Friday, February 23, 2007

Musical Memories

I have spent a good amount of my time converting my CD collection into mp3s. I don’t share them. I don’t upload them and I don’t download them from any of the various sites out there. I just got tired of swapping cds out whilst surfing, gaming, or whatever. As I type this I have gone through about 1/3 of my collection and have taken up about 10 gig of my hard drive and stored about 3300 tracks. Wow that’s a lot of music. Some of it is really good, some of it is crap, but all of it is from my life and it all has meaning to me.

As I listen I remember things that I was doing when I heard them for the first time, or when I was doing something that I really enjoyed (wink wink nudge nudge) while they played. Music is great that way.

I generally just put the old player on shuffle and drift off in thought. But what I love the most is when you stumble across some obscure artist from years gone by that had slipped to the back of your mind and comes rushing forward when one of their songs comes up in queue. Had that happen to me just the other day and it caused me to stop the player and narrow my play list to just his albums. This musician’s name is Joshua Kadison. He’s a piano player and storyteller. Not really too mainstream and really relaxing music. I sat there for almost 6 hours just soaking it up. I almost could see the time fall away and carry me back to my youth.

I should say at this point that I am a non-practicing musician. I spent a long time plying my art, but it never came to much and I find that life has taken away the time needed to be any good.


Oh well, I guess it was this time in the company of artists that I developed an appreciation of musicians who play for music’s sake and not to make a buck. They are few and far between and even those who start out with this altruistic bent eventually cave to the greed (you hearing me Lars?)

He had one or two moderate hits off of his first album and none off of his second. His record label ditched him. Now he has his own label and records his own music and (Are you ready for this?) gives it away. You heard me right. He still puts out cds, but he also has all of his music since his label dropped him available for free on his website.

I respect that and recommend his stuff. If you have a penchant for the genre that is.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Not so GLAAD

Ok, there comes a point in my life...and it comes more and more frequently as I grow older, that I just want to take someone by the giggly bits and scream in their ear to grow the hell up already. The most recent moment occurred as I read a story about a Snickers ad from the Superbowl.

For any that missed the ad, it involves 2 mechanics involved in an accidental kiss. They then feel that they must do something manly to counteract the smooch, so they elect to rip out a handful of chest hair.

The ad made several Top 10 lists, including one published by another gay organization. GLAAD, however didn't find it funny and raised their collective voice at the company who manufactures Snickers accusing them of defamation of the gay lifestyle and promoting homophobia.

Give me a frelling break. It was a commercial, and a funny one at that.

I would like to give a nod and a thumbs up to Masterfoods, Inc. the maker of Snickers. They pulled the ad from their website and the airwaves, but that was it. No apology.

[Masterfoods spokeswoman Alice Nathanson issued a statement in which she said the company would stop running the ad on television and the Web site.

"Feedback from our target consumers has been positive. In addition, many media and Web site commentators of this year's Super Bowl commercial line-up ranked the commercial among this year's top ten best. USA Today ranked it 9 of its top ten picks," she said.]

When they were asked to apologize for putting the ad out in the first place, they responded with, "we have done all that we can do."

Frankly, if I were in charge I would have checked our demographics and told the pompous, self-absorbed gits that GLAAD's membership were not our target consumer and to take the proverbial long walk off of a short pier.

This morning, I was watching TV with my kids and an ad for strawberry frosted mini-wheats came on. In this ad, a regular f.m.w. accidentally hits on a male strawberry one because he is pink. The regular one gets really nervous and can't look the strawberry in the face and the strawberry one begins to question his pinkness. How long will it be before this falls in the cross-hairs for teaching homophobia to the kids.

For the love of all that is holy. If people could just back up and calm down and maybe, oh I don't know, lighten the hell up, our society would be a much happier place in which to live. Learn to laugh and you'll live longer. Oh wait, stay grumpy so I don't have to put up with your narcissistic ass.

Ok, time to go drink something potent and calm down all over again.

Twenty Four and Counting

Monday was my 24th wedding anniversary and I was given yet another shining example that I chose well. How did we spend the day you ask? Play...