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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Ch. #27 – “Fly Me to the Moon”

 

Beyond being a huge music nerd I’m, out of many things, also a bit of a space nut. Hence I have the past week spent quite some time pondering over the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission which completed the momentous and to this day mindboggling feat of successfully sending a living person to walk on the surface of the Moon. A feat which took place this very week 50 years ago.

Thinking about this huge chapter in the history of humanity as much as I have during the past week have spilled over to the topic of this here piece, clearly, and also in the song selection for today.

In tribute to the Apollo 11 Moon landing and Neil & Buzz sauntering on the Moon all those years ago, let’s simply be swoon by Frank Sinatra singing the classic “Fly Me to the Moon“.

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Ch. #26 – “Yesterday and its surprising lack of The Beatles”

 

So the other week I went out to see “Yesterday“, the new The Beatles themed film directed by Danny Boyle¬†which I had looked forward to seeing a great deal since I saw a trailer for it a number of months back.

Just the idea of a film featuring a bunch music by the Fab 4 almost had me sold but what I really piqued my interested is the tantalizing and quite frankly mindboggling “what if” scenario the film is based around; imagine a world where The Beatles didn’t happen nor did John, Paul, George and Ringo write any of the classic songs in their dense discography yet somehow, someone know about them and their songs… What would that world look like and what would you do with that knowledge? Great Googly Moogly Batman!

This piece is hardly meant to be a complete review or rundown of the film but elements from it will be mentioned, so if you haven’t seen it but want to and are hypoallergenic to spoilers you may want to stop reading here and get back once you have seen the film. You have officially been warned!

With everyone officially warned, let’s proceed to chew a little over “Yesterday” and The Beatles.

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Ch. #11 – “Surf’s Up”

 

As I was hazily going through my feeds on various social media platforms during a lazy Sunday last week I stumbled on the saddening news that “The King of the Surf Guitar”, Dick Dale, had just passed away 81 years old.

Although I think that most of you who are reading this have probably heard my choice of song of the week, the Surf Rock classic “Miserlou“, in various context I would think that the name Dick Dale likely doesn’t ring a bell or doesn’t mean much to you. And I don’t fault you for it; he only had a brief period in the limelight and didn’t put out a whole lot of records or song during his career. But much like Buddy Holly a few years before him, despite the short period in the spotlight he left a lasting impression on the development of Rock and popular music, both artistically and technologically.

Therefore I’m penning this week’s piece in tribute to Dick Dale and to tell you why he and his legacy matters in the history of Rock and Roll.

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Ch. #7 – “From past to present to past to present”

 

It’s new music alert this week as I’m putting the spotlight on of Blues music brightest names these days, namingly guitar wizard Gary Clark Jr. and his new record “This Land” that came out just the other day as I’m writing this.

For those of you who are living east of the Atlantic Ocean Gary Clark Jr. may not be a familiar name but it’s a different story on the west side of the pond. As this recent piece by Rolling Stone narrates in the last better part of a decade Gary has established himself as the heir apparent of Blues music by many heavy names of yore, such as Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan, and been called “the future” by former President of the United States Barack Obama, who invited him twice during his presidency to play at the White House.

The Blues man persona and “merely” stepping in the shoes of the Blues greats of yesterday is however an idea that Gary isn’t very comfortable with settling with. And “This Land” is an expression of that unconformity.

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