March 28, 2013

“old” electronic Jazz

I was rummaging around in Seth’s music library file (always a lot of fun, and always eclectic and somewhat informative, learning about all the good music that was out there that I was unaware of or had forgotten) and found some jazz, circa the mid 1970s, that he likes. Giving it a listen, I thought I’d post a sample. This is merely audio with a pic of the album cover, from a German band called Passport.


by @ 1:16 pm. Filed under Music

March 2, 2013

Rockin’ with the Bangles!

by @ 12:15 pm. Filed under Music, Video

February 5, 2013


Speaking of Renaissance, this one only displays their album cover, but it is their entire Scheherazade L.P., which includes three songs on the first side;

Trip To The Fair, Vultures Fly High and Ocean Gypsy

On the second side is The Song Of Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsikof stand aside! :-)

A great listen,


by @ 10:55 am. Filed under Music

February 2, 2013

More Renaissance

After watching (and of course listening to this one), I can understand why Renaissance, though disbanded years ago, has long been at the top of Seth’s list of favorite groups.

I found this one on You Tube, and between the composition, musicianship and the great Annie Haslam’s vocals (and use of her voice, also, as an instrument with the keyboards, drums and strings during instrumentals), I can understand why Seth went to so many of their concerts, they are divine. This one is quality enough to take to full screen, also.

by @ 10:35 am. Filed under Music, Music & Video, Video

January 9, 2013

More Music

This is another from Seth’s video archives, a bit of his favorite opera in which he and I both seem to have different icons. His is Maria Ewing (I wonder why) while my favorite here is Gino Quilico, who appears below as Escamillo.

Maria Ewing is the woman in red (Carmen).

Also more than noteable here is soprano Judith Howarth, who plays Frasquita, one of the two bar girls, and whom you see singing that high note near the end of the song.

The only drawback is that it’s in French (the cloud to an otherwise purely silver lining), but the singing and indeed the harmonies are incredible.

by @ 11:05 am. Filed under Music, Video

January 4, 2013

This is quite beautiful…

From Seth’s music archives.

Does anybody remember a great British group called YES?

by @ 10:44 am. Filed under Music

August 16, 2009


America is this blog’s first love.

Over two centuries ago, we took this great piece of real estate away from the Brits, who have since then become not only the cousins they were, but the friends they are.

What better tribute than a live video of a 1970s song from a British rock band, a version its original composer, American Paul Simon, complimented guitarist Steve Howe on this version of?



by @ 2:59 pm. Filed under America, Music, Music & Video

August 25, 2007

Seth’s Favorite Music

Okay, I know that we all have our personal tastes in music, and some of my fellow bloggers, like me, like to link to or YouTube samples in our blogs.

I occasionally refer to my own preferences (I am a major Classical Music listener, but I’m also into music in everything from Zydeco to Folk to Jazz to Blues to Country to Techna-Rock), but this afternoon I have decided to share some specific examples of my “tastes”.

I figure it’s the weekend, and those who enjoy music performed by serious musicians might find the time to watch some YouTube concert/studio video of my two all-time favorite rock bands (caution, they’re not what you might expect under the label of “Rock”).

Keep in mind, quality-wise, that these videos are more than two (count ‘em 2) decades old.

My Number One all-time group is Renaissance.

Something a little better known by Renaissance is here.

Frontwoman Annie Haslam can sing in a handful of octaves without much thought.

And then, there is Focus.

Jan Akkerman is easily among the best five guitarists in the history of Rock. The guy on the keyboards, Thijs Van Leer, also yodels, plays the flute and whistles with instrument precision.

Focus’ best known compositions are Sylvia (you’ll notice that the people who made the video have the band interposed between early and later) and Hocus Pocus.

And there we have…The two Rock groups I like to listen to the most.

by @ 3:35 pm. Filed under Music

August 19, 2007

Music, Work, A Bite To Eat, A Visitor And Some Album Cover Art

I honestly don’t know why I can’t get into what is considered Rock these days. Maybe it’s the lack of art in the music, or the lyrics that seem to reflect the narcissism of today’s youth, or the obnoxiousness…or something.

This evening I decided to stay home, catching up on work that was delayed thanks to the computer virus problem I had earlier in the week, and listen to some stuff from my teens, of which I have quite a lot, and work my way into my twenties, via a long playlist from the library in my computer.

I started with the Jefferson Airplane, staying away from the more familiar singles like White Rabbit and Somebody To Love, sticking to material like She Has Funny Cars, My Best Friend and DCBA 25 from Surrealistic Pillow, Last Wall Of The Castle and Rejoyce from After Bathing At Baxter’s, the 2400 Fulton Street version of Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon and Wooden Ships, and a few of their ballads.

It was pretty refreshing, I must say. There was something really clean in their sound that you just don’t hear much anymore, a certain instrumental and vocal clarity, despite the exponentially advanced audio technology available today.

And the music and lyrics were completely original, not derivatives of past recordings by other people or imitations of other musicians’ styles.

