Musical Monday…

It must be Monday! I was asked a question the other day, which seems to be, on its surface, quite rhetorical. I hate answering rhetorical questions, so if the person who did so would kindly ask it in¬†the ‘Open Thread’ part of my blog, I might be able to get around to it. Otherwise, I’ll just track down their email and address the non-issue there, since I’m not one who gets in long debates in the comment sections of any blog, whether I follow it or not. You know who you are, LOL – I’m not one who feels the need to “call someone out” unless I’m being complimentary!


On that note, enjoy these three songs. I can’t say that I feel particularly snarky, but I’m definitely not in a mood to be interrogated about a casual observation!



Protected: Marley Monday.

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2014-2015…Happy New Year!!!

Howdy all…been very, very, busy of late – and the news has been so gawd-awfully depressing, I just can’t watch it for awhile…I get too sickened and angry, and just can’t think properly….and that’s no time to speak, for me.
I have plenty to say, never fear….just not today. The new year will see more of me, whether I (or anyone else) likes it or not!
For now, enjoy the selected songs below¬†– and of course, belated blessings for Mabon, the Winter Solstice, and every pagan holiday in between…spank me, I’ve been SO bad!
Santana: “Winning
Van Morrison: “Wild Night
Patti Smith: “People Have the Power
King’s X: “Over My Head

Protected: The Fragility of Life

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R.I.P., Alan Myers

Alan Myers: 23 June 2013

Oh no – say it ain’t so! Alan Myers, drummer for the band DEVO on their big hit “Whip It,” passed away on Monday, 23 June after a long battle with cancer of the brain. The BBC reports:

“Alan Myers, the long-time drummer for the US new wave band Devo, has died, aged 58, after suffering from cancer.

Myers died on Monday in Los Angeles, the band said.

He was Devo’s drummer from 1976 to 1985, when they produced the influential album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, and released the hit Whip It.

One of the band’s two founders, Gerald Casale, called Alan Myers “the human metronome”.

“People watching him thought we were using a drum machine,” he told the Associated Press. “Nobody had ever drummed like that.”

Myers played on classic Devo tracks such as Mongoloid, Jocko Homo and the band’s minimalist version of The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction…

Myers, the band’s third drummer, played on Devo’s first seven albums, but was increasingly unfulfilled, according to the 2003 book We Are Devo!

“He could not tolerate being replaced by the Fairlight and autocratic machine music. I agreed,” tweeted Casale.

Myers parted company with Devo after their album, Shout, to pursue jazz and music “off the beaten path”, Mothersbaugh said, adding: “We always regretted it when he left.”

I absolutely loved their music and had two of their albums. Along with the Cars, Blondie,¬†and Adam & the Ants, DEVO was my introduction to the genre known as New Wave, and I quickly became hooked on the style! For me, it was a way to express my quirky side musically – I wasn’t allowed to express it in dress, and ‘Mommy Dearest’ frowned upon any ‘unladylike’ behavior; one of many reasons I joined band and choir in high school, and along with that came being in school plays. But, I digress…this post is about DEVO and Alan Myers! From Wikipedia:

“The name “Devo” comes “from their concept of ‘de-evolution‘ – the idea that instead of continuing to evolve, mankind has actually begun to regress, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.”[5] This idea was developed as a joke by Kent State University art students Gerald Casale and Bob Lewis as early as the late 1960s. Casale and Lewis created a number of satirical art pieces in a devolution vein. At this time, Casale had also performed with the local band 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band). They met Mark Mothersbaugh around 1970, who introduced them to the pamphlet “Jocko Homo Heavenbound”,[6] which includes an illustration of a winged devil labeled “D-EVOLUTION” and would later inspire the song “Jocko Homo“. However, the “joke” became serious, following the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970. This event would be cited multiple times as the impetus for forming the band Devo.

