Monthly Archives: January 2008

Todays playlist for 1/18/08

I don’t know, maybe I am just manic today, but the ‘creative juices’ ( if i may be so bold as to call it that) are really flowin’.  I wanted to start a semi regular addition to my blog, letting you know what I am listening to.  You may not give a shit, and that’s fine to, but may then I suggest you click here.  Anyway, here is a partial list of what I am listening to today.  If you are interested and want any additional info or have any comments, please contact me.

The Sorcerer – Herbie Hancock

Time Out Of Mind – Steely Dan

I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier – John Lennon

Mark Of The Beast – Peter Tosh

Land Of The Navajo – Old and In The Way

A La Claire Fontaine – MC Solaar

Timmy Tucker – moe.


2007 – The Year In Music: Live Edition, Pt.2

In September, I finally was able to see an artist who was on my short list of ‘music I need to see before I die.’  I have long wanted to see Bruce Springsteen, almost felt like it was an obligation, me being the musical obsessive I am, and he being the institution he is.  And he did not disappoint.  For 2 hrs. and 45 min., the Boss gave everything he had, leaving his heart and soul out on that stage for all to behold.  In all my years of seeing live music, I have not seen many performers who have that absolute and complete control of their audience.  We were all in the palm of his hand.  Part concert, part sermon, all entertainment.

In October, we had a Jazz guitar legend double header with Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood at the Fillmore on Friday, And John McLaughlin at the Masonic on Saturday.  MSMW was great.  Scofield merged with MMW’s sound so seamlessly,  that it seemed that was his full-time gig.  They do have experience playing together, and it was evident listening to the incredible improvisational acid-jazz runs they weaved.  They all absolutely dominate their individual instruments.  I had never seen them before in any combination, and it certainly will not be the last time either.  

As great as Scofield is,  In John McLaughlin I feel that I am watching one of the top 3 living musician on his particular instrument.  Yeah, I know that is a hefty statement, but I was truly awestruck watching what he was doing with that guitar.  He is that greatest of all musical blends of technical wizardry and deep spiritual passion.  It is as if he is channeling another level of being through his playing, and not just playing for the sake of playing.  His band was tight as hell (of course), with this 23 year old Parisian bass player who was Jaco incarnate.  How can a 23 year old have that kind of ability?!?!?

In December, it was another jazz legend at Yoshi’s –  Chick Corea and his Electric Band.  Yoshi’s is great for many reasons (sushi and jazz – does it get any better?), but one is the ability to get really close and intimate with the musicians.  We were sitting 15 feet from Chick, watching him joke around the whole show, while at the same time visually experiencing his creative process unfolding.  Possibly the main highlight for me was beholding his rhythm section of Victor Wooten and Dave Weckl.  Wow.  Wooten has that McLaughlin-esque blend of mind-blowing technical ability, and pure, driving passion. Weckl is also a monster, so cool and fluid, like molten ice pouring over that kit.  My attention was jumping back and forth between the two in sheer delight.  What was also cool was that as the late show, we were treated to a longer show than the early show.  I have never experienced this at Yoshi’s before.  Chick looked like he was having as much fun as we were, and clearly was not ready to quit.

The year ended once again at Yoshi’s with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.  It was a night of hot salsa, with scorching grooves.  Blazing horns, driving percussion, and three passionate vocalist drove the band.  (I know that is the third time I used passionate or a derivative of, but I was hearing a lot this year!) These guys made me want to get out of my seat and dance!  The fact that I have next-to no rhythm was not what stopped me, but the packed house.  Now, I have been to Yoshi’s many times, but I will swear I have never seen it this packed.  This was really an introduction of sorts for me to salsa, and I found myself intermittently awash in  bliss throughout the show.  I will definitely see them again. 

If you have any musical experiences to share, either from the past year or whenever, I am all ears!  

The Forlorn Son

He’s the forlorn son
Of a back-alley abortion
Who grew so strong
He nearly fall’d over
His will and his pride
Were gleefully soft
When he spit in my eye
It almost popped off
Now my mind and my vision
Are hardly mistaken
That my thoughts until now
Have been stirred but not shaken.


©2008 Babble of Consciousness 

The Buddha Electric

buddhaneonglow.jpg               buddhainvert.jpg               buddhaglow.jpg


 ©2008 Babble of Consciousness 

2007 – The Year In Music: Live Edition, Pt.1

The past year definitely had it’s good, bad and ugly elements. Falling under ‘good,’ as always, was the plethora of live music I was lucky enough to see.  Music for me has always been, and continues to be the best soul-cleanser, forever the surest cure for what ails me, the best friend who is always there when I need them.

