Posted tagged ‘music’

Playing Favorites 8/6/22

August 6, 2022

 

cakeI seem to have fallen into the habit of posting Playing Favorites on Saturday the tagging it a Friday Favorite. At first it was write a draft on Friday, then revise and post it on Saturday. Well, this post is written, revised and posted on Saturday, so I suppose I can’t tag it as a Friday Favorite. For the sake of honesty, I’ve dispensed with the Friday tag in favor of calling it simply Playing Favorites. This is a four-layer favorite, a beautiful song, written and performed by my favorite pianist for one of my favorite movies, which happens to have the most beautiful opening titles of any film I can remember. Add performances by Katharine Hepburn by Henry Fonda and you have a four-layer favorite with frosting. If you have not seen On Golden Pond you owe it to yourself to track it down. Yes, its old (1981) and a little dated, but if you are reading Bud’s blog, you are used to that. Henry Fonda is the perfect curmudgeon and Katherine Hepburn the ever-optimistic wife taking care of him as he slows down. The cinematography is, including the opening title, is done by Billy Williams. (more…)

Playing Favorites 07/30/2022

July 30, 2022

I wonder if anyone in my small cadre of readers watches Rick Beatto on You Tube.  According to Wikipedia, Rick is an American YouTube personality, multi-instrumentalist, music producer and educator. He is known for his YouTube channel, Everything Music, where he covers different aspects of rock, jazz, and popular music, and interviews well-known musicians and producers.  Watching Rick, I know he loves music like I love music … and understands it as I never will.   One of his features is What Makes This Song Great in which he dissects the performance of a song both literally by playing different instrumental and vocal parts separately and figuratively by talking about the chord progressions, playing styles, and instruments.  The latter is far beyond my limited music education but I still enjoy it and hearing the way a performance is put together is fascinating. (more…)

Playing Favorites 7/22/2022

July 22, 2022

larryMy plan a few weeks ago was to post a song on Oldereyes-Bud’s Blog every Friday.  Good intentions?  Yes, though my Mom probably would have said, Good intentions are the road to hell.   A most peculiar saying … without good intentions would we ever do good deeds?  It just seems as I get older, absolutes like every and always and for certain seem, well, a little TOO absolute.  Posting on Oldereyes every week may become every other week or once a month.  In this case it is three weeks since I posted Playing Favorites.  But here I am, ready to grace your speakers with another one of my favorite songs.   The odds are pretty good that my weekly favorite will be either rock or jazz, depending on what playlist or what Sirius XM station has provided the current earworm as I sit down to write. (more…)

Playing Favorites (5/20/1944)

May 20, 2022

wpid-happy_birthday_to_you.jpgNo, that’s not a typo in the title.  In spite of my advanced age, I know what year it is (2021, right?).  But I was born on this date in 1944, making this my 78th birthday (2022-1944=78.  See?  I is still good at math).  So the question of the moment is what a music loving septuagenarian music lover will play on his birthday.  The obvious (if not original) choice is the classic Happy Birthday we been forced to sing since we were kids.  My favorite version:

Happy birthday to you,
You belong in a zoo.
You look like a monkey,
And you act like one too.

Cute but hardly appropriate … monkeys rarely life beyond forty.   Or, I could find a page like 33 Best Birthday Songs Of All Time and choose one of the dozens of birthday songs that were recorded by various artists.   I could reach back to my youth and choose The Crests Sixteen Candles, but that would be about 55 candles short (see?  I is still good at math).  Besides, the song is about heartbreak and I am a happy old goat today.   I could choose Happy Birthday songs by The Beatles or Stevie Wonder, but as much as I love both artists, their birthday songs feel like half-hearted efforts.   I could go modern with 2 Chainz – Birthday Song featuring Kanye West and the lovely lyric, All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.  Not a freaking chance … we’re talking music here.  And it’s crap like that that makes me feel even older.

So, I’ll pick a birthday song with a brain by one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who tells a story in every song.   In her Happy Birthday song, Carly talks about all the things growing old has cost her, including caffeine and dessert.  It’s a great birthday song, but it’s also a reminder of all the things you have to do make it to your seventies.  And appropriately enough, she’s also a septuagenarian.  Be sure to listen to the lyrics (or read them here).

