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Pink Floyd

March 28th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

 

‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd was MY album (2bl). I played and replayed it hundreds if not 1000s of times. It spoke to me like no other expression of art had before. It was about alienation, isolation, mental illness, Nazi Germany, despotic regimes and ANGER In my opinion the angriest album EVER produced. It spoke to me. .

However, the real treasure was the album that came afterwards – ‘The Final Cut’ Wow, Wow, and Wow!!! This touched my soul – Roger Waters, again the motif of Nazi Germany and alienation AND so personal, personal – personal!!!

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One Step Up and Two Steps Back

March 20th, 2017 by Michael Tabor

Nothing really to say, but I’m “feeling” this song to the bone. Just absolutely LOVE this song!!!

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What Exactly is This Kid – Justin Bieber Up to ???

May 13th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

Did you hear the jeering and booing when the image of Justin Bieber and his mother shown in attendance at the L.A. Clippers game was toughjustinflashed on the big screen in the arena??? Wow!! Does Justin Bieber like this notoriety??? Is he a masochist who likes pain? What on earth is this kid thinking and doing?
The already ultra – super – charged crowd is still, I’m sure, reeling about the whole Donald Sterling affair, and I’m sure the last thing they want to see on the “Jumbotron” is this insolent, boldly rude, marginally – talented, 20 – something – year – old, snot – nosed billionaire with a baby – face and an over – the – top James Dean Haircut making snarky gestures. This “belieber” thing is just disturbing beyond words.

Believe it or not, on some level I feel sorry for Justin Bieber and am utterly shocked and appalled at what “his people” (or maybe Bieber is so “bad – ass” he just ignores the advice) are doing to his client. If your whole career is about being a rebel or a “shock – jock” like Howard Stern, then I could possibly understand this crazy behavior. However, the kid is supposed to be marketed, one would obviously assume, as an adorable cute little boy with millions of young girls singing along with his lyrics about young love.

But, maybe this is all a strategy….

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? We all know that he can’t be a pretty boy teen – idol forever (Hey we all know what happened to David Cassidy, Lief Garret, …etc.) So maybe Justin Bieber and his advisors are prepping him for his next gig in life i.e. a Mixed Martial Artist – lololololololol

Hey you may laugh, but all his friends are fighters e.g. Floyd Mayweather, Nate Diaz, Jon Jones …. Hey, he certainly has enough cash to get the best training in the world. Who knows, maybe Justin Bieber maybe the next MMA Champion.

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The Joe Rogan Podcast !!!

November 10th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

joerogan

Bar none, the greatest, most interesting, entertaining, educational, eclectic, thought – provoking radio talk show (terrestrial or satellite) is and has been for decades, The Leonard Lopate show formerly New York and Company on WNYC and NPR. There is simply not a talk show host, nor has there ever been a host for decades now that could even come remotely close in terms of the aforementioned superlatives (except for Brian Leher, Lopate’s colleague, who has his own show on WNYC from 10 am – noon, just before Leonard’s show) than the masterful  – Leonard Lopate. The only criticism some people may have about Lopate’s show , is that it is prodigiously “brainy” and yes that is awesome, but sometimes we just want to kick back and take in some good old entertainment, educational or not & take it easy; after all learning is essentially work (though I personally don’t see it as such).

However, I am not blogging about Leonard Lopate today. I am here to spread the word about a podcast that is so interesting and an absolute gem … I could listen to it all day and never, ever get bored and unlike listening to Leonard’s show – perhaps a lecture of sorts (admittedly, you do feel like you are in graduate school when you tune into Leonard). Joe Rogan (BTW, yes it is the same Joe Rogan who did that insanely dumb show ‘Fear Factor’ but obviously this is not “that Joe Rogan” – hey we all have to eat, so….) is relaxed, unpretentious, comfortable, extremely intelligent and informal as one can be (Joe curses a lot & I mean a lot) and he talks about the most interesting stuff imaginable & has great guests. Even if the guests aren’t great, Joe Rogan makes them sound great. As a matter of fact, Joe Rogan is such an awesome entertainer, he even makes the commercials fun.

