September 22

Sample This: The Story of ‘Apache’ and The Incredible Bongo Band

incredible-bongo-bandI caught this fascinating documentary on Netflix last night. I hadn’t planned on it, Hell I had never even heard of it before. It just popped up in my Netflix feed…It’s a little independent documentary from 2013 called ‘Sample This.’ And while I’d never heard of the film, I am very familiar with its subject, which is a song. Not just any song, but one of the most heavily-sampled recordings in hip-hop and pop music history. It’s a track from 1973 called ‘Apache‘ by The Incredible Bongo Band. And while that might not sound too familiar to you, I’m willing to bet that you’ve heard at least part of it before. Don’t believe me? Give a listen:

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September 12

Christmas in September!! I Can Explain.

xmasladiesI totally understand, it’s only mid-September. I’m not going crazy. But I just renewed this site’s web hosting for another year,you see, so I figured I’d better do something, anything, and get it up here PRONTO. And what that something, anything, is, is a Christmas tune. Hey: My site, my rules.

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February 10

I’m a Bear: In Praise of Hibernation

winter-cabinIt doesn’t get more ‘dead of winter’ than right now, the middle part of February. The skies are gray, the ground is gray, the trees are gray…Colors seem to have disappeared from the world; when we’re lucky, the gray is broken up by the brilliant white of snow. And it’s cold. So, so cold. It’s February in Michigan. It’s time to hibernate. (Some context: As I write, it’s 19 degrees outside. It’s cloudy. It’s windy. And it’s snowing.)

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January 6

BrainstemBob Approved: Two New Documentaries

As I get older, and I am definitely getting older, I find myself watching more and more documentary films. Documentary films show us the neglected corners of the world that don’t get much attention, shining a much-deserved light on the people, places, and events from the past, present and future, and give us more insight on the human condition. Documentaries have many marvelous qualities; they can educate, enrage, and inspire us. They can move us to take action to right wrongs. They can also be incredibly entertaining. What I’m saying is, I love documentaries. Given a choice between the latest box office blockbuster or an unknown little indie documentary, I’m almost always going to choose the doc. And I’ve seen two in the last week that are well worth checking out. Continue reading “BrainstemBob Approved: Two New Documentaries” »

December 21

‘A Really Swell Christmas’: The 2015 Holiday Mix

really-swell-christmasChristmas Week! As you may or may not know, or even care, I make a Christmas Mix CD every year for cherished friends and family…This year is Year 13 for my little endeavor, and now that most of the CDs have been mailed out or dropped off, it’s time to share it with the world!

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December 16

Christmas “Music” For People Tired of Christmas Music, Vol. I

lee-farrahI’ve reached that point in the Christmas season where all the music everywhere is starting to get to me a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics…but still. Do they really need to be playing everywhere? I don’t need to be serenaded at the gas station. The grocery store is bad enough. And I’ve also noticed, in addition to it being everywhere, the music choosers everywhere seem to be choosing versions of songs butchered by new artists rather than the much more soothing (to me) classic original versions. If I have to hear ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,’ it’d better be Brenda Lee singing. And if it’s not John Lennon singing ‘Happy Xmas,’ I don’t really need to hear it. No one does.

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