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Archive for December, 2014

“The Genetic Method”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 31, 2014

“The Genetic Method” is a weird, instrumental tour de force by Garth Hudson in the Band.  This was probably the point in the concert when the rest of the Band went offstage for a quick smoke/drink/hit of whatever drugs they were doing.  This live bit was generally paired with the equally weird “Chest Fever” in concerts.  It’s not as rocking as I feel right now, but it is the perfect song for tonight.  It hits that perfect moment at about 5:57 in the clip.

Happy New Year, everybody!  May this year be better than the last.


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“Misty Mountain Hop”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 30, 2014

Yeah.  I’m still in the mood to rock.  Buckle up kids.  This might go on for a while.

I may be relieving a little stress, too.  The holidays were busy and a little frantic, but that’s to be expected.  But what was unexpected was the car accident Mom and I got into on the 23rd.  We’re fine (she had a little stiff neck, and one of my ample bosoms got bruised by the seatbelt), but her car is a wreck.  The other guy–who just backed out into us, basically–was also fine.  It just added that extra little bit of stress to Christmas that, frankly, we really didn’t need.

Now as y’all might remember, I don’t drive.  But I do own a car.  I bought my dad’s 2012 Kia outright a while back, and a friend of mine was using it because he needed to save some money and wants to sell his gas guzzler.  Luckily, he lives just a few blocks away and was nearly home when the accident happened.  He picked us up and gave back the Kia, which Mom is now nervously driving.  It’s going to take a little while to re-establish equilibrium, but things could’ve been a lot worse.

Other than that, everything’s hunky dory out here.  How’s things for y’all?

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Now That Christmas is Over. . .

Posted by purplemary54 on December 29, 2014

There.  That feels better.

I find something peaceful and healing in the sound of electric guitars, heavy bass, and whipcrack drums.  Rock & Roll settles my soul like almost nothing else.

All music fulfills some need inside me.  Jazz seems to fill in a hole inside me that I didn’t know was empty; it completes me somehow, although I can’t really explain it any more clearly.  Country and Blues are kind of like booze–comfort in a misery loves company kind of way.  Other kinds of music fill other emotional needs: laughter and rage, joy and contemplation.  But Rock & Roll, that’s like coming home.


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“Have a Holly Jolly Christmas”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 25, 2014

I’m pretty sure the title is self-explanatory. 🙂

I hope everyone has a wonderful day today!  And may the joy and peace of the holidays follow you all throughout the year.

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“Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 24, 2014

Yeah, this isn’t exactly a Christmas “song,” but it is partially sung and there’s music, so I’m going with it.

Clement Moore’s poem was actually titled “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” but I think more people use the colloquial title of the first line these days.  Either way, this is one of those fond childhood memories that I can’t bring myself to disdain, even though it’s pretty corny–and this version makes it kind of sappy to boot.  It’s still a lovely little narrative.  And a nice thought for tonight.  And given yesterday’s events, I could use some nice sappy corny thoughts.  (I’ll get into it after the holidays.)

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

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Holiday Cheer Round Up!

Posted by purplemary54 on December 23, 2014

By my count, I’m currently three songs behind on my Twelve Days of Christmas project.  I’m having a little trouble thinking of individual posts, so I decided just to post some of my favorites.  Please remember that most traditional holiday music makes me want to scream, just a little, so these aren’t exactly traditional.  Or similar in any way shape or form.

First up, some old school rap.

I’ve always liked this; it adds a little much-needed spice to the holiday sweetness.

Next, a little humor.  Cheap and tacky humor, but humor nonetheless.

If this doesn’t make you laugh, well . . . well, actually you’re probably a very nice well-adjusted person.  Me, I’m a little twisted and neurotic so I kind of dig it.

Finally, something a little more quiet.

The Monkees’ “Riu Chiu” is a Spanish song about the Nativity that I think is just beautiful.  I like this clip because it includes the original Christmas greeting from the boys and the crew from the show. Just a reminder that even if you have to work or are far from home this holiday season, you can still find joy wherever you are and whoever you’re with.

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Joe Cocker

Posted by purplemary54 on December 22, 2014

I was gonna post two holiday songs today, to make up for missing yesterday.  And then I saw the news.

