Musical discovery in 2022

Francis Albert Sinatra

Janis.Jorma.typewriterThere’s a blogger who does this EOY thing. I’m going just to pick off the music categories right now.

What was your greatest musical discovery in 2022?

It was weird. I bought more music than in the previous two years combined. Almost none were from artists who first started recording in the 21st century.

I just received this. Janis Joplin and Jorma Kaukonen – The Legendary Typewriter Tape: 6/25/64 at Jorma’s House. Haven’t given it a sufficient listen, but I will.
Nobody Loves You When You’re Down And Out

One item I got was a boxed set. Twelve CDs of Steeleye Span. I think I MIGHT have one LP of theirs. But it was the fact that it was relatively inexpensive (c. $60) that sealed the deal.
Gaudete
Thomas The Rhymer

I bought a new Elvis Costello album, The Boy Named If. This is another one with the Imposters. I have about a third of Elvis’ 30-odd albums. It’s always hard to hear old music by older artists without comparing them with other works in their oeuvre. I’ll need to listen to it some more.
The Death Of Magic Thinking

The same is largely true of Bonnie Raitt’s first album in six years, Just Like That… It’s never less than solid, but it’ll need a few more spins.
Down The Hall

Perhaps the most interesting album I listened to was from a guy who died in 1998. Frank Sinatra put out Watertown, a concept album, in late 1969. The main composer of the album is Bob Gaudio of Four Seasons fame. It was re-released in 2022 with additional tracks. I think it works.
Watertown 

I did get SOME newer music. I enjoyed Jon Batiste’s 2022 Grammy Award-winning album, WE ARE.                                                                                                     Cry

Older tunes

And there are some other older albums I picked up. After seeing the Broadway production of David Byrne’s American Utopia on television, I bought the Broadway Original Cast Recording. While not as good as viewing it, it was mighty fine.
I Should Watch TV 

The 1992 album Partners by accordion player Flaco Jimenez features a lot of guests, including Stephen Stills, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt
Don’t Worry Baby, featuring Los Lobos

Of course, I listened to a lot of extant music. Recently, my wife asked me how many CDs I had. I guesstimated about 2000. Then I counted them. And by counting, I tabulated the number in a drawer and multiplied because math. It’s closer to 3000. And if you HAVE that many CDs, you ought to PLAY them. And I do.

Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

First, a story that I might have told before in part. After the Paul Simon album Graceland came out, there was a 12-inch version of Boy In The Bubble that came out. I heard it on the radio, probably the local Q104, and I loved it. So I ran to my nearest record store and asked to order it. For whatever reason, it never arrived. I did record my friend Rocco’s vinyl onto a cassette, which is probably still in my attic somewhere.

I bought the Paul Simon box set at some point, hoping it would be on there. No luck. Then after 2011, I bought the 25th-anniversary version; surely, IT would contain the track I sought. Alas, no. BTW, I sent my old copy of the CD to some blogger who wasn’t familiar with Graceland.

Finally, this year, Rocco downloaded the track and burned me a CD.
Boy In The Bubble (12-inch)
Some lyrics:

The way we look to a distant constellation
That’s dying in a corner of the sky…
Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires
And billionaires and baby
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long-distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all, oh yeah

Sunday Stealing: Extraordinary Penpals

Donny Hathaway

extraordinary penpalsHere’s another Sunday Stealing from the League of Extraordinary Penpals

Have you ever written to a celebrity? Did they respond?

I don’t know that I’ve ever written to any celebrity directly except to some comic book creator types who I have gotten to know. I did write to Paul Simon’s label once to complain that the six-minute version of Boy In The Bubble should have been on the expanded version of Graceland, but there’s no reason to think that Paul himself ever read it.

Do you read letters immediately or wait until you are ready to reply?

What are “letters”? Oh yeah, I remember letters. Usually wait, although if I think I’ll let it slip through the cracks, I’ll try to push it up in my queue.

My preferences when it comes to reading

Sufficient light (a growing requirement), probably on the sofa because it’s the only place, other than my office (and I want not even to see the computer, lest I be tempted to check it out), that provides comfort and sufficient illumination. The television must not be on. Music can be, but it should not have words, which is to say mostly classical or jazz.

Invisible pain

What I’m least likely to change my mind about?

Things that are true over time. An example: my wife had some medical issues involving her left leg. She has not been to church in over a month. I recommended that she take her cane to church today. This is because when someone does not appear hurt/injured, others perceive that he or she is better physically than they might be.

I believe this to be true because my wife and I have a friend who has experienced severe pain over time. They have told us that because they don’t LOOK unwell that others believe they are faking or malingering. Having a crutch or sling or wheelchair or visible bandages – and my wife has bandages under her clothes – is a sign that “something is wrong.”

Whether my wife will take the advice, IDK.

 The topics I would get wrong during trivia

Car models, flower varieties, and actors who became famous in the 21st century.

What I’m hopeful about right now?

