Dig That Jazz Band Ball

Snoopy jazzMusic  gets me through the day and I can be a bit fascistic, especially when it comes to breadth. My kids don’t even get much TV since I think the radio is a better alternative. And the station they listen to most often is WBGO, the jazz station hereabouts.

I might be the most improbable person to listen to jazz since, in musical terms, I don’t know what I’m listening to. I just followed Continue reading

Back in the Garage

Little pink houses have been known to come with built-in bullshit detectors.

Little pink houses have been known to come with built-in bullshit detectors.

We come from garageland….

Roget, were he alive, might be persuaded to list authentic as a synonym of garage.

That thought occurred to me this week as I crisscrossed the back roads of LSD. Prompted, as I often am, by a particular song I realized that there is one genre that Continue reading

The Living is Easy

DE_Beach_codeEndless Summer

Comes the middle of August, when the days are noticeably shorter and the light is longer and yellower, I yearn for the beach.  With the water at its warmest and the crowds beginning to thin there’s no better place to be.

Maybe next year I’ll kick  summer off with music. This year, I was set to thinking by a Mark Spitz post on Salon. Spitz has a late summer ritual built around a Continue reading

It’s Memorial Day: A Six Pack and Playlist

Park_Ridge_Memorial_Day_Parade,_May_2012On Monday morning, like many Americans in many towns, I’ll wander down the block with my son to watch the Memorial Day parade. For him it will be about the candy the paraders throw at the crowd (and it is a crowd). For me, though. it’s always about something more profound.

War is an ugly word. It draws out the worst in us and Continue reading

Hey, Baby, It’s the Fourth of July: A Six Pack and Playlist

Flag stampDespite myself, I am terribly sentimental about the Fourth of July. Without disrespecting anyplace else, it’s a singular privilege to live in this grand, glorious mess of a nation which is still, as far as I know, the only one built on an idea.

There are two things that make at least this American proud. One is the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics when after watching nation after homogeneous nation march by the US contingent rolls in, a fabulous mosaic of all the types of people who are just like the rest of us (only faster or stronger or more coordinated, it is the Olympics after all). The other is in the music this Continue reading

Today’s Six Pack: Masters of the Telecaster

teleGuitar Gods, you know who they are, tend to play two types of solid body guitars: the Les Paul made by Gibson and the  Stratocaster ,made by Fender.  Most Gods have a favorite; over the course of their careers some play both.

But the first multi-pickup, solid body electric guitar was the Fender Broadcaster, introduced in 1950. That guitar became the Telecaster and has Continue reading

Today’s Six-Pack: Unexpected Covers

Time for the first six-pack. I thought a great place to start would be with unexpected covers.

Now what do I mean by that phrase? Cover versions ought to be an easy thing to describe but there are all sorts of complications. The songs in the great American songbook–those great songs by the likes of Gershwin and Arlen and Berlin and the rest–are Continue reading