KMA Sunday Service Week 4
KMA Sunday Service 4
Thank you for once again joining the congregation at our Sunday KMA Service, where we give thanks for that which Keeps Us Alive (that sweet, sweet music!!).
Roll a few Js and lean back into the couch (like you had a choice, eh?). It’s been a busy week around here, and I haven’t had a whole lot of time to listen (at least, not as much as I’d like), and even less time to write about what I’ve heard. But there’s still a heap of things to address, so let’s get to it! We hope you enjoy this week’s blather from the pulpit!
My happiest sincerest birthday wishes to my KMA brother James for August 21. I hope it was Awesome Goodness Extraordinaire, All Day Long!
On September 15th, as many bloggers as would like to participate will be posting their Top 15 Albums Of All Time on their own sites. I hope we get lots of people involved and make it tons of fun! I’ll be linking to as many others as I can here at the KMA, and you are absolutely invited to do up your own list on your own site. The only rule is it has to be your Top 15 Of All Time, not as defined by some magazine or web site out there, or by your friends or whatever. These are YOUR picks. After that, there are no rules. It could even be 15 albums all by one band, if that truly is all your favourites (AC/DC, amiright, Mr. 1537? \m/ \m/ ), or all different bands, or a mix thereof. Whatever are your best of the best. Post them up on September 15th and let’s have a blast!
And now for some other stuff:
Quite a few bits of news, updates and other stuff this week. Let’s give ‘er!
“This my friends is one of the toughest stories I have ever had to write not only because I am right- handed and I am typing to you with my left but because what I am going to tell you is very difficult for me but I want you to hear it from me directly and not from the rumour mill. On Thursday I suffered a stroke. That’s right. A clot in my brain. This will now be the fight of my life. I am alive, obviously , and have all my brain power. I have suffered right-sided trauma but I am fighting the Warrior’s fight already. I AM A WARRIOR make no mistake about that and I WILL release the beautiful CD I have worked so hard on and I WILL perform it live for you ASAP ….this I promise you. Those of you who pray by all means do so and those of you like me who don’t send me your energy and I will use it all to return to you as soon as I can. Stroke is NOT an age disease be you 15, 25, or 55. Stroke is a human condition . I am lucky and I will treasure that . I will see you all soon enough when I PERISCOPE one day and I WILL sing for you again, fear not. You guys are a major part of my journey back. Peace & Love Alan”
He is a WARRIOR! He will PERISCOPE! Attaboy, Al.
Also, Alan Frew is 58. That means I am old too. Goodness.
Also, I sent this news to James, who said there’s a Healing Hands joke in there somewhere. I said it’s too soon, but maybe Someday. He laughed. I then said I hoped my joke didn’t cross some sort of social nicety Thin Red Line. The point of Alan’s message, after all, was to Send Your Love so he doesn’t have to Suffer In Silence. It couldn’t be a more Simple Mission.
Results from the informal poll I ran last week indicate I ought to drink the Hip wine. Life is for the living! I am still undecided, though. Ah well, it’s not going anywhere. If I do decide to drink it, you can bet I’ll tell you all about the experience!
My three years as Stay At Home Dad are coming to an end. School starts in a couple of weeks, and this year both kids are off to attend. I’ll be bereft! My lovely wife has already booked the first day of school off from work, because she knows I’m going to be a wreck. And to try to distract myself from the inevitable, I’m doing my best to make these last days at home with the kids as fun as possible…
Anyway, we had a rainy day this week, so the kids and I had a pajama day, and we curled up and watched the original Disney version of the Jungle Book (for the hundredth time, surely, it’s a favourite of theirs). I know the movie doesn’t end like Kipling’s book at all, but I’m a good Daddy and never tell them that bit.
So we got to the end scene where Baloo and Bagheera are taking Mowgli to the man village and they come across the stream where the young girl (her name is Shanti) is fetching water and singing that song of hers. I laugh every time when Baloo sees Mowgli notice the girl and says “Forget about those, they ain’t nothin’ but trouble.” Haha. Anyway, she makes those ‘come hither’ eyes at Mowgli and he gets all entranced by her and follows her into the village. You know the scene.
