Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Happy Birthday "Are You Experienced?"

Released this day, May 12, back in 1967, fifty three years ago as I write....the debut album from Jimi Hendrix, "Are You Experienced?".

The album made Hendrix a star in Europe and led, a month later (with the help of the Beatles' Paul McCartney) to a slot at the Monterey Pop Festival in Monterey, California...which made Hendrix an international star overnight.

The album spent 33 weeks on the UK charts, peaking at number two, and 106 weeks on the charts in the US (27 weeks in the Top 40), peaking at number five.

The album has featured slightly different track listings over the years, but the original US release included "Purple Haze", "Manic Depression", "Hey Joe", "Love or Confusion", "May This Be Love?", "I Don't Live Today", "Wind Cries Mary", "Fire", "3rd Stone from the Sun", "Foxey Lady", and "Are You Experienced?" (the UK release included "Remember", "Can You See Me?", and "Red House" in the place of "Wind Cries Mary", "Hey Joe", and "Purple Haze").

The album features absolute game changing elements, from Hendrix's revolutionary guitar playing to his experimental recording techniques to near downright anti-pop arrangements. The melding of hard rock, psychedelic, R&B, blues, and more - all played at an extremely high level of instrumental mastery - made it a compositionally ground-breaking album, as well. Volumes could be (and have been) written on the guitar approach on this album alone, but suffice to say it became the standard by which all other guitar players were measured for decades, featuring a spam of stylistic approaches from sublime rhythmic devices to incendiary blue-based rock solos, creating a veritable Copernican Shift in thought towards what was even possible with electric guitar.

It should be noted that the album also features Mitch Mitchell (drums), and Noel Redding (bass), with the recording legend Eddie Kramer manning the console. Chas Chander is credited as producer and worked very closely with the band. Overshadowed at times is the work of Mitch Mitchell, whose drumming was a complete departure from the norm in popular music in the 1960s. Also worthy of mention is the man who helped craft Jimi's custom guitar effects, Roger Mayer.

It's legacy includes millions of albums sold (over a million in the first 7 months) and landing firmly on "best of" lists: #15 on Rolling Stones' "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" (with 4 of the album's songs on the "500 Greatest Songs" list), Mojo Magazine named it #1 on the "Best Guitar Albums of All Time" list, #63 on Colin Larkin's "All Time Top 1000 Albums", and more. In addition, "Are You Experienced?" was one of 50 recordings chosen in 2005 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings every year that they deem "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Bottom line: A revolutionary recording for multiple reasons that is worthy of every ounce of praise its ever received. For newer music fans who have yet to hear it, I'd suggest listening to it at first opportunity....but only after listening to an hour of pre-1965 pop music, so the impact of just how different this album was when it landed on Planet Earth from wherever the hell it came from!

Visit the official Jimi Hendrix website.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Today in Music History

BY FAR the biggest news of this day was the death of music icon Prince.

Prince was found dead in his home this day in 2016. The lights in many major cities went purple in his honor as the sun set. I wrote about it HERE (with links to my writings on the death of Michael Jackson, Lemmy, & David Bowie). 2 years later, Lindsay Caudill wrote A Tribute to Prince. 

On the very same day, the world of music lost blues legend Lonnie Mack....and also on this day, we lost Nina Simone (2003) and Al Wilson (2008).

On a brighter note......April 21 is also the birthday of Iggy Pop (1947), Cowboy Junkies guitarist Michael Timmins and Cure vocalist Robert Smith (1959), Buzzcock's drummer John Maher (1960), musician, poet, activist Michael Franti (1966).

Also on this day in history....

753 BC - Romulus founds Rome after slaying his twin brother Remus.

1963 - The Beatles and The Rolling Stones meet for the first time.

1982 - Joe Strummer of the Clash disappeared for three weeks...until he was found in Paris. After the tour was cancelled.

1984 - Michael Jackson's "Thriller" finally falls from the #1 position on the charts after an incredible 37 week run (repacing it is the soundtrack to the hit movie "Footloose").

1990 - Paul McCartney sets new world record - largest paying stadium audience in history - when he plays for 184,000 in a stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1990 - In the US, Sinead O'Connor's version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" (written by Prince) goes to number 1 on the charts and stays there for 4 weeks, making her a superstar.

2013 - Calvin Harris makes history by becoming the first artist to have eight top 10 hits from a single album (the former record of 7 was held by Michael Jackson).



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hubble Saw THIS on Your Birthday

As part of the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Telescope, NASA has made thousands of photographs available as part of their "birthday" search.

"...Hubble explores the universe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means it has observed some fascinating cosmic wonder every day of the year, including on your birthday...."

Many events, during the pandemic, have of course been cancelled, but NASA is making all manner of educational tools available on their website, as well as a resource download page HERE.

Check it out HERE!



Thursday, April 2, 2020

Ginny Saville on CARES Act (Coronavirus Relief)

(editor's note - The following was written by Ginny Saville, founder/owner/operator of The Botany Bay stores in Central KY. You can also find The Botany Bay on Facebook and Instagram.)

