Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Note to Apple: I don't think much of you either

I came across this blurb in the February 22, 2007 issue of Rolling Stone. If you are not a subscriber, go buy this issue...lots of entertaining info in the mag.

"500 Greatest Songs Come Alive

In May, 500 bands will gather in Atlanta to play every tune on ROLLING STONE'S 2004 list of the 500 greatest songs of all time - counting down from "More Than a Feeling" to 'Like a Rolling Stone" over ten nights. The series, which runs May 3rd-12th at Smith's Olde Bar, benefits Songs for Kids Foundation, a nonprofit group that brings musicians to sick children. "Probably every artist in Georgia will be performing" says organizer Josh Rifkind, who has already booked more than 100 acts and is soliciting more at 500songsforkids.org. He hopes to get some of the original performers to play their songs such as Georgia natives R.E.M. and OutKast."

I am not the only music nut case that thinks the 500 is pretty cool. I have the 500 songs as a playlist on my iPod. I created it after being at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and thinking that the 500 would be cool to have. I was right; it's pretty cool. The process of collecting all the music took a lot longer than I thought and cost much more than I would have guessed. Try finding Dave Clark Five music...it ain't easy. And that was just one of the tough finds. But I really had a lot of fun running them all down. I own a lot of CD's I purchased for one song.

The amount of time and $ put into the project and the rest of the 8000+ songs in my iPod has made me a certified iPod backupaholic. Apple has made my life difficult with the way they limit how you can back up their little music machines. I own all the music in my iPod. I paid for every single song; some multiple times if you count lps, replacement lps, cds, replacement cds, and songs purchased from the iTunes store. I own it not because I am afraid of the copyright police. I own it because I believe that artists should be compensated if I listen to their music. Apple and the rest of those attempting to control how I use MY music are punishing me and those like me because of those that steal music. So, what they are saying to me is that I am not trust worthy. So, what I say to them is that they are idiots. I hope these morons didn't use these same principles to raise their children.

I was seriously considering chasing down the 500 albums of all time...but I'm pretty sure that list does not include Dark Side of The Moon. They lost me there...

My Stats:
My Quit Date is: 2/21/2007 12:00:00 PM
Time Smoke-Free: 6 days, 6 hours, 17 minutes and 30 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 94
Lifetime Saved: 17 hours
Money Saved:

Friday, February 23, 2007

Stomping out the Demon

I am on my way to being an ex-smoker. I am ready this time. I need to do it for my health and happiness. If I am not healthy, I won't be happy. Cigarettes are not a health supplement last time I checked.

The info below is provided by the program I am using to help with the quit.

"You've been Quit 2 days. $5.25 and 5 hours of your life saved!"

I am having a hard time getting excited about "I" bands. I know quite a few but none really have changed the face of music for me. Incubus? Billy Idol? Indigo Girls? Isley Brothers? Ink Spots? Iron Maiden? Iggy Pop?

Probably the closest thing to a difference maker in classic rock is Iron Butterfly.
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida baby! It never was one of my favorites but it does have a place in my musical past.

A newer "I" band that I enjoy is the native American blues band, Indigenous. I saw them open for Dave Matthews once and enjoyed the set. Excellent rocking blues.
The group is comprised of two brothers, Mato Nanji, guitar and vocals , Pte, bass guitar, their sister, Wanbdi , drums and vocals and their cousin, Horse, percussion. Mato Nanji's playing is reminiscent of SRV...that's high praise.

Any more I's that deserve mention?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wond'ring Aloud

And now we come to J....This is going to be a shared category because I can't pick just one. All of the J's I mention have a place in my life.

Billy Joel...a large body of work...a lot of it very good. New York State of Mind is killer...Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, You May Be Right, James to mention some others. The first time I saw Billy he was the opening act for the Beach Boys. The crowd was rude and paid no attention. It was difficult to hear but he was excellent. I remember he made some snide comment about not being "Elton John" which became funny to me when he toured with Elton 20 or so years after making the comment. Thanks for the music Billy.