 The first half of the year saw Roy Hargrove at Yoshi’s.  Man, can that guy blow a horn (and many minds in the process).  He looked like he was having such a great time, it was infectious.  It was a great set overall, but he ended his set with what seemed to be an impromptu rap about the aforementioned delight about playing, then ripped into one of the most incendiary trumpet runs I have ever beheld.  The place nearly exploded!

Next came Eric Clapton at the HP Pavilion.  Clapton has always been a god in my ears, but what made this a must see for me was the addition of guitarist Derek Trucks to his band.  I have loved DT since I first saw him with the Allmans in ’03.  I do tend to avoid large arena gigs, opting instead for the intimacy of smaller clubs, but the promise of both of the greats together was too much to pass up.  I was having visions of the Clapton/Duane Allman brilliance from the Derek and The Dominoes days, and the show did not disappoint.  They played more D and the D classics than I could have wish for, and EC gave DT adequate room to dazzle like only he can.  At the same time, EC used the the inspiration to show his own brilliance.

Next up came the band moe. at the Great American Music Hall.  Wow!  As much as I loved the Clapton show, I payed over $200 for my wife and I to essentially watch the performers on a giant TV screen.  They played for the obligatory 1 hour, 30 – 45 minutes, then done.  Moe. on the other hand, charged $24 dollars per ticket for a show in a beautiful, ornate small venue, and played about 4 hours of the most high energy, balls-out rock and roll these ears have heard in a long time.  As far as ‘jam bands’ go, moe. takes a more-rock-less-space approach, stretching their songs out in long, cohesive, tight musical onslaughts. ‘Fun’ is the best word to describe that night. 

The first half of the year ended on a high note as I saw Derek Trucks again, this time in a band with his wife, the great Susan Tedeschi called Rock and Soul Stew Review. The combo of these two together was just what this soul needed. Susan has such a wonderfully gritty, sexy sultry blues voice that works oh-so-well with the emotive tones that ooze from DT’s guitar. A show filled with rockin’ versions of rock, blues and soul covers, not to be redundant, but just plain fun.

Farewell and Thank You, 2007. Now F*#K OFF!

As another year draws to a close, I am filled with conflicting and contradictory feelings about the past year.  Honestly, it was really a shitty one, following one that was in several ways just as bad.  It started at the beginning of ’06 when my wife was 5 months pregnant after a year and a half of trying, the future bright with hope and promise.  Unfortunately, we lost the baby in Feb. of ’06 due to complications no specialist could explain.  Several surgeries and fertility treatments later, we are still in the frustrating, all encompassing throws of trying in vain to start our family, with time, finances and sanity running out.  2007 also saw both of our beloved pets die, They truly were the outlet for a great deal of our nurturing energy.  One died of old age, the other completely unexpectedly.  It saw a suicide attempt and subsequent ongoing psychiatric hospitalization that is severely weakening an already fragmented family.  It saw some serious business and financial draughts.  It was filled with one physical ailment and sickness after another.  It has led to profound isolation and withdrawal, much turning within and hard introspection.  I know, I know, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, wah, wah, but hey, this is my blog.   I am inclined to write ‘2007’ on a piece of paper and go piss on it.  But every time I think about doing this, I have a reoccurring feeling of gratitude rise up within me.  I am very aware that things could be a whole hell of a lot worse, that by comparison to most of this world, I am still very lucky for both what I have, and what I am not besieged by.  This year has also has given me several opportunities for growth that I would not have had otherwise.  When I step outside of my extremely self-absorbed reality, and relax my self-pity for a moment, I begin to realize that everything I am going through has no real reason for happening, it just is.  It is not like I am being targeted by some great being, a huge finger pointing down (or up) at me, saying ‘lets fuck with this guy for a while.’  And because of that, I might as well take advantage of these experiences and try to extrapolate what lessons I can from them, lessons I would not otherwise have access to.  Will I try to be more compassionate and accepting where I might not have before? Sure.  Will I try to be more kind and generous than I have in the past?  You bet.  Will I try to be more aware in general?  Absolutely.  What I will definitely do is exercise my ability to let go, for the one definite we all face in this lifetime (or any other for that matter) is change.  Guaranteed.  Sometimes it will be ‘good’ change, sometimes it will be ‘bad’ change, but there will always be change none the less.  So, although I say ‘fuck off’ to ’07, and surely hope for more positivity in ’08, I realize I do owe some gratitude to ’07 as well, and realize as much as I can hope for positive, my deeper intent is to become more proficient at just rollin’ with it.  

May all who read this, as well as all who don’t, have much happiness, peace and love in their lives, and may you all have the ability to find the strength, courage and wisdom to weather the storm of life when life is less than kind.