June 27

The Songs of Summer #25: ‘Bang Bang’ by The Joe Cuba Sextet

joe-cuba-bang-bangAnother song with no connection to summer, but it’s one of my Songs of Summer nonetheless. I like my playlists to be eclectic affairs, with songs from different eras and different genres. I get tired of playlists, and especialy radio stations, that only play songs of a particular time period of musical genre. That’s boring. My Songs of Summer list is no exception, and to me any decent group of summertime songs has got to have a little bit of Latin rhythm.

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April 14

Analog in a Digital World: Record Store Day 2014

PrintFor a self-diagnosed music obsessive like myself, there is never a bad time to hit the local record stores to spend some time browsing the crates for some new tunes. In an attempt to make sure that there will always be record stores around for us, in 2007 a group of independent record store owners started Record Store Day. And Record Store Day is what I’d like to talk about today, because while overall I support the idea of such an event, I also feel that there are some drawbacks as well.

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October 9

I’m Breathless: Uncovering a Lost ‘Great Pumpkin’ Musical Cue

7b09ce756565a865afcbd6d2c50e0401October is one of my very favorite months for lots of reasons.. the cooler temperatures, the beautiful explosion of color as the leaves on the trees put on one last show before winter, Octoberfest beers…. and Halloween. And one of my favorite things about Halloween is that it gives me an excuse to watch ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.’  I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve missed it in any of my 44 years on earth. It’s to the point where if I MISS it, I will be depressed for days. This is crazy, because I’ve owned it on DVD for probably 15 years. Click through for the full post and a glimpse of these magical music.

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October 3

Dealing with Dead Media

One problem with having an obsessive love of culture, be it music, movies, books, whatever… is the accumulation of STUFF.  Stuff which, just as the sun sets in the west, will invariably become obsolete within a matter of a few years.  Technological advancements (and the associated marketing by their makers that the ‘new stuff’ is better than the ‘old stuff’) means that every 5 years or so we’re switching formats.   Vinyl records to 8-tracks to cassettes to compact discs to mp3 to streaming….(and back to vinyl, in my case).  With movies, it was VHS to DVD to Bluray to streaming (with a pitstop on Laser Disc alley for me along the way).

It seems that in the last 10 years or so, I’ve spent an awful lot of time and garbage bags getting rid of yesterday’s formats that have piled up in my closet. The VHS tapes were the first to go; when the VCR broke down, it was time.  The dozens of tapes I had spent a small fortune on, and countless hours recording and “dubbing” movies….. gone.  Several large trash bags of memories, spools of poor-quality recordings of Friday Night Videos (we didn’t have MTV you see), and unwatchable (due to the dreaded “dropouts”) copies of Fletch, Three Amigos, Blues Brothers, and a thousand other 80s classics …. gone. Continue reading “Dealing with Dead Media” »