For example, I just finished listening to one of the latest Joe Rogan podcasts with the lead singer of the band – Tool (incidentally a band I don’t even care about in the least), Maynard James Keenan, and I, quite frankly, can’t imagine having had been more glued, entertained, and more fun … well !!!

In a nutshell, here is a list of topics they talked about: Holy moly it’s a lot in 2 hrs. mind you:

The very weird music of Tool (BTW, it’s for the most part heavy metal music, but the lead singer is a genius – really, there is a lot of tongue in cheek & satire)

The meaning of life.

Jaguars migrating to the U.S. (yikes, how scary is that folks ???) You think a pit bull or a Wolf is frightening, just youTube a jaguar, it’s not even close.

Winemaking – I didn’t think I would enjoy this portion of the show, because I don’t drink wine, but WOW!!! What an interesting and fascinating process the making of wine is  – wow !!!

Jiu – Jitsu  & Mixed Martial Arts

The unfathomable mystery of why we become so immersed in a particular hobby.

The absolute drudgery and loneliness of being on the road & having to stay in motels/hotels if you’re a musician, comedian, entertainer, etc.  

Getting old

Getting sick

The creeps in N. Arizona, specifically in Sedona.

Sedona, AZ has more new – agey people who are into their crystals, chakras, & energy pathways than anywhere else in the country….weird!!! 

The cult hangouts in Los Angeles  

Those idiots who knocked over 100 million + yr. old rocks for s**ts & giggles …almost like knocking over Stonehenge  

Dumb people

The incredible wonderment of the desert.

  Just taking stock of the incredible rocks and weird formations out west in the desert e.g. wind and sand erosion structures that look like unimaginable forms.

Fascinating landscapes in the U.S.A.

Running out of gas in the desert (good luck – lol)

Following your bliss

Life is too short to not create with every breath you take.

Artists and motivated people.

Work ethic

Reality food shows                

The underrated sense of smell.

Evan Tanner – MMA fighter who died in the desert.

Self – discovery journeys.

Constantly testing yourself and pushing yourself to the limit.

Nature and living off the land.

Nature does not care about you – respect that !!!

The 10 – 80 – 10 rule: 10% of any given community is kind, caring, giving, and productive. 80% are mindless knuckleheads who are neither good nor bad and 10% are slime who firstly ought to be tarred and feathered and then be summarily run over by a heavy vehicle. 

Exotic meat restaurants e.g. lions, javelinas, etc.

The meanest, most conservative sheriff in the nation – Sheriff Arpaio who insists that all the county inmates wear pink underwear in order to humiliate them – lol.

Jan Brewer: The dumbest governor in the country – even stupider than our former president – George W. Bush.

Yoga

Bad movies/Good movies

Gender identity and transvestites

Stupid TV

Actors unraveling   

Art for art’s sake … doing something without any thought of being compensated.

Opiates/painkillers and the epidemic we have on our hands.

Kids and the internet.

If you live on the east coast and you’re a kid, there is nothing BETTER than a snow day …..YAY !!! NO SCHOOL – MAGICAL !!!

Being born rich is perhaps the worst curse in life.

Los Angeles is without question the most fake & unreal city in the country and perfect for movies and TV.

Psychedelic drugs e.g. peyote, mushrooms

Fasting

Zen

Physics/geometry/angles/molecules

Words

Samurai swords … the tradition, the process of manufacturing them with honor, etc.

Indigenous tribes that still exist

Soft life=soft people …answer, we must reset or reboot

The earth is a living entity.

We’re now dependent on everything either digital (0’s & 1’s) and electrical.

How about not even having a hard drive, just clouds….life in the near future is truly spooky !!!

We’re living in unfathomably strange times.

Does anything we do really mean anything in terms of the larger picture???

Microcosm vs. macrocosm ….we are all in our little universes e.g. making money, martial arts, the gun range, cooking, etc.

Seeking a higher truth from the seemingly trivial.

Vinyl records, books, etc …can we retrieve them if there is some sort of digital disaster???  

Edward Snowden – it’s so funny that we make fun of him for not having an advanced degree, yet we hear him in the news everyday & the NSA allowed him to have access to all this incredibly top – secret info.

Privacy issues.

Depth/movement/passion/uncertainty/fear  

Tattoos …who would have guessed what an incredible industry it has become now???

