The Last Blog *

* this a prompt. not a discontinuation or statement of current health.

I have just found out I may only have hours to live and while this heavy news sits in my stomach I wonder how my life has transcended into the music I listen to. Its funny thinking how much time spent listening to my favorite songs than being observant in school. Education now seems less important, because what comes with a learning experience is a future. Now that I know that I will be gone I will spend the remainder of my time left and appreciate my music playlists and iTunes library.

Music makes me feel safe and care-free of troubles. In a way I think its been the only thing getting me by in this life. People make plans and talk about the past, but they leave no room for the present. music is constant, it changes me in a way that nothing could. What you listen to becomes your lifestyle and the values we pursue in the end.

Though I have an untreatable illness like cancer, I don’t want anyone thinking my last hours were spent in fear. I’d rather die with my headphones on than hear people crying, because the greatest crime people can do to the dying is make them feel like there already dead. As I sit here writing this I have found peace through sound, something nobody will understand but me.

This afternoon I have engagements with The Beatles, String Cheese, and all the rest of the music on my IPod. in closing my fellow readers I hope you consider this last post as  lively as the rest of my blog. Its been a great journey in this strange-mysterious world. Life is but a dream, never forget that. Farwell everyone.

20 Q: Music and Pop Culture

Quizzes are fun (outside of school). I have prepared twenty questions to test your knowledge of music and pop culture. Good Luck.

1. In the South Park episode ” Timmy 2000″ What is the name of the garage band Timmy plays in?

a. Faith+1

b. Lords of the Underworld

c. Moop

d. Dio

2.What famous guitar player covered Bob Marley’s famous song ” I Shot the Sheriff “?

a. Jimmy Page

b. Carlos Santana

c. Eric Clapton

d. Jerry Garcia

3. Liverpool is considered the birth place of the Beatles in the U.K. What other band originated from there?

a. Pink Floyd

b. Queen

c. Arctic Monkeys

d. Black Sabbath

4. In the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil names his laser doomsday device after what band?

a. The Alan Parsons Project

b. Kiss

c. AC/DC

d. Styx

5. The Eagles wrote a song called ” Witchy Woman”. Which woman was the inspiration of the song?

a. Marylyn Monroe

b. Janis Joplin

c. Zelda Fitzgerald

d. Yoko Ono

6.What music celebrity befriended President Nixon and his declaration of the War on Drugs?

a. Phil Spector

b. Keith Richards

c. Elvis Presley

d. Robert Plant

7. What is the name of the fan base of Aerosmith?

a. The Birds

b. Blue Army

c. Rattlers

d. Rude Boys

8. Billy Idol got the title of one of his songs from a brand of whiskey he drank with the Rolling Stones. What was they name of that whiskey?

a. Rebel Yell

b. White Wedding

c. Southern Comfort

d. Dewars

9. In the game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City What disco group is referenced, performing in one of the nightclubs?

a. The Bee Gees

b. Village People

c. Grand Funk Railroad

d. Taste of Honey

10. What Gorillaz music video featured Bruce Willis?

a. Dirty Harry

b. Feel Good Inc.

c. Dare

d. Stylo

11. What song was challenged by the Catholic Church for the claim that it influences pressuring young girls into sex?

a. Only the Good Die Young-Billy Joel

b. Fast Lane-Eagles

c. Drive My Car- The Beatles

d. Young Lust- Pink Floyd

12. What song is based on a poem by the same name by Simon and Garfunkel?

a. Ozymandias

b. Mrs. Robinson

c. Richard Cory

d. For Whom the Bell Tolls

13. Which was the first electric guitar model invented?

a. Fender

b. Gibson

c. Gretsch

d. Martin

14. Last Year what was one of the inductees in the Rock and Roll music Hall of Fame?

a. Rush

b. CCR

c. Nirvana

d. Bruce Springsteen

15. What actor played drums with the band Steely Dan?

a. Bill Murray

b. Jimmy Fallon

c. Chevy Chase

d. John Candy

16. What band claimed that Led Zeppelin stole their work which end up becoming the song Stairway to Heaven?

a. Spirit

b. Rush

c. The Doors

d. Air Supply

17. Jimmy Buffett’s plane was shot up while landing in Jamaica being mistaken for a smugglers plane. Who was also on board during this event?

a. Bono

b. Hunter S. Thompson

c. Fidel Castro

d. Ernest Hemingway

18. Where is Abbey Road located?

a. Los Angeles

b. Paris

c. Tokyo

d. London

19: What is the first song to play in the movie Easy Rider?