My son (he’s 6) turns to me, at this point in the movie, and says “Dad, I think she’s a vegetarian!” Hahaha what? That was out of left field. So I asked him, “Buddy, what about that scene makes you think she’s a vegetarian?” He laughed and said “I don’t know!” He paused for a minute, thinking. Then he says, “Dad What’s a vegetarian?” Oh man. Kids. They just blurt things. It’s awesome.
And now we ask Mr. 1537: Does vegetarianism improve your come hither powers? Dating advice experts the world over demand to know!
Sarca (rightly) pointed out that too many tags/categories on a post and WordPress will think I’m a spammer. These Sunday Service posts have definitely increased the number of tags on my posts, as we’ve always tagged by Artist and by Album Title. I really can’t see a way around it, I guess, unless we stopped tagging altogether. I know that tags are meant to draw people to you and increase traffic, but in the 8 years we’ve been doing this I doubt it’s tags that very often brought folks to us. I read some artices online that pretty much said they’re more hassle than they’re worth, for most blogs. And we’re certainly not going for massive audience here (though we absolutely appreciate all of you who do read)!
I dunno, what do you folks think? Do you ever use the tags on this site? Do you find they’re helpful on your own blogs? Right now, KMA only have two categories, Posts By James and Posts By Aaron. We could balete the tags and just have categories, like band name only, but even then WP thinks too many is spamming. The Search Bar brings up any band or album you’d want to find (provided we’ve covered it already) anyway, so maybe the tags are superfluous?
So I thought for sure that my old walkman from when I was a kid was still here in the house, somewhere. Fairly thorough searching reveals it is not (though it may still be in some place I haven’t thought of yet, I’ll let you know if it turns up). So at our local thrift shop this week I made my lovely wife’s eyes roll (yet again) by snagging this Sony WM-FX425 Walkman for $4. [There was also a Game Boy Colour protective carrying case in the bag, if anyone has a GBC let me know and the case is yours!]. Anyway, my lovely wife rolled her eyes because why the hell do I need a walkman? Because I still have a big pile of tapes. Because I have a tape deck hooked to the stereo, and that’s downstairs in the Man Cave. My computer, where I do all my writing, is upstairs. So now I can listen to tapes in both places. I am so lazy. And solving First World problems! Lazily!
Anyway, this machine works perfectly, and is an elegant beast of functionality. It has Mega Bass (Norm/Mid/Max), Dolby B Noise Reduction, Sony’s AVLS and an Anti-Rolling Mechanism. The radio has 20 presets, and the digital screen even has a clock! There’s even a Rewind button – most walkmans I had as a kid (all except 1) only had FF. It also has switches for selecting between Normal and CRO2/Metal tapes, single side or whole cassette looping, and tape direction. It’s got it all! This must’ve been a Cadillac, back in the day! There’s a DC-in but no cord with it (go figure, though I have an adapter that may work), and there’s a spot for a belt clip but that’s not here either. Doesn’t bother me, I never used those. There’s even a video of it on the Tubes Of You!
My first play of a tape (on fresh Duracells), which happened to be Phil Collins’ …But Seriously, made me think the sound was way too quiet, that there was some fault in the mecahnism (I’m a real techie!) and that that was why it got ditched at the thrift shop (and I’d just been hosed for $4). But then I turned off the AVLS and bam! Full volume. Otherwise, there are no issues with tape speed and it sounds great. The only issue I noticed was that there’s a wee bit of static crackle when adjusting the volume while a tape is playing, but that stops when the switch is left alone. I can live with that!
It’s 2015 and I bought a Sony cassette Walkman. My lovely wife said I am taking retro too far. I told her that, to me, tapes never went away – it’s just another method of getting musics into my ears. So, for $4, I’ll take that gamble every time. Retro nothing – these things are still in use!
As I noted in the intro, there really hasn’t been a whole lot of time to do dedicated listening for reviews, this week. Haha reviews. These aren’t reviews! They’re farts! I know, I know. Anyway, I did get to play some really important (to me) albums, all of which were proper investments in time. So while there may not be quantity of music this week, there surely was quality. Let’s get to the music that did fill my ears this week!
