The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl By Jenna Miles

A more focused vinyl experience is my New Year’s resolution.

I have been conducting research how to increase the aesthetics of vinyl audio listening. I’d like to share a book I have found invaluable in that context,  The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl  by Jenna Miles.

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The author, Jenna Miles is a subject matter authority on vinyl collecting and selling. She is the President and co-Founder of SRC Vinyl, a company specializing in vinyl records. In addition she is the co-owner of Vinyl Collective, an online vinyl news site and community with more than 20,000 registered users.

Jenna Miles shares her vast vinyl expertise with the reader in an easy discernible manner. I considered myself a knowledgeable person in vinyl audio until I consumed the pages of her guide. I was further enlightened by the many in-depth vinyl resources that populate her chapters. Her writing method is suited to crate digging for that vinyl treasure you are always search for in life.

Jenna’s keen sense of customer satisfaction, coupled with her thoroughness makes this an essential read for the vinyl connoisseur.

Two Thumbs Up!

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Patti Smith – Mark My Words – Hartford, CT

Thursday night we attended Patti Smith in Conversation: A Mark My Words Event. The event was held at the Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, Ct. presented by  The Mark Twain House & Museum.

I constantly revel in the connections that formulate with Patti Smith, most notably historic and literary contemporaries.

The first parallel I drew was two famous authors connecting on one stage in front of 700 people, Patti Smith and Mark Twain.

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The Immanuel Congregational Church is a magnificent edifice. I found myself in awe of the mosaic above the altar that depicts the parable of “The Sower.”

I serve as a lector in my church and have read this parable during mass readings. It is especially meaningful as our son’s name is Matthew. The second parallel drawn. 🙂

From Matthew 13.4 (NRSV):
“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen”

From Matthew 13.18 (NRSV):
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this the one who hears the word, but the cares for the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

Colin McEnroe was the interviewer,  a radio personality with a daily WNPR show, The Colin McEnroe Show. He is a weekly columnist/blogger for The Hartford Courant and a contributing editor at Men’s Health.

The event was recorded for Connecticut Public Radio. Colin McEnroe estimated the podcast to be available in November or December.

Patti took a special interest in the Tiffany mosaic. She shared that the mosaic is made entirely of glass and that it reminded her of Johnny Appleseed sowing seeds for mankind.

I reflected on Patti Smith sowing the seeds of creative consciousness in our midst.

I liked the nature of the third connection. Patti was asked her thoughts were of her friend Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. You could sense her joy and satisfaction. She stated Dylan deserved the accolade by mentioning such songs as “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowland” and “Desolation Row”. Her special connection with Bob Dylan was heartfelt. For me this was the third parallel drawn.

Patti Smith has revealed songs by Bob Dylan that I was unaware of. She gives them special purpose as a poetess and singer/songwriter. She has a talented ear for the power and the beauty of his work. I found this to be the case on her album Twelve when she covered  “Changing of the Guard” from Bob Dylan’s Street Legal.

But what I really love is the song, “Dark Eyes” from Dylan’s Empire Burlesque. It is one of those gems that gleams more brightly via her duet with Bob Dylan on Patti Smith’s comeback tour in 1995.

The fourth parallel drawn was through her longtime admiration for William Blake. She took up her guitar and performed, “My Blakean Year” for us. I always feel William Blake through Patti.

Once again an auspicious evening of spiritual connection with Patti Smith in a pastoral setting.

i am Brian Wilson a memoir

Brian Wilson’s musical genius sustainability are his and our remarkable treasures. His new memoir takes us into his creative muse. Isn’t that what we want to learn about Brian’s talent? The thought process behind such great classics as “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows”.

I Am Brian Wilson,  written by Brian Wilson with music journalist Ben Greenman will be available on October 11th from Da Capo Press.

I Am Brian Wilson is the story of Brian Wilson’s life, told by Brian Wilson. But he’s not the same man who had a nervous breakdown on an airplane in 1964 or the one who ballooned to 300 pounds and couldn’t get out of bed in the 1970s. This Brian Wilson is older, calmer, filled with perspective regarding his extraordinary accomplishments and forgiveness for the people who complicated those accomplishments, and his life. Wiser, more measured, though still possessed of the youthful spark that helped him rise to the top of the rock and roll world, Wilson relates his life with a level of emotional honesty that has eluded authors of scores of previous works on Brian and The Beach Boys: “Telling my story honestly means remembering things I sometimes prefer to forget. I would like people to get to know what I’ve gone through, and I hope that my story will give them strength.”

Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that Bruce Springsteen has a new autobiography, Born to Run and a companion recording, “Chapter and Verse”.

Bruce Springsteen is our American music living legend. He has one of the strongest and most committed fan  bases in music today.