a. Beast of Burden- Rolling Stones

b. Born To Be Wild- Steppenwolf

c. Fortunate Son- CCR

d. Purple Haze- Jimi Hendrix

20: Who was rumored to have tried out for a spot in the group the Monkees?

a. Hugh Hefner

b. Charles Manson

c. Bruce Jenner

d. Al Pacino

 

 

Answers: b,c,c,a,c,c,b,a,b,d,a,c,a,c,c,a,a,d,b,b

Top Five Love Songs

Valentines Day is the ultimate holiday of expressing love. Music has a great majority of songs attributed to loving another person. In some cases, songs are made from the personal experience of the artists.  My song selection is based on no specific genre or time. Each one is at least two minutes in length. With this in mind I will  give my top favorite love songs.

5. Something, Beatles

In 1964, the Fab Four were filmed in a musical movie, featuring their album A Hard Day’s Night. In a train scene the band socializes with two teen girls. One of the nameless characters was played by Pattie Boyd, George Harrison’s future wife. She would inspire two songs ” Something”, written by Harrison and “Layla”, by Eric Clapton. The first song debuted in 1969 on the White Album.

I went to a live show of Paul McCartney in 2010. He switched from one instrument to another. He was brought a ukulele and he told a story of George Harrison’s phase with it. During this time Paul heard a song he said he wrote for somebody he loved. Then he gently strummed and sang “Something” acoustically.

4. Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Elton John

The Lion King was one of my favorite movies as a kid. However, I hated the musical montage of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. I always fast forward on the VCR until the whole scene ended. Watching again today, I don’t mind it as much. I think it really is important to the movie, because it adds a soft theme into the story.

Elton John knows how to make love songs. A lot of them really manage to tug at the hearts of many people. As a stand-alone song I believe it has great value outside the Realm of Disney.  It has a beautiful instrumental background, with some good lyrics. I also recommend the Lion King movie, but not for Valentines Day, because there is too many romance movies to watch on TV this following weekend.

3. Dream Weaver, Gary Wright

I have heard this song many times on the radio. It always gives you a false impression in the beginning of the song. The intro is composed of an eerie synthesizing tune. But the cool thing about the mood is that it turns from gloomy to happy. That makes the song stand out

I don’t think it was originally conceived as a love song. From its use in quirky movies its perceived to be a theme of love. In some instances I really think movies shape they way we listen to music. Its funny to think that an industry of visual entertainment could influence people to identify with “Dream Weaver” as romantic.

2. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston

Having lost a great artist among the few last years, Whitney Houston’s legacy lives on. There is a lot to love about the song. the vocal power put into Whitney’s voice dominates the whole track. the clashing of cymbals and percussions also heightens the experience of listening to the song.

Few singers could achieve what Whitney Houston does with her hit single. There are many covers out of the song, however they don’t compare to this version. After listening to this song a couple of times I felt that it could stand the test of time.

1. Somebody to Love, Queen

This isn’t the best love song in the world or may not match up with many others lists, but I  overall consider this to be the best.  Without a doubt, Freddie Mercury was one of the best front men in rock n roll. This is a well balanced song that isn’t really lovey-dovey or slow.

I love the optimism of the instruments. I I believe on of the best themes of love songs is the hope of finding someone or something of mutual affection. Those that already love somebody lose that spirit of finding it. The real tragedy of loving somebody is that you have to go and find them.  Or at least that’s my interpretation of this song.

Have a Happy Valentines Day.

 

 

Looking Back

It wasn’t until I had settled in Durango, Colorado that I took interest in music from the counterculture days of the sixties. One of the most important bands to come out of that time in my opinion was the “Grateful Dead”.  I listened to them extensively through my college career.

What makes this band worth knowing is there style of showmanship in live performances. Jerry Garcia, lead guitarist had lost ring-finger (from a childhood accident), yet he was able to handpick his guitar with great skill. His wandering sound amazes me, it gives depth to the music of the Dead.

For Christmas I had received the disc box collection of the Grateful Dead’s performance at Winterland circa 1973. its really amazing that they were able to re-master the recordings of the few days they played at the venue in San Francisco, California. Within the disc collection is a recorded 35 minute live version of “Dark Star”, followed by my favorite song  “Eyes of the World”.

What also makes this band very special to me is the long road trips I take listening to there long concerts through my speaker system in my car. An average live album will last anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I would recommend live recordings from 1967-1973. The reason for this is that the keyboardist Ron “Pigpen” McKernan of the original lineup died in March of 1973, losing his battle with alcoholism. he was key figure in the sound of the Dead and was notable for his lead vocal cover of “Hard to Handle” (originally by the Black Crowes).