Playing Favorites 4/29/2022

April 29, 2022

roy and kdI try to be scrupulously honest here on Bud’s Blog … except, of course, for those times where my tongue is firmly in cheek or my Inner Curmudgeon has taken control of the keyboard.  So I have to admit that when I decided to post my favorite duet, I knew exactly where I was headed.   That’s probably a bit surprising since I’ve been listening to pop music for over sixty years during which I suspect hundreds … if not thousands … of duets have made it to the charts.  And thousands more have appeared on duets album by artists like Frank Sinatra and Kenny G that featured an assortment of vocal stars singing with the top-billed artist.    There were duet groups like Sonny and Cher or Peaches and Herb, and one-time duet hits like Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie or We’ve Got Tonight by Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes.   One of the most famous duets, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers by Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond was manufactured from solo performances by an enterprising program manager before it was released as a duet by 1978 … and performed live a the Grammy Awards Show in 1980.  Online there are dozens of greatest duets list:  there’s a Top Forty from Billboard Magazine (with Endless Love as number one) and a Top Fifty from the UK’s Telegraph. (with Lee Hazelwood’s and Nancy Sinatra’s Some Velvet Morning as the winner.  Those Brits.  Go figure.). Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Dramatic Duets of All Time selects Kenny Rogers’ and Dolly Parton’s Island in the Stream as number one. (more…)

Playing Favorites 4/22

April 22, 2022

borders1Do you remember Borders? Back in the early 2000s, it was one of the three largest bookstores in America. It featured not only books but music and specialty items. You may recall the store had a coffee shop and cafe as well as comfortable chairs and sofas sprinkled around among the books, inviting you to not just buy but to stay and read. They even had light entertain on weekends. Our local store in Anaheim Hills became a hangout for my wife Muri and I. Borders declared bankruptcy in 2011 and our beloved Borders is now a Sprouts grocery store (not a good place to hang out). My favorite feature of Borders were the listening stations that were set up along the top of the CD racks. Each station had its own set of headphones and featured a new release CD. You could skip through tracks or stand and listen to the whole album. Borders sold me quite a few CDs that way. (more…)

MyTube

April 18, 2022

radio

If you’ve been coming around here for a while, you know I am a music lover (there are 88 posts under the category, music).  I have often said that we live in a marvelous time to be music lovers.  My old-fashioned stereo now lives in my office, ready to play any of the hundreds of CDs and small collection of LPs that I kept when we moved to Utah (I sold most my record collection before moving, keeping mostly the classical recordings).  Amazon Alexa sits on the shelf in the office and at my bedside, ready to play music on request.   Digital media allows me to carry my entire music collection (some ripped from CDs or from vinyl) with me whether on my cell phone or on my portable high-resolution player that delivers near audiophile sound.   Streaming media and the ubiquitous availability of wi-fi gives me access to practically any song by any artist anywhere through resources like Prime Music, Spotify and Sirius XM.  Wherever I am I can listen on high quality portable speakers, my Bose noise cancelling headphones, Bluetooth earbuds or high-resolution wired earbuds.  In my car, I can access Pandora, Sirius XM or play my music from my phone via Bluetooth.   It is pretty remarkable when you consider what I had in my teenage years, like my not-so-portable radio at the top of the page. (more…)

Playing Favorites 2

April 15, 2022

music notesI have loved a lot of music in my 77 years.   The truth is, the number of new pieces I fall in love with has dwindled over the years and my new music loves are often jazz or country.  Current modern popular music seems simplistic and boring, except for hip-hop and rap, which offends my ears.  I remember what my Mom and Dad thought about the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, and how I promised myself that I would always stay up with new music.  Here I am, not so much, mostly stuck in the 60 and 70s.  My tastes are fairly eclectic … classical, jazz, country and rock … but the rock n roll of the 60s and 70s gives me the most joy and provides most of my pop favorites. (more…)

Playing Favorites

March 4, 2022

music notesWhat is your favorite song?  To a real music lover, it is a nearly impossible question to answer.   Instrumental or vocal?  What genre?  Pop? Rock? Jazz? Should I include symphonies and concertos?   I have many favorites, some because they are part of the soundtrack of my life, reminding me of life’s best moments.    My wife Muri and I have considered Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers our song since we met over 50 years ago.  In our senior years we have added Gladys Knight’s You’re the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me.   Some favorites were written before I was born and were likely etched in my musical memory by listening to my Mom play her music collection on the stereo in the living room.  Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade always put me in a romantic mood, especially as performed by Carly Simon.  Linda Ronstatdt’s  amazing verion of Patsy Cline’s Crazy always tugs at my heart strings.  Sometimes I’m drawn by beautiful lyrics and sometimes it’s a perfect melody.  Acoustic Alchemy’s Lazeez is a favorite because of the virtuosity of the guitar playing.  Sometimes, I find a live performance on YouTube that brings a new arrival to my list of favorites.  An amazing live performance by Lady Antebellum recently catapulted I Need You Now onto my must play list. (more…)

Christmas Eve Again

December 24, 2021

wreathLast weekend, we had dinner at our neighbor’s house.    They had Sirius XM on playing traditional Christmas music and it was just what I needed to get me in the mood for Christmas.   Oh, yes, I had put up our tree and the lighted wreath on the front door,  And ordered (on Amazon) gifts for the grandkids.  In my family we all buy stocking stuffers for each other now that we know Santa doesn’t do it and I’m done with that (almost).  But until I start playing my Christmas soundtrack in the car as I’m driving or or on earbuds as I’m working out, I can’t really find the Christmas spirit. (more…)