Greetings. My name is Jim and I’ve been thinking about setting up a blog to talk about music for a little while. (See “What I Talk About on This Blog” on the menu. I finally got around to doing it today. A little explanation (I promise subsequent posts will be shorter):
I grew up in Philly when the predominant music was early rock n’ roll, doo-wop, girl groups, etc. (Although that said, I’ve been living in the suburbs outside of Boston for a long time.) This was a great place to grow up and hear this stuff. My two sisters seemingly always had the radio on.
And so I absorbed all this stuff and then later bands like the Four Seasons (my first favorite band), then Beatles, Motown, and all that great Sixties stuff. I was a top forty guy all the way (loved the Monkees!) but then my sister brought home Cream. And then Hendrix.
And then for me, at least, everything changed. The first blues I recall hearing was Cream doing “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which I later came to find out was an Albert King cover. And Hendrix was just mind-blowing. (The US version of his first album did not include “Red House”, another great blues song whose intro solo I am trying to work out on guitar).
From there it was only a matter of time till I got turned on to the usual suspects: Zeppelin, Allman Brothers (I’ve seen them about 15 times), early Fleetwood Mac, Robin Trower. I loved (and still do) all that blues-rock.
And then, of course, thanks to these guys I discovered the late, great B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and all those greats.I spent a lot of time listening to that stuff (and Springsteen) and then later a friend from high school turned me on to progressive rock (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, etc.) I think we saw Emerson, Lake, and Palmer about a million times.
This same friend turned me on to jazz, specifically My Favorite Things by John Coltrane. Another friend turned me on to Weather Report and Miles Davis.
I love the music of all these guys and just last week, bought the Coltrane album off of iTunes. (I like iTunes, miss albums. That said, not about to go back to vinyl. Does it really sound “warmer?” There’s a potential blog post.)
And thanks to growing up with Top 40, I still have a weakness for good pop. Although I don’t like everything Abba did, I still have “Waterloo” on my iPod shuffle. And I love “SOS” and “Fernando.”
And a few months ago I re-discovered that early rock n’ roll, doo-wop, girl group stuff. Thanks to YouTube, I was able to put together about 125 or so songs that I love from that era, buy ’em and burn ’em to CD. Great stuff. I’ll post that list another time. (Update – There are now 150 and I put them in Spotify.)
What don’t I like? I’m not a big fan of country. I don’t hate it. It just doesn’t do much for me. Likewise rap. And I cannot stand opera. I’m also not a fan of the Taylor Swifts/Nicki Minaj’s of the world. I don’t much like current Top 40. (Whatever happened to good soul like “If You Don’t Know Me By Now?” and “What Does it Take?”)
But that doesn’t mean all top 40 sucks. It would be easy to say that. But Katy Perry has a great, powerful voice and a couple of good songs. I like a good song, you see. That’s what matters. The great bands (Beatles, Stones, Steely Dan) all have great songs.
Phew. Anyway. I realized I need an outlet to talk about this stuff. Try though I might, I cannot get conversation going on this with my Facebook friends. They could not possibly care less. So this is just a place to discuss the types of music I (and hopefully we) care about. I’m certainly open to being turned on to new bands.
For the record, in addition to classic rock, I like Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Kings of Leon, Jack White, Black Keys, Dave Matthews. I’ve tried to get into Wilco, but meh.
So if you find this blog and you’re into this sort of thing, let’s chat. Let’s just discuss music. If you recommend something to me and I don’t like it, I’ll be honest. If you don’t take it personally, I won’t. Also, I won’t tolerate racism or sexism (“Dude, chicks just can’t play guitar.”) If that’s what you’re about, save that shit for your blog.
- Likes are ok, comments are great. Let’s engage. That’s why I’m here
Comments are moderated (too many nasty spammers) but comment at will. (Comment form will ask for email and name but you can safely ignore those.) Suggest blog topics if you’d like. Hell, I’ll even entertain guest blogs if it seems appropriate.
Oh, and, actually I lied above. The first blues I heard wasn’t “Born Under a Bad Sign.” It was Elvis doing “Hound Dog.” But I didn’t know it had first been a Big Mama Thornton blues song. :-0 Anyway, feel free to enjoy B.B. King’s very first hit (1952). Back then, unfortunately, they were called race records. And hmm, there’s an idea for a post. (Since done.)