As of present I like to consider my self of the “millennial neo-deadheads”. Though I have not been to any live performances I still hope to go see a cover band or live event featuring the Dead’s music. Among the great bands that I rank as the patriarchs of rock n roll, the Grateful Dead fit between the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. I hope to expand my musical interest as I continue to reside in the mountains, maybe “bluegrass”?

Guest DJ Interview

– Everyone has there own songs that they identify with.  As listeners we seem to have are own interpretation of what is considered “good music”.  With this in mind I did an interview with Alison Uralli, asking what her favorite songs are and several questions pertaining to her as a music lover.

(1) “Do you realize?” by The Flaming Lips

reason: The first big music festival I attended was called Snowball, I was 15 and the event was held in

Vail in march, so it was freezing and snowy. I went with my 3 best friends from high school, and on the

3rd day the Flaming lips closed out the show. We were just standing there during this show reflecting

on how beautiful our lives were. They ended the show with this song, it was slow and really

captivating, and was saying everything that the 4 of us were feeling at that moment.

 

  • (2)  Golden Gate – STS9 This is a song that fills me up. I think I first heard it my junior year of

high school, and it immediately made me so happy. It’s one of those songs that just says

“everything’s going to be okay” and reminds me of the journey I’m on. Whenever I’ve

accomplished something or I’m going through a tough time, this song it’s just a great pick me

up for my heart.

  • (3) At the Bottom of Everything-
    • (4) Time- Pink Floyd. I love this song. There’s so much truth in it. My dad really likes Pink Floyd

    and we would listen to them in the car to go skiing, it wasn’t until I got older that I felt the

    depth of the lyrics and all the feeling behind it. There’s also a really good pretty lights remix of

    this song that I really like, and its cool because that’s where the PL got his name, was from an

    old Pink Floyd poster, and they’re both known for their impeccable light shows and stage

    production.

    Bright Eyes. I heard this song on a mountain drive, and I’d

always had it on my iPod  but sort of rediscovered it then. I love the lyrics and the style of

singing in this song so much. When I’m in a funk its something I can just put on and yell all of

the words to and feel a lot. It was really humbling when I first heard it, sometimes and brings

me to tears a little, and is a good reminder to live without fear.

  • (5) I’m God- Clams Casino. This song is also one of my comfort songs. I was struggling with

writing a piece for my creative writing class one day, and so I left school, drove to a reservoir

like 20 minutes away, sat in the parking lot and listened to this song on repeat for like an hour

and wrote this story that I ended up being really proud of that impacted me a lot.

 

Q: What is your favorite genre of music?

I couldn’t pick, but I like some electronic (like kind of electro funk, if that makes sense), some

bluegrass, indie stuff, rap, and “classic” rock (pink floyd, led zeppelin etc.)

 

Q: What is the best live performance you been to?

That’s a difficult question, because each performance is good for different reasons. One of the

coolest shows I’ve been to was Pretty Lights at the Ogden theatre last year, he’s an arist

notorious for only playing huge venues and the Ogden is tiny, really intimate and so many of

my friends were there. There were mixed opinions from some of the fans, but I had a great

time and heard a great mix of old and new music, and he did a segment with his live band as

well which was cool. Also an awesome local Dj opened for him, Mikey Thunder, who’s also a

good friend of mine and he did great. Another good one was the Sonic Bloom Orchestra at the

sonic bloom festival in 2013, its a whole bunch of artists from all of the bands that played

(members from String Cheese, Zoogma, Lotus, various dj’s and vocalists) and watching them

all collaborate and put on a show together is amazing, they did a bunch of covers and it was

overall just a blast.

 

 

Q:  What is your dream concert w/ special guest?

That’s hard. I would have loved to see Jimi Hendrix and/or Led Zeppelin. I also would love to

see daft punk someday, that would be incredible.

 

Q: What is your favorite part of a song: lyrics or instruments?

I don’t think you can pick, because some instrumental songs say everything they need to say

just letting the music tell the story, others you definitely need the combination of the two. I

can appreciate really good vocals through, when the vocals and lyrics can stand on their own

that’s a beautiful thing.

 

Q: Did you listen to a specific radio station growing up?

My parents listened to a lot of KBCO when I was growing up, so classic rock and some new

music mixed in there. Also my mom listens to KUNC which is where NPR plays and there was

usually good stuff on there.