Friday, December 5, 2008

"Sooner or later, your legs give way, you hit the ground"

One of my favorite albums of all time is Special Beat Service by the English Beat. I bought it, along with many other fabulous records at Harmony House in Downtown Farmington-the wondrous local music store where I spent many a magical day, and much of my babysitting money on the splendors of recorded music on vinyl.

In my senior year, I would listen to that album over and over …the skip on my copy of the record in the beginning of “I Confess” would prove to be just part of the song to me.

When I heard the CD version years later, I could still “hear” the scratch, chuckling at the memory.

So I was very excited when I found out the English Beat was going to do a show at the Showbox Theater in Seattle. The Showbox is a charming joint, just grimy enough to give it a little character. A few months ago I was fortunate enough to catch Squeeze at the same venue. Squeeze is definitely another of my top fave bands, and although Chris and Glenn or getting old, they still put on a heck of a gig. (See pic at left)

Yes, a pattern is emerging, old 80’s bands, and albums. I’m getting a little ***gasp*** mature.

It’s ironic that I spent half my life immersed in new music, keeping up with all that is hip and hot, but for the last few years, I am less and less into it. I try to stay current, but glancing at a recent top 10 songs list I’m familiar with less than half of the artists. It makes me feel a bit out of touch. But these days, I am extremly comforted by all that is musically aged.

I don’t really know how it started, but I became a big BIG U.K music fan. I would anxiously await “Rock Over London” which came on after “The King Biscuit Flower hour” on 89X a Canadian station in Windsor. Or there was the “Dangerous Exposure” show on WABX Detroit, hosted by the Mike Haloran, who started the best alternative station in it’s day; XTRA in San Diego.

I loved all things musically British so much, I used to dream of moving to London and becoming a DJ there. I had heard they ironically liked American accents as much as I was enchanted by English accents.

So it’s comforting when an old school band comes around. To me sometimes, the 80’s happened just a few years ago. It’s when I go to a show and get a good look at the rest of the audience….
I realize that I’ve become an old fart.

The crowd overall was pushing 50. And Dave Wakeling, the only surviving original member is not aging well. ( see pic below) Despite not coming on until the late hour of 10PM…☺ they played a strong energetic show. I was exhausted when I got home at 12:30, clutching my requisite concert t-shirt and a bit sad because the one song they didn’t play was “I Confess”

I wanted to see if I would still “hear” the scratch in the live version. I’ll have to “Save it for Later”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We need a little Christmas, right this very minute

Song of the Day

"We Need a Little Christmas"-Various Artists

There are two things that I've lugged around during my many moves- a box of records (the vinyl kind that contain musical recordings) and my big blue Rubbermaid box o’ Xmas.

Yes Ginny, I’m a Chris Missy person.

You either are or aren’t a Xmas person, to varying degrees. Some people aren’t into Christmas for religious reasons, or they think they’re too cool for the room, that’s ok. But some people are just plain mean and hateful and those are the ones that need a little Xmas.

I fight it. Sometimes I say I’m not opening the box, it’s too much trouble. Things are tough, the world is in shambles, Christmas is for kids, blah blah blah…

Which is precisely when we need a little Christmas right this very minute.

My Christmas addiction isn’t really the religious sort, much to my mother’s chagrin. But it’s that concept of good. Of the brightness that shines in all of us, no matter how tarnished the world makes us.

Monet liked to paint what he called “momentary qualities of light” and that’s what Christmas is to me. Those little moments that make life just a little more bearable and enable us to trudge on.

Plus it’s the one time of year you’re allowed to hang shiny shiny lights everywhere.

When you feel good, you make others feel good. You give a smile and a “Hi” to the cashier at Rite Aide as opposed to a curt nod. She is nicer to the cranky old man behind you who in turn is actually a tad kind to the next person he comes across.

That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.


Did you know that “We need a little Christmas” is from musical “Mame”? I always thought it was in an animated Christmas special.

"Momentary qualities of light" is the title I have chosen for my great Amercian novel, or at least a short story that the "New Yorker" will publish...whenever I get around to writing it.)