The first form of Devo was the “Sextet Devo” which performed at the 1973 Kent State performing arts festival.[7] It included Casale, Lewis and Mothersbaugh, as well as Gerald’s brother Bob Casale on guitar, and friends Rod Reisman and Fred Weber on drums and vocals, respectively. This performance was filmed and a part was included on the home video The Complete Truth About De-Evolution. This lineup only performed once. Devo returned to perform in the Student Governance Center (featured prominently in the film) at the 1974 Creative Arts Festival with a line-up including the Casale brothers, Bob Lewis, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Jim Mothersbaugh on drums.

Devo later formed as a quartet. They recruited Mark’s brothers Bob Mothersbaugh and Jim Mothersbaugh. Bob played electric guitar, and Jim provided percussion using a set of homemade electronic drums. Their first two music videos, “Secret Agent Man” and “Jocko Homo” featured on The Truth About De-Evolution, were filmed in Akron, the hometown of most members. This lineup of Devo lasted until 1976 when Jim left the band. The lineup was occasionally fluid, and Bob Lewis would sometimes play guitar during this period. In concert, Devo would often perform in the guise of theatrical characters, such as Booji Boy, and The Chinaman. Live concerts from this period were often confrontational, and would remain so until 1977. A recording of an early Devo performance from 1975 with the quartet lineup appears on DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years, ending with the promoters unplugging Devo’s equipment.

Following Jim Mothersbaugh’s departure, Bob Mothersbaugh found a new drummer in Alan Myers, who played with mechanical precision on a conventional, acoustic drum set. Casale re-recruited his brother Bob Casale, and the popular line-up of Devo was formed. It would endure for nearly ten years.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Myers – the “Human Metronome” has ceased keeping the beat, but will endure in the hearts and minds of all true music lovers. Enjoy some of my favourite DEVO songs…

Speed Racer

Whip It

Freedom of Choice


Beautiful World

R.I.P., Bobby “Blue” Bland

Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland: 27 January 1930 – 23 June 2013

I mourn the loss of another talented, legendary singer. Bobby “Blue” Bland passed away at the age of 83, at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, surrounded by family members. Along with B.B. King and Junior Parker, he was an original member of the Beale Streeters and was later known as “the Lion of the Blues” and “the Sinatra of the Blues.” Bobby mixed blues, soul,¬†and gospel together seamlessly with his powerful, emotional vocals. From Wikipedia:

“Bland was born in the small town of Rosemark, Tennessee. Later moving to Memphis with his mother, Bland started singing with local gospel groups there, including amongst others The Miniatures. Eager to expand his interests, he began frequenting the city’s famous Beale Street where he became associated with an ad hoc circle of aspiring musicians named, not unnaturally, the Beale Streeters.[1]

Bland’s recordings from the early 1950s show him striving for individuality, but any progress was halted by a spell in the U.S. Army. When the singer returned to Memphis in 1954 he found several of his former associates, including Johnny Ace, enjoying considerable success, while Bland’s recording label, Duke, had been sold to Houston entrepreneur Don Robey. In 1956 Bland began touring with Junior Parker. Initially he doubled as valet and driver, a role he reportedly fulfilled for B. B. King and Rosco Gordon.[4] Simultaneously, Bland began asserting his characteristic vocal style. Melodic big-band blues singles, including “Farther Up the Road” (1957) and “Little Boy Blue” (1958) reached the US R&B Top 10, but Bobby’s craft was most clearly heard on a series of early 1960s releases including “Cry Cry Cry”, “I Pity The Fool” and the sparkling “Turn On Your Love Light“, which became a much-covered standard. Despite credits to the contrary, many such classic works were written by Joe Scott, the artist’s bandleader and arranger.[1]

Bland continued to enjoy a consistent run of R&B chart entries throughout the mid-’60s. Never truly breaking into the mainstream market, Bland’s highest charting song on the pop chart, “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” peaked at #20 in the same week that the Beatles held down the top five spots. Bland’s records mostly sold on the R&B market and he had 23 Top Ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts and in the 1996 Top R&B book by Joel Whitburn, Bland was rated the #13 all-time best selling artist.