That my wife will continue to heal

Philosophies I’ve learned/embraced from others

A Unitarian once told me that “we create our own theology,” and I think that’s true. I may believe something uplifting from the Gospel according to Matthew, but I don’t feel obliged to explain some dreadful verses from Leviticus.

What makes home feel like home?

Music and books.

Talents and skills I like to cultivate

Getting around via mass transit, keeping up with political events

More music

What makes my heart race?

Music, for sure. There is music that will make me cry with joy or cry with melancholy. Take one example: Gone Away by Roberta Flack. It really doesn’t get going until the second verse. It’s described here: The late, great Donny Hathaway “lifted that fleeting horn melody from his own ‘I Believe to My Soul’ and used it to anchor the chorus and closing section.” In the right mood, the song can make me weep.

What power means to me

The ability to turn on my computer, my CD player, my cellphone…

One of my comfort hobbies

Playing with my Hess trucks.

Last time I was pleasantly surprised

When my wife started changing her own bandages this week

How was my October 2022?

Busy and exhausted, as noted here and here and here and especially here,  plus another post I haven’t put out yet.

Those who inspire my growth

Almost anyone who has a rational point of view. Of course, I get to define what I think is rational.

Maladies Melodies Allergies

my second COVID booster

There’s a Paul Simon song that starts Maladies Melodies Allergies. I so relate.

My allergies to pollen and the like have been quite severe this season, the worst in years. They were so awful that every time my head hit the pillow at night, within five minutes, I would start to cough uncontrollably. Even trying to sleep with my head propped up wasn’t sufficient. One night I woke up four times, after about 90 minutes each time.

Finally, I started taking the generic version of Nyquil just so I could sleep for six hours in a row. It has a cough suppressant and a nasal decongestant. Likewise, my daughter suffers from seasonal allergies which affect her sleep. She actually stayed home from school a day last week, from sheer fatigue.

I decided that we should each take a home COVID test. As I expected, they were both negative. The other motivation for mine was that I was scheduled to get a second COVID booster. I understand that getting the booster while you actually have COVID is contraindicated. Incidentally, I had no bad reaction, as usual, as long as I didn’t lean my arm on the injection site.

We now have several COVID test kits, some from that time not so long ago when they were a bit difficult to come by. Now they are practically ubiquitous, which is good since I’ve used them a total of thrice in a week. The CDC guidelines in Albany County changed this past Thursday from GREEN to YELLOW, which means masking is no longer optional in church. So before Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday, I took a rapid test.

Expiry

I was curious about the fact that all the tests we currently own have an expiration date of June 30. This article from Health News Hub states: “The Food and Drug Administration countered Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance by extending their expiration dates. The FDA says it’s OK to add three months to any expiration date printed on a test kit box. (The BinaxNow test kit received FDA approval for an extended shelf life after tests showed the kit components were effective for up to 15 months.)

“Beyond the extended expiration date, results are not reliable.”

Also: “Most manufacturers of at-home tests recommend storing the kits between 35 degrees and 86 degrees. The greatest threat now is delivery during the cold winter months. A test kit left for a day or more in your mailbox at frigid temperatures could freeze the liquid reagent inside a cartridge that comes with the kit, invalidating the test results.”

So, if you see me going into a coughing jag, it’s unlikely that I am spreading COVID, only hay fever. It’s because I’m going to be getting used to sticking a cotton swab up my nose for a while.

Oh, yeah, that Paul Simon song.

January rambling: Room at the Table

Writing While Black

sunshield_2x
From https://xkcd.com/2564/

The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer

Why the Tonga Eruption Was So Violent

A cold case team believes it has solved the mystery of who may have betrayed Anne Frank

One Year Later (Jan 6)

Writing While Black Under Scrutiny

Peter M. Pryor, the trailblazing Black civil rights lawyer, dies at 95

Hockey jersey is retired, 64 years after Willie O’Ree broke the NHL color barrier

Rachel Balkovec latest in a line of women shattering baseball’s barriers

Why Turkey Is Now Türkiye

How do you pronounce Kyiv, anyway? 

Service Providers: Are you Making This Big Sales Tax Mistake?

How Early Should You Get to the Airport, Really?

Can You Actually Work on Amtrak’s Free Wi-Fi?

54 years ago, a computer programmer fixed a massive bug — and created an existential crisis

A review of Pieced Together, the current exhibition at the Pine Hills Branch of the Albany Public Library,

Kelly’s Hawaiian adventures

Woody Allen’s ‘A Rainy Day In New York’ Secures Surprise Theatrical Release in China

Daniel Radcliffe to Play “Weird Al” Yankovic in Biopic

The 40th anniversary of Destroyer Duck, which I bought at the time

How Wordle Became The Internet’s Omicron Pastime

2021 Domain Insights and Trends

Flashlights 

Now I Know:  The Origins of the Football Huddle and When Fake Burps Have Real Consequences and  The Crime Tip from a Non-Tip at the Tip of the Nation and But The Cat Came Back and The “You Should Retire” Law of 1882

RIP

Louie Anderson, RIP. His first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson 

Ralph Emery, Country Music Broadcaster, Dies at 88

Dwayne Hickman, Star of ‘The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis,’ Dies at 87