Maybe because it’s the holidays and I just don’t want anything sad or bad to happen, but the death of Joe Cocker is hitting me really hard.  I wasn’t the biggest fan, but he sure did have a magnificent voice.  And a unique stage presence and style.  Joe Cocker was definitely a horse of a different color.  That’s what made him so great.

As far as I know, there was no physical condition that caused him to thrash around the way he did on stage.  I like to think it was something akin to speaking in tongues in religion.  He was so into what he was doing, so much a part of the songs he was singing, that he couldn’t really control what his body did.  It also might’ve been that he couldn’t dance very well, and those spasmodic movements were all he could manage.  Either way, the thrashing made him a mesmerizing performer.  And his voice was pure grit and gravel, a Blues/Rock marvel that could turn any song into a masterpiece.

One of my fondest musical moments from Cocker was also one of his most recent.  A number of years ago, a local radio station had played the Beatles’ “Come Together” so often that I began to hate it.  Cocker’s version for the movie Across the Universe saved it for me.  I will always be grateful for that.

Cocker was from Sheffield: a working class, blue-collar dude.  So I think I’ll raise a pint for him tonight.  I’m so glad we got to hear him sing.

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“Fairytale of New York”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 20, 2014

So Melancholy Christmas has kind of become Pissed Off Christmas.  Or in the case of this song, Pissing Drunk Christmas.  Which is not really anything new in my family.

I don’t mean to imply that my family is anything like the bitter, dysfunctional couple in this Pogues classic.  There have been relatives on both sides with alcohol problems, but mostly we’re social drinkers.  When I was kid, it seemed like everyone got a happy buzz going, and then indulged in a high-spirited (loud) discussion (argument) about some trivial thing.  Who was the greatest baseball player?  The Searchers or Red River?  Etcetera, etcetera.  Sometimes the discussions would be political, but no one was ever really angry.  At least, I don’t think so.  My memory is hazy about all that business; I was generally too busy playing with my mile-high stack of toys to pay much attention.

Of course, that was Dad’s half of the gene pool.  My mother’s side of the family was always more sedate, but I really don’t know what the grown-ups did there, because I had a passel of cousins to play with.  (My brother and I were the only kids on Dad’s side until we were teenagers.)  I do know that Mom’s family was more (publicly) polite, conservative, and religious, so I suspect things were more or less pleasant.

Holidays are about the same, just smaller.  There’s always good food, some wine and beer, and somebody gets more than a little loud at least once.  It’s all good.  And least we’re not the couple in “Fairytale of New York.”

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“Nuttin’ For Christmas”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 19, 2014

I’d like to dedicate this one to Sony, the Neville Chamberlin of the entertainment industry.

I hope Santa leaves coal in the stockings of everyone involved in the decision to pull The Interview.  You people all deserve to lose your jobs.  An extra lump of coal for all the movie theater chains that decided not to show the movie.  And a side note to Kim Jong Un: If you had just ignored what was surely a terrible movie, it would have disappeared all by itself in about a week.

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“Hard Candy Christmas”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 18, 2014

Back to our regularly scheduled holiday programming . . .

I’ve bumped into The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas on TV a couple of times recently.  It’s not a musical I especially enjoy, but it does have a few good songs sung by the wonderful Dolly Parton.  My favorite has always been “Hard Candy Christmas,” which I don’t think was ever meant as a Christmas song.  But it does dovetail nicely into what’s rapidly becoming the theme of melancholy Christmas songs.  Who knew this is where I’d end up.

I suppose I should’ve seen this pattern coming, though.  I’ve been a little blue around the holidays since Dad died.  Even though he was kind of Scrooge-like about things like decorations, he loved to spend time with people.  He tried to call relatives and friends he couldn’t see to wish them happy holidays.  My father genuinely liked people for the most part.  Like Grammy used to say, he never met a stranger.

But even though this song is sad, there’s a hopefulness to it.  Things might be tough right now, but it’ll change soon.  “I’ll be fine and dandy.  Lord, it’s like a hard candy Christmas.  I’m barely getting through tomorrow, but still I won’t let sorrow bring me way down.”

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