Remember all the Songs You Sang for Me

Last week, I summed up impetus behind the last six years of the blog, and why it dried up about nine months ago. And why I’m back. You can get the basic back story from that post, but to get you up to speed:

My uncle tagged me in a Facebook chain challenging me over 10 days to post 10 albums (just the cover, no explanation) which really made an impact on me and nominate someone else (each day) to do the same. By total coincidence, this came on the six-year anniversary of this music sharing game my friends/coworkers had started.

The hard part is choosing 10 albums that influenced me. I can think of plenty of individual songs or bands in general that influenced me, but 10 whole albums? To help narrow it down, I decided to focus on albums that influenced me as a musician (mostly).

It took me a few days to put together a list of albums and people (although there have been some modifications). Before I get to this week’s album, I thought I’d run through some of the runners up and some other things from my list I’ve already shared on the blog. And (despite my uncle’s challenge) why I thought of them. Continue reading

El Solo Toro

In April of 2014, me and four coworkers started sharing music with one another. Every week, we’d each share an album and review one another’s albums. As some people dropped off in activity, we’d add others. A total of 13 of us kept it up over the course of nearly five and a half years (until August 2019).

Continue reading

There’s Nothing You Can Do That Can’t Be Done

For the first time I can remember, my dad and I went and saw a RomCom together:

I would have gone and seen it anyway, because I love The Beatles. Actually, I like most movies about music. But the premise of this movie especially struck a chord with me (pun intended) because I often worry that the songs I write are plagiarizing someone else’s work. I probably couldn’t do what he does in this movie – but I’d probably try. But it brought up an interesting question – if someone had never heard of The Beatles, what one song would you start with? Continue reading

In the Sky or in My Mind

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

This is the third week of my uncle’s in-person version of this game and they’re doing Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, so I’ll be updating my review of that.

I, however, have been super busy with work, taking time off, and such, so am only sharing with you a single (and perhaps some other songs for context) for the third week in a row.

I have a goal of recording 12 original songs this year, and in the past month or so been working on writing some of those songs, and am trying to be very conscious of some of the influences on my music. These three songs I’ve shared all fall on that list for various reasons.

Don’t be fooled by this campy cover art. The dragon is fairly accurate, but the wizard and the other guy don’t look that clean or smooth in the movie. It’s like a different artist drew them based only on someone else’s description of the characters.

Don McLean’s Flight of Dragons (1982)

This is, perhaps, the oddest pick on the list.

Perhaps because of the Tolkien movie, I’ve been on a bit of a Middle-Earth kick lately. I was introduced to that world in 4th grade, when my teacher would read to us from The Hobbit after lunch recess. Soon after, I discovered the Rankin/Bass (yes, the Christmas claymation people) productions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King, as well as the trippy Ralph Bakshi version of The Fellowship of the Ring (which they simply called The Lord of the Rings). If you haven’t seen them, I recommend finding them.

After that, I read the books and was excited for (and a little disappointed in) Peter Jackson’s adaptations. I recently took the nine hours of his extended edition of The Hobbit movies and edited them down in to a single five hour film (the first part got down to two hours, and the second and third parts each got cut in half).

And then I discovered this … gem from 1966:

What I really wanted was to share the soundtrack to The Return of the King featuring ’60s folk legend Glenn Yarbrough of The Limelighters. The highlight for me, and the reason I put it on my list of inspiration, was because of the song the orcs sing as a disguised Frodo and Sam march with them across Mordor:

It inspired the bridge of an otherwise Heart-, Peter Frampton-, Pearl Jam- and Deep Purple-esque tune. Continue reading

Into the Storm

For a few years, some of my friends and I have been sharing music to listen to while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us then share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

Smith Into the StormRobert W. Smith – Into the Storm (1994)

A couple weeks ago, my mother (who plays flute) recruited me to play tuba in a local orchestra that needed a little help. About a third of the music is Broadway tunes, another third classical music, and the other third is more modern pieces – including this one. Continue reading

Now I Find I’m All Inclined to Keep My Mind

For a few years, some of my friends and I have been sharing music to listen to while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us then share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

KTiThe Oscar Peterson Trio – Night Train (1963)

As I was looking at my list of albums to share, I saw this and could have sworn I had already shared it. The piano player from the band I’ve been playing in for the past three or so years suggested this to me almost a year ago. He’s an MD, but he also plays jazz piano and he says this is one of his favorite albums. Continue reading

It’s Changing Every Day

For a few years, some of my friends and I have been sharing music to listen to while we work. We’re supposed to review/rate what gets shared with us then share those reviews with the group, but that doesn’t always happen.

I feel like the theme for the summer has been singles. In the last three weeks (14 work days because of the 4th of July), I’ve only worked 8 days. And a couple of those were half days. Assuming everyone else’s summer is just as crazy as my own, I’ve just been trying to keep it simple. This week is no different, although I have my next few albums all planned out.

But first! Tim actually shared something (it’s been a while)!

Rush – Fly by Night (1975)

Tim really likes Rush because he feels like everything they make is polished. He also really likes the way Alex Lifeson makes his guitar growl on By-Tor and The Snow Dog. Actually, he said it “is pretty sick.” Continue reading