Financial pressures forced the singer to cut his touring band and in 1968 the group broke up. He suffered from depression and became increasingly dependent on alcohol.[1] He stopped drinking in 1971; his record company Duke was sold by owner Don Robey to the larger ABC Records group. This resulted in several successful and critically acclaimed contemporary blues/soul albums including His California Album and Dreamer, arranged by Michael Omartian and produced by ABC staff man Steve Barri. The albums, including the later “follow-up” in 1977 Reflections in Blue, were all recorded in Los Angeles and featured many of the city’s top sessionmen at the time.”

He was second only in stature to fellow bluesman B.B. King, for whom he worked as a chauffeur and valet at one point. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. From the Huffington Post:

“He scored his first No. 1 on the R&B charts with “Further On Up the Road” in 1957. Then, beginning with “I’ll Take Care of You” in early 1960, Bland released a dozen R&B hits in a row. That string included “Turn On Your Love Light” in 1961.

His “I Pity the Fool” in 1961 was recorded by many rock bands, including David Bowie and Eric Clapton, who has made “Further On Up the Road” part of his repertoire.

“He’s always been the type of guy that if he could help you in any way, form or fashion, he would,” Rodd Bland said.”

I listen to a blues station every Sunday and Bobby’s songs have always been featured prominently. I’ve chosen the three that I enjoy the most to end this tribute, and I encourage everyone to expand your musical horizons! Take a listen sometime to some good old Delta blues and Chicago blues – look for the names listed earlier in this post, as well as singers like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Smiley Lewis, Pinetop Perkins, and John Lee Hooker, just to name a few.

Rest in peace, good brotha – you were one of the best, and your legend will live on in your voice. You join the pantheon!

I Pity the Fool

Woke Up Screaming

I’m A Blues Man

Has It Been Two Years Already?

It really has! Two years ago on 9 May 2011, I started writing this blog. It’s not the first blog I’ve had; I used to have one on Blogger which I discontinued, and I had one on MySpace but that’s gone by the wayside as well. I’ve been consistent with this one; my reasons for writing in it are vastly different from when I was on MySpace and when I had the Blogger journal.

I was mainly inspired to start writing because I’m slowly working towards getting my first book published; my autobiography. It’s taking a little longer than I expected because events from¬†last year need to be added, and I found my school records which I thought had been lost – finding them added a few more chapters! They were fascinating, to say the least…the other reason was due to reading other people’s blogs. I wanted to comment and join in the discussions I saw, but would pretty much get pushed to the wayside because I’m not a pushy, argumentative¬†attention whore and I’m not a troll (or feeder of same); those types¬†seem to dominate the comment sections EVERYWHERE. I have plenty to say about a lot of things, so I write about them when I get the urge to do so. Here, I can let my thoughts¬†flow and fend of any arseholes who take things out of context and try to give me a needless hassle about it – spam filters work wonders! I don’t like cliques or cults. I do like music, comedy, riding motorcycles and playing video or computer games. You can look at my “tag cloud” and see what’s been on my mind for the past couple of years! I have a fairly eccentric sense of humour so you might be surprised at what can tickle my funny bone. As far as music goes, I follow this rule: “There are two kinds of music – good and bad. There are no genres!”

At any rate, life has been interesting since starting this blog…well, it’s ALWAYS interesting – that’s why I write! I was employed at this time two years ago; I was shown the door in January of last year, which was a blessing in disguise – I got the chance to travel cross-country with my fianc√©e, and we saw some fantastic, majestic scenery along the way. I also was able to attend my son’s graduation from ITT Tech, and support him when his dad unexpectedly passed away. We attended two graduations, two funerals, and a wedding last year¬†– that’s definitely something to write about, so I am!