Japanese tattoos  

The military today.

Liberals and conservatives.


WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Joe Rogan is simply off the charts great!!! The topics I brought up are unbelievably from just one show!!!

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The Catharsis of Sad Music

September 27th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

sadhurtsToday not unlike every other day, I had NPR on and a most interesting topic was brought up, which made me pause and think: What are your favorite sad songs? Why? And – In addition, why do sad songs not make us sadder but more importantly make us a little stronger and even help us along with all the unspeakable difficulties that lie ahead when something tragic happens to us. So of course NPR (I think it was “On All Things Considered”) simply the greatest radio media source in terms of higher education had a scientist who was theorizing as to why sad songs and catharsis in general is such an integral part in dealing with grief and moving on without falling apart.

Catharsis – the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music is the OED definition and makes sense !!!

Anyway, what they posed to the listening audience was: What were your favorites (or perhaps more aptly stated, songs that most resonated with you?) and I thought about this and put together a list of 6 of my all – time favorites. Here they are and why:

  • #1 has to go to ‘Adagio For Strings’ by Samuel Barber. This is without question the most hauntingly tragic yet most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard in my life and if this doesn’t move you in anyway then you are not a human being. I know ‘Adagio For Strings’ has been used as a score for several films, one of which was Oliver Stone’s ‘platoon’ (Easily the score was the best part of the film). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izQsgE0L450

  • After ‘Adagio…’ it’s difficult to place any given song in any particular order because they’re all profoundly moving and sad. Anyway, Warren Zevon’s  ‘Keep Me in Your Heart’ is monumentally heart – wrenching, especially if you’re or were a Zevon fan. I pulled 2 videos from YouTube 1. The song itself with some amazing shots and 2. The David Letterman Show the day he died…. Warren and David had an incredibly special relationship. What really killed me about Warren was his rebellion & the sense of injustice and the line “…grab your coat, I’m your mutineer” just makes me weep every time I hear it  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KjRLq4uF4A     and here’s Dave & Warren   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ8xO6BrZRU

  • ‘Brian’s Song’ by Henry Mancini will bring even the most hardened person to tears. The song is utterly sad and cathartic but what amplifies it is the movie (low – budget TV and basically not a very good movie but there are a couple of scenes in it that will make grown men reach out for the Kleenex) Here’s the best link I found on YouTube … watch the whole thing, it’s awesome   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhXLP36OUdw

  • How about the Hollies and ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ … again, it’s the story that rips your heart out, especially in this lousy economy. In a nutshell: The line “he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” is from the old 30’s movie Boy’s Town. The scene is a young boy carrying his little brother, who is crippled and can’t walk in the ice and snow. It is during the depression and they are homeless, unwanted, and not needed by the world at large. They encounter a catholic priest, father Flannigan, who is moved and asks ” isn’t that a heavy load for such a small fellow” he replies “he ain’t heavy father, He’s my brother”(boy ain’t he lucky. That’s an insider)

  • Yep, Elton John’s, ‘Funeral for a Friend’ is a must. He really drives home the fact that this life in terms of the age of the universe (14 billion yrs. Old) is just sort of a meaningless blip .. f^&k the rich, they will get theirs – lol !!!  “The roses in the window box tilted to one side, everything about this house is going to grow and die”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GYI6XJH9Ss

  • Well I’ll leave you with John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ which is just prodigiously crushing!!!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? There are so many more songs out there and while I was writing this, I thought of a few more, but I’d love to hear what yours are.

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What About Arts & Letters Daily as a Homepage???

September 14th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

arts&letters2I’ve had Yahoo as my homepage for more than a decade now because it’s light and breezy, it’s indeed a search engine though not as good as Google, right on the mark with timely  breaking news, and basically everything important that’s going on in the world can be found right there on the site. It’s 2013 and there’s essentially not a single piece of information that exists that cannot be found at your fingertips – both classified (WikiLeaks) and certainly all unclassified stuff .

