens Of The Ditch (Will remedy that soon), and a whole slew of DBT, the killer Southern Rock band he was with for six years… but I had not seen him live until last night.

When I say run… I mean SPRINT… double time it… Seriously!

What a night!

And to top if off they taped an appearance on Conan earlier in the day… so enjoy that!

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SETLIST – August 12. 2015 (The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA)

  • Palmetto Rose
  • Stockholm
  • Decoration Day 
(Drive-By Truckers song)
  • Something More Than Free
  • Dress Blues
  • 24 Frames
  • Codeine 
(Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit cover)
  • Different Days
  • Alabama Pines 
(Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit cover)
  • The Life You Chose
  • Speed Trap Town
  • If It Takes a Lifetime
  • Cover Me Up
  • Children of Children
  • Elephant
  • Flying Over Water
  • Danko / Manuel 
(Drive-By Truckers song)
  • Never Gonna Change 
(Drive-By Truckers song)

Encore:

  • Outfit 
(Drive-By Truckers song)
  • Super 8

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