Can't Get It Outta My Head








                A Baby Boomer


       Muses on The Music

Working on My Labor Day Song List

We’re coming up on the final holiday of the summer, so of course it’s time to think about music for the festive occasion. OK, Labor Day isn’t all that festive. Nor is there much, if any, music specific to the holiday. Me, I’m going spend much of the holiday weekend listening to bagpipe and Celtic tunes — this weekend is the Wisconsin Highland Games, so I’m packing up the Clan tent, filling up the hip flasks with the Water of Life and heading for Waukesha. But most of my readers don’t have that kind of fun on the holiday weekend agenda, so I’ll give them some ideas for listening enjoyment. Labor Day is supposed to be in honor of the working man/woman, so let’s consider some songs about workin

The Other Elvis in the Building

Sitting on the deck, listening to the Klipsch outdoor speakers, under the influence of a pale ale (or two), I often cue up the same artists or types of music — usually from this blog’s wheelhouse, mid-60s to mid-70s — on the iPod. But occasionally, I get off the plantation. One such recent instance involved Elvis Costello, specifically that artist’s greatest hits collection from the mid-80s, which I have owned for 20 years or so. And that turns out to have been timely, because the man formerly known as Declan McManus was born 62 years ago last week. That’s after or around the time that rock and roll began, so McManus/Costello was not part of the first wave of rock. But he came to prominence

The Basement Tapes

A month ago, a group of friends held a celebration of the life of one of our number who had died earlier in the year. Many in the circle talked about Ron Turk’s life, and how it had affected them. Nobody talked about the tapes, though. Maybe that’s because I’ve got them, and have had them for decades, although now stashed away in plastic tubs in the basement. That trove of seven-inch, reel-to-reel recordings was given to me by Ron’s best friend and fellow world traveller, Skip Drew. They were recorded on Skip’s tape deck, and I’m sure some of the albums taped were his, but I got the impression that many belonged to Ron. The stash consisted of dozens of tapes, perhaps 80 or so, most recorded

When the Oldies Aren’t Goodies

Periodically, the DJs on my favorite album-rock, satellite-radio channel will get giddy about a new release coming from one of the older acts that are featured on its playlist. (Ditto for reunions of disbanded bands, and ventures on what I call the Geezer Circuit, but those are topics for another day.) Me, I’m getting to the point where my reaction is, “Please don’t.” I may be stuck in a time warp, in terms of musical tastes, but the surviving artists who made the music I listen to often sound like they’re past their sell-by dates. Deep Tracks occasionally plays those new releases by the oldies, and most sound like they’re trying too hard. Take for instance the most-played cut off Bob Seger’

That Would be a Great Name for a Rock Band

Great musicians would make great music no matter what they called themselves, or named their groups. But one of the fun things about rock music is the names that bands have given themselves, or been given by others. As Nationally-Syndicated Columnist Dave Barry — it seems like that was his full, legal name — said enough times to make a career of it, “Which would be a really great name for a rock band.” Or something like that. Not that there wasn’t word play in the naming of music ensembles before the mid-1950s, but it was usually some play on a musical term. Even in the early years of rock, the band names weren’t very distinctive — the Four Lads, the Teenagers, the Platters, and so on. And a

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