I’ve relocated and live in a nice, quiet area on the coast of Washington State – on clear, quiet nights we can hear the roar of the surf. There was a deer in the yard yesterday, but it left before I could get a picture of it! I love listening to the birdsongs in the morning; so different from everything being drowned out by the roar and stink of traffic. It’s peaceful and soothing – my blood pressure is lower than when I lived in the city, and I know it isn’t a coincidence! I’m much more relaxed now that I don’t have to deal with psychotic co-workers and the stress of the rude fucks and crowds. It makes a HUGE difference…

Well, I’ll keep this short and sweet – if you’ve been reading this from the beginning, thanks for sticking around! If you’re a new reader, welcome – I hope you become a regular and enjoy my random ramblings and myriad musings! Take a look around, read some of my older posts, check out my ‘About’ page, then sit back and watch the show. Upcoming topics will include:

  • More on the antics of Conan O’Brien, Deon Cole, and Andy Richter, along with many of the other funny-ass shit on his show! It seems that Deon is going to have his own show soon, too…since I don’t really give a fuck about pop culture, twerking, or strip clubs, I probably won’t watch it. Nothing against him, though!
  • Skyrim’s latest addition, the Dragonborn patch. I’m going to get it soon – it should be fun, and I’ll certainly post more pics on my PhotoBucket page when I get them sorted!
  • The Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as any Super Bowl or World Series that sparks my interest!

I’m also certain to have¬†plenty to say on recent world events, and am never shy about expressing my opinion.¬†Comment or ‘like’ my posts¬†if you choose…or just do what I do on other sites and ‘lurk!’

Here are ten excellent songs I’ve randomly chosen to mark this occasion…enjoy!¬†¬†¬†¬† ūüėé

Scandal: “The Warrior

Pat Benatar: “Invincible

Nirvana: “Lithium

Heart: “Never

Jimi Hendrix: “Castles Made of Sand

Collective Soul: “December

Filter: “Take a Picture

Baltimora: “Tarzan Boy

Patti Smith: “People Have the Power

Aqua Timez: “Velonica

L√° Fh√©ile P√°draig 2013!!!

This past week and the upcoming one promise to be hellaciously busy, so I’m sending out my St. Patrick’s Day greetings in advance – L√° Fh√©ile P√°draig! Yes, I have Irish kin out in the world somewhere; I can’t say I care if they accept me or not, any more than I care if my Black kin or Blackfoot Native¬†kin accept me – I yams what I yams!¬†¬†¬†¬† ūüėé

On a side note, I’m on hiatus for a spell…not for too long, but it may be the first week in April before I’m able to post again! I’ll be a busy little bee but it’s all for good reason – so, for those of you who actually like what I do here, fear not…I shall return! I just might even have some awesome new things to talk about, and won’t that be grand? Also, I’m on¬†my week-long birthday celebration which always starts on St. Paddy’s Day and ends within a day or so of when I first emerged into this world…so yeah, I just might have a bit of a hangover here or there!

Take it easy all, and have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day – don’t drink too much green beer, and send any naughty leprechauns in my direction…I know how to school them with my shillelagh!¬†¬†¬†¬† ūüėÄ

Enjoy these various songs…

Irish Bagpipe Marches

Seven Drunken Nights

U2: “In God’s Country

Enya: “Orinoco Flow / Sail Away

The Cranberries: “Free To Decide

“Free To Decide”

It’s not worth anything more than¬†what’s going on
I live as I choose
Or I will not live very long
So return to where you come from
Return to where you dwell
Because harassment’s not my forte
but you do it very well
I’m free to decide, I’m free to decide
And I’m not so suicidal after all
I’m free to decide, I’m free to decide
And I’m not so suicidal after all, At all, at all, at all
You must have nothing more with your time to do
There’s a war in Russia
and in Sarajevo too
So to hell with what you’re thinking
and to hell with your narrow mind
You’re so distracted from the real thing
You should leave your life behind, behind
‘Cause I’m free to decide, I’m free to decide
And I’m not so suicidal after all
I’m free to decide, I’m free to decide
And I’m not so suicidal after all, At all, at all, at all
I’m free to decide, I’m free to decide
And I’m not so suicidal after all, At all, at all, at all

In Memoriam: Miriam Makeba

Miriam “Mama Africa” Makeba: 4 March 1932 ‚Äď 9 November 2008

Today marks the birth anniversary of a legendary woman, Miriam Makeba. She was a South African singer who won Grammy awards for her music, and a respected and well-known political and civil rights activist who had her citizenship revoked, but became a citizen of the world. She would have been 81 years of age. From Wikipedia:

In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music in the U.S. and around the world. She is best known for the song “Pata Pata“, first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela.