Obviously , today we can find out anything about anything, anywhere – anytime and it basically comes down to what we want thrown in our face, first thing i.e. Justine Bieber and some real news – Yahoo, your basic no- nonsense best search engine that there is in Google, your work address (yuck, don’t bring work home), or something a little different such as a web portal which happens to be in my opinion the greatest place on the net, especially if you’re interested in an absolute treasure trove of scholarly information and beautifully – written essays of everything under the sun including: philosophy, aesthetics, language, literature, trends, breakthroughs, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, disputes, and of course it includes a tad of gossip.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? If you haven’t visited Arts & Letters Daily http://www.aldaily.com/#google yet, take a look and enjoy !!! This morning I read a little something on Thomas Pynchon, Franz Kafka, Picasso, Shakespeare, on & on … life is short, art is monumentally long.

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Rush (The Band, Not the Fat Conservative Blowhard) Circa 1978

September 12th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

rush2Is it Possible to Get Better Than This???

I had the great pleasure of seeing Rush again this year (VIP tickets  – a birthday gift from Magdalena) for the amazing Clockwork Angels tour at the beginning of this summer at Jones Beach on Long Island. They were just fantastic as they have always been every time I have seen them play live. I’ve seen Rush in person I believe six times now and the one instrumental, which is a masterpiece among masterpieces, they didn’t play this time however (the concert was so great anyway, it didn’t matter) was ‘La Villa Strangiato’.  Check out this old 1978 clip I found on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB4uwO1Dmf4  

I’ve written plenty on this site about my favorite progressive rock group but I just wanted to throw this re-mastered version of ‘La Villa …’ (it’s a live version of the song but they  re- did it in the studio, note for note, which makes it that much more remarkable – wow !!!) I haven’t seen before. Enjoy and check out the comments from fans who are just as fanatical about them as I am.. here are just a few:

 

“Absolutely incredible. Amazing. Fantastic. A masterpiece. A classic. Perfection beyond perfection. 3 geniuses at their own instruments.

I look forward to seeing them again this year.

Muchas gracias”

 

“Now that’s how you make love to your guitar”

 

“masters of progressive hard rock, best band ever”

 

“I remember seeing them twice in this era. Just a little after this, actually. Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres tours I think. Mind blowing perfection”

 

“Nothing better…I saw this era of Rush in concert”

 

“Just totally mind blowing. God I love this kind of music. So technical and so masterful. Just fuc%$* narly in every sence of the word. RUSH truly means perfection.”


So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? You can search this site if you want to see what else I’ve written about ‘Rush’ in the past.

 

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“Let’s Swim to the Moon”

May 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

“Before I slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss … ” Jim Morrison was obsessed with death and talked, sang, and wrote about it his whole short life right up until he met his very own end on July 3, 1971 in Paris – he was only 27. Jim died peacefully in the bathtub they say of – excess, alcoholism, pneumonia, a heroin overdose (though Jim didn’t like the drug) a heart attack … nobody knows for sure. There are conspiracy theories galore and they’re all over the web including the possibility that his death was a fake (another Elvis thing) but sadly Jim Morrison did in fact die and the sad truth is that those who knew him well were not in the least bit surprised; Jim was coughing and throwing  up blood months before and why there was no autopsy and more importantly why his loved ones didn’t help him get some sort of medical attention is a mystery. Nevertheless, Jim and the Doors died in 1971 despite 2 of the remaining band members – Ray Manzarek  (Magdalena wrote an obit. A couple of weeks ago regarding his death) and Robby Krieger tried to revive The Doors with Stewart Copeland as drummer and well …that’s another story.
Since Magdalena’s blog about the death of the amazing keyboardist/bassist Ray Manzarek, I’ve not been able to pull myself away from listening, reading , and researching all about this incredibly original rock band who not only were way before their time but explored death, chaos, edge, uncertainty, revolution, etc. like no other group before – as some people would say, they were the Yang of Yin, the Beatles talked and sang about love and The Doors threw in our face Vietnam and darkness.

