Ch. #39 – “The sounds of the season”

 

Today I’m continuing of sorts with one of the themes from the last instalment on the blog, namingly autumn and musical associations. As I’m writing this it’s truly the deepest of autumn in this part of the world; the trees have partly departed with their leaves and those that are left are in magnificent spectrum of colours from yellow to red, the outside temperature is just north of the 0° Celsius mark and there is a fine, so fine and steady rain that is so dense you can’t tell where the rain ends and where the cloud which the rain is presumably coming from starts…

I thoroughly understand why a lot of people don’t like this season but that I find a great charm with it. I could do without the increasingly shorter periods of daylight but otherwise I find it such a cosy time of the year.

One of the strongest evocations of autumn I have in music, not obviously, is a little number by 90s Swedish Pop-Rock sensation The Cardigans called “Erase/Rewind” from their much lauded and what I would claim to be their magnum opus “Grand Turismo” from 1998.

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Ch. #38 – “It’s a beautiful day”

 

We humans have a knack for creating associations with significant events in our personal lives or in our society with music or other forms of art, or vice versa. I’m not going down the road of attempting to explain more scientifically why this is today, but I think pretty much everyone reading this can relate this to sentiment. We all have some songs or imagery that are etched deeply in our minds linked to certain events in our lives and/or vice versa. And if we are on the same page about this notion that’s good enough for the continued reading of this here piece.

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Ch. #37 – “Our simple mortal coils”

 

Unfortunately there has been a bit of an unintended lull on what’s suppose to be a weekly series, but I have had some milder turmoil in my personal life and with my relationships the last few weeks which have left me emotionally drained to the degree that I have just not been able to keep up with “Rambling in B-flat” as I want to and had promised myself.

So this piece is me trying to get the show on the roll again, not just for the blog’s sake but also attempting to restore some kind of balance to my life. And at this moment I couldn’t think of any better song for this purpose than Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ 4-chord classic anthem about ups and downs of our mortal coils, “Learning to Fly“.

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Ch. #36 – “Ending with a bang and a sound”

 

It’s over boys and girls. I’m calling it. The blessed warmth and light of the summer season has left us for this time around. At least around the neck of the woods where I’m living. With the passing of summer’s warmth and light also spells the end of the outdoor concerts for the year. Aye, it’s a time of much sadness.

*Queue tiny violins playing*

We did have a good run though. My season of outdoor concerts was great this year. I got to see and hear a lot of cool bands and artist put on goods shows, several of which artists and their shows I have chronicled on this here blog in the past few months.

And it ended on a high note. I would even dare to venture to say it ended with a bang. Or to be precise I should say it ended with The Sounds.

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Ch. #35 – “The faerie queen of ice and snow”

 

And now to something completely different.

I was on my journey home from my chronicled visit to Chicago I had a layover in Reykjavík on the fortress of solitude like island of Iceland. As I was sitting by the window peering out over the mesmerizing landscape of the island I couldn’t help to think about a particular music artist. To be fair it’s the artist I imagine most people would think about while associating the concepts of “Iceland” and “music”. I’m of course thinking about the otherworldly and undefinable Björk.

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Ch. #34 – “Oh, I’m still a fool for the Blues”

 

I know, I know. There has been a lot of Blues related songs and topics on the blog in the last few weeks, but you have to humor me for another week. I haven’t been able to shake these Blues from me yet, but for good reasons.

As I alluded to in last week’s entry I had the good fortune to spend the better part of a week in Chicago this past week. Given my musical leanings one location I made sure to visit during my stay in town was 2120 South Michigan Avenue; the address of the legendary music studio and label Chess Records.

The music label is unfortunately not active anymore, but we remember and hold this label and studio at that Chicago address so dearly because of it’s importance in Blues and popular music history. During the 1950s and -60s this label and studio was the home of so many of the most revered Blues and early Rock & Roll musicians of the time period. To name drop a few; Howlin’ Wolf, Wille Dixon, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, and Chuck Berry. Therefore the label and the people behind it, the Chess brothers, are rightfully to be credited for spreading these musicians and their music around all corners of the world and in the process turning the cogs and wheels in the machinery that gave us the boom in Rock music in the 1960s and continuous to this day shape popular music as we know it.

A keen reader and/or Blues fans may have noticed that I left out a certain name in that name drop. Rest assured it’s was completely intentional because he’s our the star of the hour. Whenever I think about the Blues one of the names I find the hardest to not think about is the eminent and venerable Muddy Waters.

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Ch. #33 – “When the Blues hit home”

 

As I’m writing this installment of my weekly series on this here blog I’m sitting on a plane bound to the Windy City, Chicago, for a last hurrah of my summer of 2019. And bound towards Chicago, the home and stomping grounds of the many, many artist that turned Blues electric, put it on vinyl and spread it across the world in the 1950s and early 1960s, how could I write about something else then the Blues?

For those of you that have followed the blog for a while or are a recent reader that have caught up with the backlog of “Rambling in B-Flat” shouldn’t be surprised to read that Blues and related music and genres are very dear to me. While I consume and am interested in music from a pretty broad spectrum of genres, I would have to put Blues up their as one of my absolute favorites if pushed into a corner.

So this is going to be my little story, or anecdote if you will, how I found the Blues and how it hasn’t released me since.

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Ch. #32 – “Dude, TOOL!”

 

Earlier this month one of the last major acts on a dwindling list of artists, and one of the very last on my personal “do want”-list, finally made their discography available on most streaming services. That band is the Rock and Metal non-conforming conundrum of awesomeness that is TOOL.

In addition beside having their (almost) entire back catalog available on streaming service’s TOOL fans had another reason to rejoice as earlier this month the band also released their first new material, the single “Fear Inoculum“. And not only that, they also confirmed the release date of their long awaited album follow-up to their last album, which has been in development hell for over a decade for numerous of legal and personal reasons. The album which also bear the same name as the single is slated for released later this week.

Ever heard of TOOL? No? Then you are in a very convenient time to get yourself acquainted with the band. But beware, your mind may be blown and your perception of what music could be may be changed forever. In a good way though, trust me.

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Ch. #31 – “Woodstock and Hendrix”

 

As I have already mentioned and what has become a theme of several installments on this here blog already, this year spells the 50 year’s anniversary of a lot of significant things. Because looking back it turns out that a lot of, to quote the US National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 here, events that were “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” happened in 1969.

As for events directly related to music goes the event most people would associate with 1969 is Woodstock; the mythical music festival that took place in upstate New York that has been enshrined in our collective conscious for it’s pivotal role in the progression of popular music and for it’s cultural impact of both those who attended and those who did not alike.

If you are a regular follower of music journalistic outlets like Rolling Stone, NME, Pitchfork and so on you likely have been exposed to a number of articles the last few months talking about Woodstock. Several about the development and the ultimately unfortunate cancellation of the festival’s 50th anniversary edition, but of course also about the original festival itself.

It has been pretty inspiring lately to read all these articles with tidbits about legendary festival for some one who neither weren’t there or even was conceived at the time. Although there were many a great performer and narratives from Woodstock we could talk about, for me if I had to pick a single thing that I most associate with Woodstock it has to guitar maestro and virtuoso Jimi Hendrix.

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