Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Touch of Gray

But I feel I'm growing older,
and the songs that I have sung
echo in the distance like the sound
of a windmill going 'round.

--Deep Purple

I find that as I'm getting older, the reminders that I'm getting older become more and more frequent. I'm not talking about aches and pains or the fact that I'm slowing down. I'm not talking about those little grunting sounds I make every time I sit or stand. I'm not talking about the fact that I don't dare eat pizza after 8:00 PM any more. I'm talking about simply having conversations with people

This actually came to mind after reading some of the comments on Shannon's blog in which she referred to the 1976 movie "Logan's Run". Some folks had no idea what the reference was all about, and that really surprised me since I saw that movie in the theater when it was initially released. It takes a while for it to settle into my brain that that was 33 years ago and that a very large percentage of the population wasn't even born then.

Frankly, not being much of a videophile, it was actually pure coincidence that Shannon came up with a movie that I had just happened to see. Typically when I think of pop culture, I think of music which I dearly love and love to talk about.

Here are a few things I've mentioned in recent years and the responses I've gotten to them:

ME: I have "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" on CD.
RESPONSE: Who are they?

ME: Thought I might plug in a little Billie Holiday.
RESPONSE: Who is Billie Holiday?

ME: I'm looking forward to seeing Johnny Mathis this weekend.
RESPONSE: I know that name....

ME: Man! I actually got to see Leon Russell in concert last weekend.
RESPONSE: [blank stare]

Part of the reason for this is that most people aren't very interested in the roots of the music they choose to listen to, if they choose to listen to music. Part of the reason for this is that a lot of folks, unlike me, don't have the benefit of having older siblings and the music they listened to. Part of the issue is that my taste in music tends to run to those artists that make the Top 100, but rarely if ever make the Top 40. But if I'm honest with myself, part of the reason is that I tend to cling to these things from my youth like cat hair on a sweater.

I suspect that I could easily list off the pop/rock groups from the past 25 years that have intrigued me enough to actually purchase some of their music: The Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Counting Crows, David Gray, Ozric Tentacles (find them on YouTube, they're pretty amazing), Flogging Molly, Collective Soul, Crash Test Dummies, Del Amitri, Gin Blossoms, Hothouse Flowers, Indigo Girls, Sass Jordan, Matchbox 20. There may be others, but the list is small compared to what I own from the 30 years or so before that. I'm surprised that I came up with that many, but 25 years is a long time.

So in the interest of higher education, I'm including these 4 clips from the artists I first mentioned. This is a tiny, tiny sample of the sort of thing I'm talking about, and these wouldn't even qualify as my favorites. They're all just very, very good. Perhaps you can hear the echoes of some of your favorites in their music.

I hope you enjoy.

Possibly the apex of '60s psychedelic rock -

Smooth, smoky, the blues done right -

An incredibly smooth voice. 73 years old and he's still got it -

He can't sing, but he can write and he OWNS the piano -


Mike said...

I thinking in-a-gadda-da-vida is too long for the oldies stations to play. St. Louis does have rock station that will go back and play whole albums. KSHE.

Bilbo said...

Billie Holiday and Johnny doesn't get much better than this! Iron Butterfly and Leon Russell don't do much for me, but the other two are pure sonic orgasms. Thanks for the clips...made my day!

Gilahi said...

Mike - WQXI in Atlanta used to announce on a Friday or Saturday evening that they were going to play In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida in its entirety and urge people to get their tape recorders ready. Didn't do much for me since I owned the album (vinyl!).

Bilbo - How old did you say you were? Just kidding. Different strokes for different folks, as Sly Stone said. If everybody liked the same music, there wouldn't be so much variety.

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