Certainly for me, at the age of 49, there are better, more educated writers who can quench my existential thirst, but The Doors were special – no doubt about it. The members of the band were educated and thoughtful; they actually named the group after Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors Of Perception’ and were heavily influenced by the poet William Blake and the beat writers: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc. and Jim read all of Nietzsche’s work. I liked what critic, Henry Collins, had to say about the singing of Jim Morrison – his voice was controlled, rich, masculine, almost balladeer (believe it or not, Jim loved the crooners i.e. Frank Sinatra) and then that tenderness would morph into this wild, feral and ferocious animal!!!
The band really began with a chance encounter with Ray Mancerek and Jim Morrison meeting at UCLA film school – both were never really that serious about EVER becoming rock stars (Jim always wanted to be a poet and Ray contemplated practicing law) but as we all know… the rest is history.
Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Are/were you a Doors fan? What I enjoyed the most was Morrison’s improvisational style; you never knew what he would do next, he was a dangerous, scary, exciting Adonis. The band was also not your three chord, typical boogie back then, the music was jazzy, bluesy and simultaneously beautiful and very odd.

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When A Door Closes: Ray Manzarek 1939 – 2013

May 22nd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
If, as many say, there would have been no Doors without Jim Morrison, the same can be said of Ray Manzarek. He co-founded the band along with Jim and brought in the two remaining members. With Jim as the exceedingly intriguing and controversial frontman, it was Ray’s keyboards that would weave like pipesmoke through Jim’s unusual lyrics giving the music its unmistakable sound. A sound that would transcend time.
I can’t seem to remember a time when there were no Doors, a staple throughout my adolescent foibles, and later what would become the hallmark of what it was to identify with “cool” and undoubtably thoroughly American, right alongside Mom’s spiked apple pie and our irreverant Bible of verses.
When Jim died, the Doors didn’t. Ray saw to that but he didn’t have to. They commanded the airwaves for years to come, time receding and yet remaining as though (almost) nothing ever happened. We refused to bury our Mojo. After all, rumor had it, he could well be alive in Paris. If this is true, then poor Ray plays alone and somehow I just can’t fathom that.
Ray Manzarek had a tale or two to tell. But the real story is in the music. I hear the opening strains of a familiar tune. You know the one. The keyboards are like the Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending with time eternal. They say when a door closes, another one opens. Ray closed the door and Jim just opened one for him. You know they couldn’t get much higher. Ya hear that Mr. Sullivan?
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Alvin Lee – Gone Home

March 8th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor
By now I’m sure you’ve heard, another rock legend has joined the band of angels. The great blues/rock guitarist, Alvin Lee, died yesterday  (March 6th) at the age of 68 in Spain while undergoing some routine surgery.
What I knew about Alvin Lee is probably what most people knew him for; his American debut at the Woodstock festival with an 11 minute performance of I’m Going Home and some of the most incredible guitar playing anyone had ever heard, earning him the title The Fastest Guitar in the West. And of course, his contribution to the band Ten Years After. But what I didn’t know before today are some noteworthy facts such as, he was just 13 years old when he picked up the guitar and a short 2 years later founded the crux of what would become Ten Years After. His love of music came from his parents who collected blues and jazz records and although he went on to become a rock hero, it wasn’t what he wanted. Alvin Lee simply wanted to be a “working musician” who preferred small venues with that of large stadiums which is ultimately where he had to perform once fame took possession. And he thought of his other most recognized big hit “I’d Love To Change The World” as pop, refusing to ever play it live. Through it all, he tried to stay true to his roots. In doing so, he gave us, the baby boomer generation of rock, our roots. We, never realizing what we believed to be a new British sound, is something he borrowed from American blues artists, and he said so. You might say Alvin showed us where we came from, no small gift in exchange for wanting to change the world. I think he succeeded in changing ours, encapsulating it in a very intimate way….
It’s 1971. I’m in my room back home listening to WNEW. Alison Steele, The Nightbird, spins a new record. Its melancholy bluesiness  rides the airwaves and puts me in another world beyond the boundaries of my postered walls, with no inkling of what lay ahead, the twists and turns of my life’s travels obscured by teenage bliss. The power of a rock superhero is as limitless as the imagination. If I heard that song this minute, that’s where that sound would place me. Right back there in my old room with a grin on my face, because all my old friends, the ones that are gone now, are still there. So, you did it Alvin. You changed my world while I still get to keep it the way I remember it.
Sadly, his April 7th Paris gig with rock legend Johnny Winter will never be. It seems he had a prior engagement with a certain Beatle. If there’s a Ten Years Afterlife, there are two guitars gently weeping with joy. Well, maybe not so gently.
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