Next up, Sir Elton John. I've seen him twice. The first time in the 80's. It was a show that I did not expect to like and I was dead wrong. Excellent production in a big venue was what I came away with. It was a great show. The second time was his show in Vegas. The music was excellent despite his voice being a little ragged. The staging was way out there. At times a bit uncomfortable...He's doing Bitch is Back and the whole time there is a huge video screen behind the stage and Pamela Anderson is doing a pole dance. 15 seconds of that was too much but an entire song...not for me. There was a huge inflatable woman's breast, numerous phallic fruit concoctions...bizarro. He still gets a nod for many years of good work.

James Gang...this is a direct result of my love for the work of Joe Walsh. He's a delightful crazy and one hell of a player. I've seen him numerous times and he never fails to make me smile. That is a good thing. Funk 49 still has legs. The guy is hilarious and talented. I am an avid Joe fan.

Jethro Tull...this goes back to my freshman year of college where I swear Aqualung was playing everywhere I went. I know it played non-stop in my dorm room...which was affectionately known as the Club 402. My roomate had an 8 track player that he rigged up that sounded quite good for the time and the thing played endlessly. My first year of college was a great year in my life and that album is the theme song. It never fails to grab me and take me back. I only saw them once...at the Chicago Theater...and they were terrific. Our seats were actually where they had set up the sound boards so we were moved to the orchestra pit. Talk about good seats! I was ready to catch Ian Anderson if he lost his balance.

I can't think of any more J's. Who did I forget?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Riding with the Kings

Oops I seem to have left out a couple of very important K artists...no I'm not talking about King Crimson or Kid Rock. I am talking about Riley B. King. Blues Boy King. BB King. His influences on Blues and Rock and Roll are notable. John (I am becoming a great guitar player) Mayer mentions BB as one of his early influences. I'm thinking BB King has grandchildren older than John.

I have been fortunate to see BB a number of times including as part of the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas. The best part of the BB segment is that Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, John Mayer and Jimmy Vaughan all came out and did a jam and a half. BB refused to leave! He was having the time of his life...near 80 years old and still cooking. It was also during that jam that I got to see John Mayer's skills for the first time. Blew me away...

Thanks to BB for all the enjoyment and congratulations on your receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December.

Another blues guitarist that left his mark on a lot of players is Albert King. If you want to sample Albert, try his session with Stevie Ray. Nice live blues work.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Pretty Special K

I'm finally ready to reveal my "K" musical selection. These are some of the K's that passed through my mind...

Kiss - never owned a single track and proud of it! They do get some props for "Rock and Roll All Night" but that's it.

Kansas - interesting band that did some good music but no...

Lenny Kravitz - Lenny is good and I own quite a bit of his music but no...


Kinks - I would have to give them the nod for position 1a. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame kind of says it all. You Really Got Me, Lola, Well Respected Man, Sunny Afternoon to name a few.

But the K goes to (I've been watching too many award shows) Carole Klein better knows as Carole King. Carole is also a Rock Hall inductee and multiple Grammy winner. The list of songs that she has written or co-written is spectacular...Let's see to name but a few...

Will you Love Me Tomorrow?
The Locomotion
Up on the Roof
One Fine Day
Pleasant Valley Sunday
You've Got a Friend
(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman
The entire Tapestry album...So Far Away, Where You Lead, It's Too Late, I Feel the Earth Move and more. This record tops the 15,000,000 mark and was on the charts for at least 6 years.

She's an awesome woman. If you haven't listened to the Living Room Tour, you are missing something. Go buy it and try it on. If you are any kind of Carole King fan, I guarantee a big smile. One of the most satisfying listens I've had in a long time.

Go! Now!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nothing but Nets

My wife M showed me an article in Sports Illustrated that was written by Rick Reilly on the malaria pandemic in Africa. Yikes! Well, we are sending nets and I want to enlist everyone to send nets. We started our own campaign at Nothingbutnets.net. We are the Insight Insurance Netters.
Go there and join our team and give what you can.

In addition our company will donate $10.00 for every policy we write starting in February and will continue to do so until we reach our goal.

Let's help these kids.