Makeba campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. The South African government responded by revoking her passport in 1960 and her citizenship and right of return in 1963. As the apartheid system crumbled she returned home for the first time in 1990.

Makeba died of a heart attack on 9 November 2008 after performing in a concert in Italy organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organization local to the region of Campania.

Zenzile Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg on 4 March 1932. Her mother was a Swazi sangoma (traditional healer-herbalist). Her father, who died when she was six years old, was a Xhosa. When she was eighteen days old, her mother was arrested for selling umqombothi, an African homemade beer brewed from malt and cornmeal. Her mother was sentenced to a six-month prison term, so Miriam spent her first six months of life in jail.[2][3] As a child, she sang in the choir of the Kilmerton Training Institute in Pretoria, a primary school that she attended for eight years.[4][5]

In 1950 at the age of eighteen, Makeba gave birth to her only child, Bongi Makeba, whose father was Makeba’s first husband James Kubay.[6] Makeba was then diagnosed with breast cancer, and her husband left her shortly afterwards.[7]

Her professional career began in the 1950s when she was featured in the South African jazz group the Manhattan Brothers, and appeared for the first time on a poster. She left the Manhattan Brothers to record with her all-woman group, The Skylarks,[8] singing a blend of jazz and traditional melodies of South Africa.[2] As early as 1956, she released the single “Pata Pata“,[5] which was played on all the radio stations and made her name known throughout South Africa.”

I absolutely love her music! That’s one thing I can thank my captors for; they did not deny me much reading material, and all music was welcome, although some genres were less welcome and tolerated than others. I’ve been exposed to all sorts of music from childhood; I can’t think of too many others in the USA who know the “Kookaburra” song! Below are some of my favourite songs by ‘Mama Africa’ – such a beautiful, talented, legendary lady who I’m happy to list as a “Notable Black Woman!”

Miriam Makeba: “Pata Pata

Miriam Makeba: “Khawuleza

The Skylarks: “Ekoneni

Miriam Makeba: “Kikirikiki

R.I.P., Bobby Rogers

Bobby Rogers: 19 February 1940 – 3 March 2013

Another phenomenal singer has passed away. Bobby Rogers, co-founder of The Miracles, died on Sunday, 3 March, at the age of 73. The BBC reports:

“Bobby Rogers, a founding member of the Motown group The Miracles along with Smokey Robinson, has died in the US aged 73.

The singer, who had been ill for several years, died at his home in Detroit on Sunday.

“Another soldier in my life has fallen. [He] was my brother and a really good friend”, Robinson said in a statement.

Rogers formed The Miracles in 1956 with cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Robinson.

Their hits included The Tracks of My Tears, Shop Around, You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me and I Second That Emotion.

“People always commented on the tall one with the glasses,” said Claudette Rogers.

“He was personable, approachable and he loved talking to the women, loved talking to the guys, loved to dance, loved to sing, loved to perform. That was the joy of his life.”

Marvin Gaye

Rogers’ voice can be heard on Marvin Gaye’s hit What’s Going On, with Rogers saying: “It’s just a groovy party, man, I can dig it.”

I love so many of their songs, and it’s nice to remember the days when musicians collaborated with each other more often,¬†with no egos and other nonsense getting in the way. People used to have honor!

Rest in peace, good brotha – your voice and talent join that grand, celestial choir. Here are my three favorite songs by The Miracles…enjoy.

The Miracles: “Shop Around

The Miracles: “The Tears of a Clown

The Miracles: “Love Machine

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