Howard Hesseman, Dr. Johnny Fever on ‘WKRP in Cincinnati,’ Dies at 81

Kay Olin Johnson, who has been actively involved with the Olin Family Society (my MIL’s lineage) forever, passed away 1/22, just a week after attending the latest OFS council meeting, which I attended. I was extremely fond of her. She was a remarkable lady who will be sorely missed. She was mentioned at least once in this blog, here

Betty White -This is Your Life (1987)

NY Governor Kathy Hochul announced flags on state buildings would be flown at half-staff in honor of fallen New York Police Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora. Flags were to be lowered to half-staff at sunrise on Jan. 28, the day of Officer Rivera’s funeral service, and returned to full-staff at sunset on Feb. 2, following Officer Mora’s funeral service.

Virtual DC Feb 7 2022

COVID

Seriously, Upgrade Your Face Mask

The Biden admin has launched a phone line for Americans to order four free COVID  tests per household, expanding availability to Americans who may not have internet access: 1-800-232-0233.

Fear of COVID Is Keeping the Vaxxed Out of the Workforce

It is killing Trump supporters by the hundreds each day

MUSIC

Room at the Table – Carrie Newcomer 

Tonight You Belong To Me – MonaLisa Twins

Theatrical Rock and Meat Loaf

Dragons – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

The Family Madrigal – Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz from Encanto 

Academic Festival Overture by Brahms

You Can Call Me Al – Peter Sprague

Coverville 1387: Cover Stories for Kings of Leon and Prefab Sprout and a Tribute to Ronnie Spector and 1388: The 30th Anniversary Tribute to Nevermind at #1

Take On Me – a-ha (MTV Unplugged, 2017)

Bad Wolves – Rebecca Jade featuring Jason Mraz, Miki Vale, and Veronica May was Song Of The Year at the San Diego Music Awards

Sedition – Randy Rainbow (2021)

Abhor-Rent: 525,600 Minutes Since The Insurrection from
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Death Don’t Have No Mercy – Grateful Dead

Miracle and Wonder: Paul Simon – Audiobook by Malcolm Gladwell (Chapter 1 – The Mystery)

The annual quiz: musical section

Rebecca Jade, Olivia Rodrigo, Jason Isbell, QoS

I usually do that annual quiz that Kelly foisted upon me years ago, on January 1. And I usually do music on Saturday. So I’ve decided to do the musical section today and the rest tomorrow and/or the next day.

What was your greatest musical discovery? 

When you have about 2000 albums, it’s entirely possible to rediscover music that you already own. This happens almost every week.

Then there is the music that I did not think that I wouldn’t buy, then purchased in 2021, such as:
Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies. Care of Cell 44
Stop Making Sense (1984 Film) – Talking Heads. Even though I saw the SPAC show of the tour, I never bought the soundtrack. And I STILL haven’t seen the film. Life During Wartime 
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You – Aretha Franklin. Drown In My Own Tears 
The Allen Toussaiant Collection. Southern Nights.
The Beatles (The White Album) [6 CD] Ob-La-Di, Ob-la-Da  (Esher Demo)
Rough and Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan. I bought this in part because I missed this reference watching some quiz show. I Contain Multitudes 
folklore – Taylor Swift. My first Swifty album. Cardigan 
Good Souls Better Angels – Lucinda Williams. Good Souls 
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition conducted by Ormandy

I also recently bought
Love For Sale – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I was so touched by the 60 Minutes interviewLove For Sale 
Georgia Blue – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Recorded because Georgia went blue in 2020. Honeysuckle Blue 

Of all of the artists my daughter likes, the only one that has actually stuck in the brain in 2021 was Olivia Rodrigo. Part of that is a function that she was the subject of a CBS Sunday Morning segment. It mentioned her participation in the White House’s push for the COVID vaccine.

What kept you sane?

Assuming facts not in evidence, listening to music. Since I wasn’t MAKING music for most of the year – choir finally started rehearsing in October- LISTENING became even more vital. That would include J. Eric Smith’s  Favorite Songs By Favorite Artists, which will spread into 2022; of course, Coverville; plus Kelly’s mostly semiweekly pieces.

And the niece. In 2021, I got to see the fabulous Rebecca Jade, remotely.
Homemade: Part 10 and Part 11 
Peter Sprague: Wichita Lineman and Are You Going With Me and Spring Ain’t Here and It’s For You and Farmers Trust 
Melody League Session with The Sully Band 
Music For The Soul
Jas Miller: Toes In The Sand 

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

Frankly, part of it is tied to Congress’s failure to pass an infrastructure bill earlier, which, given the vagaries of politics, threw away whatever advantage Biden had when the troubles – Afghanistan, e.g. inevitably took place. If it’d been up to me, the Democrats would have taken the bipartisan victory in May/June, and then work on the larger bill afterward.

The last verse of Slip Slidin’ Away:

God only knows
God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable
To the mortal man
We work our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip-slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip-slidin’ away

-Paul Simon

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