He is presently on a book promotion tour. Yesterday he sat down with Eddy Cue, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services at the Apple SoHo Store for a 45 minute interview. Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music top executive and the producer of Springsteen’s Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town albums was in also in attendance.

I find it interesting that Eddy Cue chose Facebook Live as the medium for the Webcast. I thinking Eddy Cue would have preferred to utilize Apple’s network (Beats 1) but they don’t have that capability yet. (Outsource vs. insource)

Here is the video link from last night’s interview. Enjoy.

 

 

Biography: ‘Bear: The Life and Times Of Augustus Owsley Stanley III’

I’m looking forward to a new biography due to release on November 15, 2016. ‘Bear: The Life and Times Of Augustus Owsley Stanley III’  written by Robert Greenfield, a music author/journalist I deeply respect.

First-hand reflections from Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia are included in the book which comes from the author of Dark Star: An Oral History Of Jerry Garcia. Greenfield also penned Exile on Main St.: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones and collaborated with impresario Bill Graham on Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out.

Augustus Owsley Stanley III, better known by his nickname, Bear, was one of the most iconic figures in the cultural revolution that changed both America and the world during the 1960s.

Owsley’s high-octane rocket fuel enabled Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to put on the Acid Tests. It also powered much of what happened on stage at Monterey Pop. Owsley turned on Pete Townshend of The Who and Jimi Hendrix. The shipment of LSD that Owsley sent John Lennon resulted in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour album and film.

Convinced that the Grateful Dead were destined to become the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band, Owsley provided the money that kept them going during their early days. As their longtime soundman, he then faithfully recorded many of the Dead’s greatest live performances and designed the massive space age system that came to be known as the Wall of Sound.

 

Life is a Rip Off: The Complete Book By John Olson – Third Man Books

LIFE IS A RIP OFF: THE COMPLETE BOOK is 404 pages and 12 months of record reviews—one record a day, every day, for one year. Yes, John “Inzane” Olson aka Inzane Johnny of the band Wolf Eyes aka American Tapes did that. And he reviewed everything from death metal demo cassettes to the Staples Singers’ gospel. Enter into the OLZONE and find out about music you’ve never known, bands from places that you’ve never heard, and then read his review of KANSAS. Reading LRIP will make you re-realize why blues is relevant, why every punk band in America matters, why jazz is good for the heart, and metal will always ride by your side.

AUTHOR BIO:

John Olson joined the seminal noise, trip-metal band Wolf Eyes in 2000. Wolf Eyes has toured and/or worked with musicians such as Sonic Youth and Anthony Braxton. In 2015, Wolf Eyes released the full length I AM A PROBLEM: MIND IN PIECES on Third Man Records.

WITH ADDITIONAL ESSAYS FROM:

Henry Rollins: Born in 1961 in Washington, D.C., Henry Rollins was barely out of his teens when he joined the legendary punk band Black Flag. He won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album in 1994 for his recording of his memoir, Get In the Van.

Ben Hell Hall: Sculptor and composer Ben Hall creates installations incorporating durational performances, existing objects and indeterminacy.all has written for The Wire and BOMB and has performed at INSTAL in Glasgow, Scotland; the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; and kunstenentrum BELGIE in Belgium.

Bryan Ramirez is an experimental, jazz, noise musician. He has played in several collaborations and groups including Ex-Cocaine. He also runs the Killertrees record label.

Tovah Olson has created something approximating music with Dead Machines, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice and various other projects. She co-founded the Polyamory record label and runs Tovinator. She’s a digital news director and inzane mom living in the middle of Michigan.

 

 

Never A Dull Moment By David Hepworth

Cheap Thrills (Big Brother and the Holding Com...
Cheap Thrills (Big Brother and the Holding Company album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have debated in my mind which year was best for rock music. I am torn between the years 1967-1971. These were formative musical years as a child of the sixties maturing into the 1970s.

Starting with 1967, the year of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. Then 1968 brought us Van Morrison‘s classic Astral Weeks and Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin.

1969 was pivotal for my life as I graduated high school that year. The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair changed the world. Rock albums from Led Zeppelin and Santana pushed multi-dimensional sound.

Then 1970 ushered in the era of the singer/songwriter with Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. Contrast that soft music genre with the electric jazz fusion of Miles Davis‘s Bitches Brew.

Nantucket SleighrideThe capstone of the music period from 1967-1971 was 1971.  This year rose prominently in the music of our heart. I loved the dichotomy of Alice Cooper’s Love It To Death versus Nantucket Sleighride by Mountain.

 

 

 

 

Thanks to a book by David Hepworth, an ardent music fan and well-regarded critic, I have validation. The book David has written, Never A Dull Moment, 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded substantiates 1971’s contribution to rock history with concrete authority.

If you are a fan of rock history and its sociological impact on the rhythm of our existence you must read this book.