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I spent my morning outlining my understanding of the important parts of CARES Act for regular people, small business owners and individuals. This is a long post, read if you are interested. It tweaked a lot of rules about retirement plan withdrawals and contributions, charitable contributions, and how businesses can deduct interest and losses, in addition to these things that affect the most of us.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

NIN - "Ghost" Offered Free

Nine Inch Nails has released the next 2 albums in the "Ghost" series....and is making them both available free to everyone.

In a statement available on their website, Trent and Atticus say:
FRIENDS-
WEIRD TIMES INDEED…
AS THE NEWS SEEMS TO TURN EVER MORE GRIM BY THE HOUR, WE’VE FOUND OURSELVES VACILLATING WILDLY BETWEEN FEELING LIKE THERE MAY BE HOPE AT TIMES TO UTTER DESPAIR – OFTEN CHANGING MINUTE TO MINUTE. ALTHOUGH EACH OF US DEFINE OURSELVES AS ANTISOCIAL-TYPES WHO PREFER BEING ON OUR OWN, THIS SITUATION HAS REALLY MADE US APPRECIATE THE POWER AND NEED FOR CONNECTION.
MUSIC – WHETHER LISTENING TO IT, THINKING ABOUT IT OR CREATING IT – HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE THING THAT HELPED US GET THROUGH ANYTHING – GOOD OR BAD. WITH THAT IN MIND, WE DECIDED TO BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL AND COMPLETE THESE NEW GHOSTS RECORDS AS A MEANS OF STAYING SOMEWHAT SANE.
GHOSTS V: TOGETHER IS FOR WHEN THINGS SEEM LIKE IT MIGHT ALL BE OKAY, AND GHOSTS VI: LOCUSTS… WELL, YOU’LL FIGURE IT OUT.
IT MADE US FEEL BETTER TO MAKE THESE AND IT FEELS GOOD TO SHARE THEM. MUSIC HAS ALWAYS HAD A WAY OF MAKING US FEEL A LITTLE LESS ALONE IN THE WORLD… AND HOPEFULLY IT DOES FOR YOU, TOO. REMEMBER, EVERYONE IS IN THIS THING TOGETHER AND THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AGAIN SOON.
BE SMART AND SAFE AND TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.
WITH LOVE,
TRENT & ATTICUS

The albums, "Ghost V: Together" and "Ghost VI: Locusts", are available on all streaming devices and can also be downloaded HERE.
Enjoy!


Friday, January 17, 2020

R&R Hall of Fame 2020 Inductees

We posted the list of nominees and ballot link not long ago, and now the results are out. The class of 2020 is:

Depeche Mode
The Doobie Brothers
Whitney Houston
Nine Inch Nails
The Notorious B.I.G.
T. Rex

The Ahmet Ertegun Award goes to both Jon Landau and Irving Azoff.

Depeche Mode had 54 single on the UK charts, has sold over 100 million albums, garnered 5 Grammy nominations, and is called by Q magazine one of the 50 bands that changed the world. In addition, Billboard Magazine recognized them as one of the most successful and influential dance bands in music history.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Have YOU Voted? R&R Hall of Fame 2020

Ballot is below....and the nominees for the Class of 2020 are:

Pat Benatar
Dave Matthews Band
Depeche Mode
The Doobie Brothers
Whitney Houston
Judas Priest
Kraftwerk
MC5
Motörhead
Nine Inch Nails
The Notorious B.I.G.
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Todd Rundgren
Soundgarden
T. Rex
Thin Lizzy

To cast YOUR vote, visit the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and follow the instructions!


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

50 Years Ago Today - 1970 in Music

WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR....

1970 saw incredible albums, tours, single, performances, festivals, and so much more.

Big winners at the 1970 Grammy Awards included Crosby, Stills, & Nash (Best New Artist), "Games People Play" by Joe South (Song of the Year), the self-titled album from Blood, Sweat, & Tears (Album of the Year), and 5th Dimension's "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" (Record of the Year). Other winners included Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Wendy Carlos, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, and more.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

50 Years Ago...this Month in Music

"Until you have won some victory for humanity, you should be ashamed to die." - Horace Mann

Its always hard to judge the day in which one lives, so I offer this - a look back at December of 1969 - as a stick of measure for our current collective creative output quality. Its also fun to see where we were as a culture (the music & entertainment culture as well as the larger culture). Expect a look at 1970 later this week!

So, 50 years ago this month, what happened?

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Are You "Healthy"?

(ed. note: By request, the following is a short overview that you, the reader, will hopefully find useful. These ideas are currently being expanded upon and will be available soon as a short e-book).

There are various types of health/wellness and I've seen interesting "health" break-downs over the years, but recently revisited the concept. I rather like the one listed below (which I have, admittedly, altered to how I best process information and attack goals).

Hoping you will find something serviceable, if not out and out useful, below.