Strangers In The Night

 

In 1978 UFO, the British rock band that gave a partial blueprint for Rob Reiner’s Spinal Tap, ascended on the city of Chicago. They came away from that show with this recording, a double LP monster entitled Strangers In The Night. My high school friend Chanks was there to witness that close encounter of the heavy metal kind. I remember him at a party with a PBR in hand describing the experience, and my thinking, “how cool is this guy?”

That was a long time ago. That same friend is currently training for a 100 mile bike race for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and I’m still thinking to myself, “how cool is this guy!” I tip my helmet to you with this one, Vince.

Let it Roll!

 

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They Only Come Out At Night

 

Frankenstein

That’s all I have to say about that!

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Traffic

 

Here is another album that was burned into my psyche while growing up. When you have older brothers like I do, you are exposed to their musical tastes without even knowing it. In this case, as in most, I’m glad I was.

Traffic was primarily the vehicle for Steve Winwood’s musical output. The group led a turbulent existence in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This, their second major label effort, simply titled Traffic brings Dave Mason back into the fold after being dismissed by the overbearing Winwood just a year earlier. Mason shines on this album, providing half the writing and penning the record’s highlight, the Euro hit “Feeling Alright”. The album is nicely balanced between the finely crafted efforts of Mason and the soulful rocking jams of Winwood and Jim Capaldy. Unfortunately this would not be the blueprint for the group overall, which dismissed Mason for a second time just as the record was being released. A few months later the band itself split, which became the ongoing pattern in the groups on-again, off-again lifestyle.

Traffic and other blues influenced, rock bands such as The Edgar Winter Group and Cream had a prominent place next to my older brother’s turntable. These sounds, as well as the sweet aroma of “mother nature”, would often find there way through the register between my childhood bedroom and that of my 4 older bros. It was truly a time of turmoil and strife, as a generation, Cryin’ to Be Heard, struggled and rebelled against living the status quo and dying by an imposed war.

Feelin’ Alright?

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The Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill

Another music innovator Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch at 47 has left this mortal coil. The Beastie Boys broke the mould when it comes to Hip Hop. Combine three New York hard-core punks musicians who could play their instruments and also rock a turntable on stage. They would sample music from all over the place a little Led Zeppelin to “Low Rider” by War, and somehow make it work. When it came to creating an iconic song “You Gotta Flight for Your Right to Party” is one of the best.

Licensed to Ill was well-received, and was favourably reviewed by Rolling Stone magazine with the now-famous headline, “Three Idiots Create a Masterpiece.”

The original title for this album was Don’t Be a Faggot, but Columbia Records flatly refused to release the album with this title. Indeed Licensed to Ill is a masterpiece.

Enjoy The Music – DB

The Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill

1. “Rhymin & Stealin”
2. “The New Style
3. “She’s Crafty
4. “Posse in Effect”
5. “Slow Ride”
6. “Girls”
7. “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)”
8. “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”
9. “Paul Revere”
10. “Hold It, Now Hit It”
11. “Brass Monkey”
12. “Slow and Low”
13. “Time to Get Ill”

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Ten

 

I watched the inspiring, 2011 Sundance Award Winning film, Buck last night. It is an amazing documentary about Buck Brannaman, a real life horse whisperer, who through his life’s work has managed to heal himself from a very abusive childhood upbringing. He communicates with, and inspires both horses and the people around him by way of his gentle sensitive nature. With kindness, respect and understanding he works with horses, learning from them as much as they from him.  It’s an incredible story!

I was surprised and pleased to hear Eddie Vedder’s voice over the closing credits with a new Pearl Jam song “Just Breathe”.  In homage, I’ve dusted off Today’s Runner, Pearl Jam’s debut from 1991. Powerful, Ten is an extreme document that deals with loss, guilt, survival and redemption. Great guitar, writing and passion. Hard to believe it’s been over 20 years.

After running to this one, I thought to myself, you know, screw Ted Nugent! Yea, he rocked my world way back when. But if you want to see a real strong man in a cowboy hat, check out this movie – Buck. You will be blown away.

It just seems like a Pearl Jam kinda day. Enjoy Ten this morning, and then stream Buck on Netflix tonight.

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