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
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9 Responses to “Seth’s Favorite Music”

  1. Robert Says:

    Music…we all have our tastes, and mine just depend on the mood. I was a vocalist in another lifetime, competitive choirs and tickled the ivory a little…My hands are too small to have been a serious player. high school band (weren’t we all in one in the 1980s? lol) was just a bunch of guys who liked to hang out and jam.

    But to the point of my rambling…In my hometown there is a place called “1048″, and you can probably guess it is a jazz place. They feature local talent and a pretty good assortment of Nawlin’s cuisine (New Orleans for those who don’t get it…lol). The local talent ranged from zydeco to brass jazz from the local Air Force Base jazz quartet. I used to hang out there with a college friend on many weekends when we should have been studying.

    Isn’t it funny how music is entwined with our souls? I fell in love with this friend over many bottles of wine and jumbalaya in this place. Too bad nothing ever came of it, and too bad we have gone our separate ways. I saw her not too long ago and every time we cross paths our conversations always revert to “1048″ and the old days.

    Sorry to take you down the back alley of my life…your post reminded me of many things….

  2. Shoprat Says:

    Hocus Pocus by Focus.

    Ah yes. My mother threatened to destroy my 45 if I didn’t stop listening to it so loud.

    I have found that most genres have individual acts worth listening to.

  3. wordsmith Says:

    Seth…I have no idea who you’re talking about.

    I have never heard of Renaissance or Focus.

  4. Seth Says:

    Robert –

    Music does that for me, too, brings back memories of other times, makes me reminisce.

    I lived in Nawlins for a number of years, and besides the food (and the people — they have a way about ‘em down yonder that makes ‘em fun to be around), I love the local music.

    Shoprat –

    Focus is one of them. They had quite a few albums out, and while Hocus Pocus was pretty “boisterous” [I imagine playing the 45 at high volume back then would have been the equivalent of "you bought a guitar to punish your ma" -- from Pink Floyd's Welcome To The Machine :-)], most of their material was pretty mellow (wow, there’s a term I haven’t heard for awhile!). Moving Waves and Hamburger Concerto were two of my favorite Focus LPs. Five of their albums, including those two and their live album, have a home in my computer’s music library.

    Wordsmith –

    Both groups were popular back in the 1970s and early 1980s, mostly to those of us who listened to Art Rock (or Technarock) bands like Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, early Genesis, Jethro Tull, etc, etc…

    I actually posted the links to share them with folks who haven’t heard them, or simply haven’t heard them for a long time.

    A really fine example of Focus “in action” can be found in the first link, to Focus 1.

    Renaissance actually started out with members of the Yardbirds, that didn’t work out and the entire band changed, all new members. Their sound was a sort of folk rock mixture with classical overtones.

  5. Shoprat Says:

    Hocus Pocus YOU-TUBE video

  6. Seth Says:

    Shoprat –

    Thanks! This is the same performance I have on their album, Focus: Live At The Rainbow. Excellent! I’ve always thought that line-up was their best, with Ruiter and Van der Linden.

  7. Angel Says:

    cool..u have unique least u dont
    listen to Madonna..LOL

  8. Seth Says:

    Angel –

    I enjoy most types of music, classical the most, and I find that if you dig deep enough down you can find something really good (except in the Hip-Hop/Rap/Gangsta’ Department, I can find no good reason to want to wade through an orchestra of profane jackhammers) in any “superstar”’s repertoire, even if it’s only 1, 2, or a handful of songs. Sometimes they’re buried on a B side someplace, but somewhere along the line, a group or performer will inevitably go outside image or genre lines to showcase what they really like to do, and sometimes it’s an awakening to what they’re actually capable of.

    That said, I’ve never had that problem with 1970s Techna-Rock bands. :-)

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