I found this amazing disc at our thrift shop for $3, and bought it because BILL EVANS. When I got home, I was looking it up and discovered that it must be fairly rare. Only one copy on our Amazon, at over $140. CD Universe just links to the US Amazon where the cheapest used copy was about $60. Discogs doesn’t even have a copy on CD. I said to my lovely wife, “there’s money in the banana stand!”*
Recorded in 1974 (first time on CD, for this copy I have here from Verve, in 1994), the music itself is brilliant. Done in two movements, it’s really quite stunning. There’s a sweet push and pull between tension and gentle passages, times when it sounds like it’s searching and others when it’s just floating along beautifully. All of it is creative, complex, perfectly-realized, and I’m sure that on repeat-spins I will hear more to it that I missed the first time around. Total score!
There’s even more to be thankful for, with another beautiful birthday gift, this time from my own Mom & Dad. Of course, not knowing where to even begin with what I’m after, they asked what I wanted and I told them, and they totally came through… yes, I got another in the Zeppelin series!
The Album: Let’s be honest, here. It’s a classic. From Custard Pie to Sick Again, there’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t been said/thought/written by zillions before me. The packaging is stupendous in reproduction. And the remastering job sounds absolutely gorgeous to these ears, for sure. I am loving owning all of these records on gorgeous 180g vinyl, I’m not gonna lie.
The Companion Audio: I really look forward to the extras in these sets. There hasn’t been any live stuff since Led Zeppelin I (dammit!) but let’s see what we’ve got on this one!
Brandy & Coke [(Trampled Underfoot) Initial Rough Mix] really didn’t sound all that different to me (maybe my ears missed a bunch – probably). Sick Again (Early Version) is a rockin’ instrumental version. A bit of a different intro and then just groove along. I liked this! In My Time Of Dying (Initial Rough Mix) feels (to me) a bit slower, drawing out the blues a tad more. Love that slide guitar. Houses Of The Holy (Rough Mix With Overdubs) dulls the sound of the guitars and I prefer it this way – a bit muddier.
Everybody Makes It Through (In The Light) (Early Version in Transit) is a cool alternate version with different lyrics. And no weirdo bagpipe/synth thing or spacey vocals at the intro. This is the stuff we’re really after, I’d call this one a highlight of the companion audio so far. Boogie With Stu (Sunset Sound Mix) has an extra sweeter guitar part over the top – aw yes, now we’re cookin’! It was a cool stomper to begin with, but this mix is special. Better than the album version? Yup. And finally, Driving Through Kashmir (Kashmir Rough Orchestra Mix) is louder somehow (it could just be my ears). No matter, this is a classic tune that needs no introduction, surely.
Ha. You know what I’m gonna say. Buy this. And thank you so much Mom & Dad! You tolerate your collector son’s collecting!
Further Further Gratitude
And here we go yet again with another birthday gift! Yes! I totally got spoiled this year, and it’s wonderful. 🙂 This time thanks go out to my lovely wife for listening patiently to me as I rattled on, surely more than once, about this series, and for procuring the one I was most interested in!
Really, all you need to do is read 1537’s review right here. He’s summed it up perfectly, I need not type a thing. But since we’re here, this is the Stones in a period of theirs I love very much. It’s beautifully raw, hairy, raunchy, bluesy, and balls-out rockin’.
The extra versions are worth the price of admission, and the DVD adds a sweet touch. It makes sense that it’s here, obviously, as this was a taping for a Swedish TV show. It’s fun watching how quickly the whole thing devolves into an Otis Redding-esque soul revue. Very cool to see them performing it as opposed to hearing it, and I say that knowing that if it had just been a CD release I’d have been as happy with it anyway.
Man, what a band. I sure do love ‘em.
New Releases That Excite Me Greatly
After all of that, if you’ve made it this far, we’d like to thank you very much for joining us for another KMA Sunday Service. We hope you enjoyed your stay, and that you’ll leave a small offering of a comment or two in the comment collection plate as it is passed around, though of course, as always, this is merely a suggestion and not an obligation. We invite you all to join us again next week, when we once again bring you the KMA Sunday Service!
* Extra points to you for recognizing the reference there.