Perhaps that’s the problem with today’s Rock – maybe everything’s been said, and there’s nothing left to do but reiterate…

G-d, I hope not.

Dinner break included a bunch of ravioli (stuffed with both beef and ground Italian sausage) a food friend made this afternoon and, thoughtfully, brought some over to impress me. She did, it was awesome. I ate it with some Napa Valley Bistro roasted garlic sauce “with fresh herbs & Napa Valley pinot noir”. For a change of pace, well: last week, said food friend and I were reminiscing on the cheaper wines we’d drank while teenagers, and out of pure nostalgia I ordered a couple of bottles of Yago sant’gria (remember that stuff?) on line and put them in the refrigerator when they arrived. I had a couple of glasses with dinner and it went well not only with the meal, but with the music as well.

Eric Clapton, CSNY, the Who, Marmalade, The Guess Who, The Doors, then…

Having listened to such guitar greats as Jorma Kaukonen and Eric Clapton, it seemed appropriate to listen to some Steve Howe (Yes and Asia) and some Jan Ackerman (Focus), while getting back to work.

Or so I thought, however: as the evening was getting rather long in the tooth, a neighbor stopped by on a break from his Saturday night bar hopping to repay a C-note I’d loaned him a few days ago, and I poured him a generous glass of my favorite tequila, Sauza Tres Generaciones.

I also fired up the cawfee pot, as this meant it was Kona and brandy time for me.

Both of us being about the same age and fans of Yes and Focus, the music was fortuitous – we ended up talking about the art of Roger Dean, who did a number of Yes album covers, such as Fragile, Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer among numerous other projects. Coincidentally, I am in the process of obtaining a copy of an old book of Roger Dean art, called Views.

The Relayer cover was a masterpiece.

Prior to Dean’s Yes covers, I’d considered the art on the cover of Santana’s Abraxas to be numero uno, ichiban, numbah one.

The Roger Dean album covers are legendary – when I lived in San Francisco, there was an art gallery on Geary Street that featured Yes cover Roger Dean art as about 90% of its inventory and seemed to be doing quite well.

After three tequilas, my neighbor departed for another round of the bars and now it’s about a half hour later. The live version of Yes’ Awaken is about halfway through (it is 18 ½ minutes long, it is the only other track on the album side it shares with Wonderous Stories on Going For The One). Showcasing the keyboard brilliance of Rick Wakeman, it’s easily one of my favorite Yes pieces. On the studio version, recorded in Switzerland, Wakeman did most of his part in a church, miles away from the recording studio, because he liked the sound he got from the powerful organ therein, and to say the result was spectacular would be an understatement.

Yes has been around for nearly 30 years, and though Progressive (Art) Rock hasn’t been popular since the mid 1980s, they still sell out coliseums, stadiums and concert halls whenever they tour.

The key, I believe, to a band being a super-group on their level is there being no one or two lead musicians in the band, rather all members are equally the lead musicians, all are true masters of their respective instruments and there is utterly perfect team integrity, every member of the band flawlessly complements every other member.

If the Republicans in Congress worked that way, the Constitution would still count for something and the socialist Democrats across the aisle, along with the liberal media, would be as irrelevant as Chihuahuas yapping from behind a chain link fence.

by @ 1:06 am. Filed under Just Talking, Music

November 21, 2006

Ocean Gypsy

Imagine listening to this, sung by a woman with an awesomely beautiful voice (Annie Haslam, with Renaissance, circa the mid 1970s) that can easily do five (count ‘em, 5!) octaves, vs the raucous and or frantic BS that passes for Rock or Pop that you hear on the radio today:

Tried to take it all away
Learn her freedom just inside a day
And find her soul
To find their fears allayed
Tried to make her love their own
They took her love they left her there
They gave her nothing back
That she would want to own
Gold and silver rings and stones
Dances slowly of the moon
No-one else can know
She stands alone
Sleeping dreams will reach for her
She cannot say the words they need
She knows she’s alone
And she is free

Ocean gypsy of the moon
The sun has made a thousand nights
For you to hold
Ocean gypsy where are you
The shadows followed by the stars
Have turned to gold, turned to gold

Then she met a hollow soul
Filled him with her light
And was consoled she was the moon
And he, the sun was gold
Eyes were blinded with his light
The sun she gave
Reflected back the night
The moon was waning almost out of sight
Softly ocean gypsy calls
Silence holds the stars awhile
They smile sadly
For her where she falls
Just the time before the dawn
The sea is hushed
The ocean calls her
Day has taken her and now she’s gone


No-one noticed when she died
Ocean gypsy shackled to the tide
The ebbing waves were turning
Spreading wide
Something gone within her eyes
Her fingers lifeless stroke the sand
Her battered soul was lost
She was abandoned
Silken threads like wings still shine
Winds take pleasure still make patterns
In her lovely hair
So dark and fine
Stands on high beneath the seas
Cries no more
Her tears have dried
Oceans weep for her the ocean sighs


I am so glad that I was blessed to hear, both via LP and live, at their concerts, the music of Renaissance….

by @ 6:57 am. Filed under Music