Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Concussion....no bueno!

Concussion....no bueno!

Not a proud moment.  Embarrassing to say the least.  A concussion caused by a stupid choice. But this time has allowed me to take some time and finally create a blog for my music obsession.

I guess the obsession started back when I was a teenager.  Playing music in the school band quickly shifted into listening to music with a close childhood friend.  Sharing music became a regular thing.  It started with making mixed tapes to share my new favorite bands with friends.  Hearing their approval was like a great feeling, very euphoric.  Putting the songs into a specific order to allow the songs to mesh into one unified sound was always my goal.  It almost became like a science to me.  It has worked many times, but has also failed many times.  As the years went by, searching for new bands to put onto these mixes became very addictive.  I spent many hours searching through shelves and shelves to find the perfect CD to get just one song.  My collection began to grow and grow.  The mix tapes began to pile up.  Then came the ability to burn CDs with my mixes.  This technology allowed me to make the mixes in an easier fashion.  Changing the order of the songs, making sure the end of one song meshed with the beginning of the next, again; one unified song.

Once I completed a mix, it was then time for the first listen.  This was always the award ceremony so to speak.  Either I would earn the blue ribbon or get laughed off the stage.  Either way, what was always gratifying was that it came from me.  Not from someone else.  I was never a good enough musician to actually create my own music.  I could read music and play it well enough to fit in a concert band.  But to make something that was from me, I always struggled to get the notes on the paper.  These mixes allowed me to use someone else's voice to help find my own voice.  In some ways, you could call me a ventriloquist.  You could also call me a hack or a plagerist.  But what you think doesn't matter to me.  The feeling I get about myself when I complete a mix is what matter most.

Last January, I decided to complete a 364 day music challenge.  I wanted to put one song onto a playlist for each day for 364 days.  At the end of every 25-30 days, I would then take those songs and make a new mix.  This was a lot of fun for me.  13 mixes made over the year.  It allowed me to be creative and got me listening to music more regularly.  It also got me back into an old obsession; searching for new music.  Hearing new music or finding new bands does two things for me.  First, it gives me the opportunity to expand my collection.  An ever-growing music collection.  Secondly, it allows me to share these new bands and songs with my friends.  That's where this blog comes into place.  This is my chance to share my mixes with fiends, family, strangers,people with similar musical interests or anyone else who cares to listen.

Fast forward now to December 2106 when I signed up for Apple Music.  For a few years, I debated signing up for a music streaming service.  Felt like buying the music was a way for supporting the musicians.  The shift in how entertainment is shared now pushed me off the dock and into the streaming community.  Apple Music has brought upon another level to my obsession of making mixes.  Paying the monthly fee has now allowed me to find even more music.  It has helped me find new bands or artists.  It has also allowed me to dig deeper into the catalogs of my favorite bands.  My list of albums to buy has now been added to my collection with just a touch on a screen.  Apple Music has given me the ability to own my own record store.  Putting albums into the cloud is like stocking your own shelves.  Choosing the stock your shelves with the bands that you like and the styles of music you enjoy.  Almost like being John Cusak in the movie High Fidelity.  Overall, paying for the streaming service is well worth it.

So, where will this blog go you ask?  I'm not really sure as of now.  Maybe it will just be a place to share my mixes.  Maybe it will be a place to share new bands.  It could even be a place to allow myself to ramble on and on about nothing at all.  As for now, I like the idea of it just being what it is; a place for my obsession of music, photography, and my thoughts.

2017 Mix #1:  Concussion...no bueno! (Click HERE for Playlist)

1.  "Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)" by Sturgil Simpson (A Sailor's Guide to Earth)
2.  "The Price is Right" by Euforquestra (Fire)
3.  "(Baby) Hold On" by The James Hunter Six (Hold On!)
4.  "Big Wheel" by Saun & Starr (Look Closer)
5.  "100 Days, 100 Nights" by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (100 Days, 100 Nights)
6.  "Magic" by Ben Folds Five (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner)
7.  "Fraulein" by Pale Young Gentlemen (Pale Young Gentlemen)
8.  "The Meat of Life" by Clem Snide (The Meat of Life)
9.  "Shadow People" by Dr. Dog (Shame, Shame (Deluxe Edition))
10.  "Hello My Old Heart" by The Oh Hellos (The Oh Hellos - EP)
11.  "Umpqua Rushing" by Blind Pilot (And Then Like Lions)
12. "Closer" by Travis (The Boy With No Name)
13.  "Kings" by South of France (Another Boring Sunrise)
14.  "Streetlight" by Derby (Posters Fade)
15.  "My Only Swerving" by El Ten Eleven (El Ten Eleven)
16.  "Silly Me" by Yeasayer (Amen & Goodbye)
17.  "Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second" by STRFKR (S********r)
18.  "Tribeca" by South of France (Another Boring Sunrise)
19.  "Fade out Lines (The Avener Rework)" by Phoebe Killdeer (The Wanderings of the Avener)
20.  "Mess" by Ben Folds Five (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner)
21.  "Forgive Me, Love" by Clem Snide (The Meat of Life)
22.  "Something's Calling" by The James Hunter Six (Hold On!)
23.  "I'm Not Afraid to Die" by Gillian Welch (Hell Among the Yearlings)
24.  "Sleeping on the Blacktop" by Colter Wall (Imaginary Appalachia)
25.  "Clap your Hands" by Pale Young Gentlemen (Pale Young Gentlemen)
26.  "She Lit a Fire" by Lord Huron (Lonesome Dreams)
27.  "Everything at Once"  by Travis (Everything at Once)
New bands (to me) from this mix:

(This section is going to have a lot of new bands because of my new obsession with Apple Music.  It has allowed me to explore different genres of music that I would have skipped in the past.)

- Sturgil Simpson -  A great country artist that incorporates orchestral arrangements into his music beautifully!
- Euforquestra - Self described as a band that is "blending the roots of funk, soul, afrobeat, reggae and dub music."  Brings me back to my Jazz Band days in middle and high school.
- The James Hunter Six - A band I found through my obsession with Daptone Records.  A British band that has tons of soul.
- Saun & Starr - Another find from Daptone Records.  These two woman were the backup singers of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.  Also refered to as the "Dap-ettes."  Great soulful sound.
- Pale Young Gentlemen - A friend told me about this band.  Only put out two albums in 2007 and 2008.  Brand new to me, not much known on their history.  Like their use of the piano!
- South of France - I found this song watching the movie "Don't Think Twice" by Mike Birbiglia.  Only one album out.  I like them so far on the few listens I've had with their album.
- The Avener - Another friend told me about the Avener.  House/Dance music hasn't been my thing in the past.  Starting to enjoy it as I get older.  Nice hook here.
- Gillian Welch - Found this singer/songwriter from the movie "Hell or High Water."  Brand new to me.  Love it so far.
- Colter Wall - Also found on the movie soundtrack for "Hell or High Water."  Great downbeat throughout the song.  Sounds similar to Sturgil.

Until next time....happy listening.

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