Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shaking the Tree

So the other day I was out wandering around the neighborhood where I work and I decided to pop into one of my favorite places, Rainy Day Records.  I was in the mood for something 80s that I did not already own.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but I would know it when I saw it.  And then I saw it :)

Peter Gabriel -- Shaking the Tree,  Sixteen Golden Greats.    Honestly, I didn't even thoroughly look to see what songs were on the album when I initially purchased it.   If you have any Peter Gabriel in your music library at all you know the feeling of satisfaction and triumph that I felt when I saw this.  Mr. Gabriel is a fabulous musician and a wonderful story teller.  The liner notes take it a step beyond the usual by listing the songs selected from which albums and the years these albums were created.  Nice.

Once again I shall admit to not knowing quite a few of these hit singles but that's okay, I loved listening to them for the first time. Hearing Kate Bush's voice on Don't Give Up really made me smile.  Here Comes The Flood however made me reflective and quiet which I'm sure Peter had intended for the listener. (well I like to think so).

The one song that was not on the album that I thought would be was In Your Eyes even though quite a few songs on this album were from his 1986 album So.  I decided to find out why :)

Apparently it was not released as a single in the UK..imagine that.  It is quite a beautiful song, and I'm sure I have it in my collection somewhere, so I didn't lose any sleep over it :)

Well there you have it.  Be amazed  and revere he who is Peter Gabriel.  He has a lot to say and many colorful wonderful ways to say it.

Big Time ;)

Mr. Tambourine Mens

"I loves me some tambourine playin!" 

I know the title might be a bit confusing but there's a reason for it.   I wanted to discuss something that not many people give consideration to these days..The Tambourine.

Yeah I know, I can hear it now.."are you serious?"  Yes, yes I am.  Because something interesting occurred to me the other day while I was listening to Gary Numan singing Cars.  There is a really cool part of the song where he grabs a tambourine and just goes to town on it.

Now if you've ever played the tambourine, you know that you must have some sense of rhythm and dexterity in order to keep a good sound going.  It may not be as exciting to play as say a bass or a lead guitar, but you can look just as sexy playing one ;)

Gary Numan does.  He looks really hot playing that tambourine in the video.  Almost compelling, beckoning you with his eyes..."come hither, listen to my tambourine solo, you know you want me.."

 (see, he still has that look in his eyes ;))

I think Gary took some pointers from his tambourine mentor.  Yep, none other than that lad from Manchester the one and only Davy Jones of the Monkees.  He was quite the mean tambourine player as well, and boy could he look sexy.

(I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but doesn't Davy look a bit like Russell Brand in this photo?)

Oh well, never mind.  So that's it,  The Tambourine, boring for some, sexy for others, fun for all...why else would Bob Dylan have written a song about it..he knew..

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

IS? Anticipation Greater Than The Real Thing? Have You Decided? Epilogue

I was really appreciative of the store clerk's effort to be such a big help too.  I even pointed out as he was ringing me up that there were several bands on the compilation that I didn't recognize.  He seemed perplexed actually stating "I can't imagine why, their all 80's songs"  I smiled and looked at him.  I must have had a peculiar look on my face because he actually figured it out on his own.."oh right! because you're from the states, and those bands probably weren't big over there"  I laughed and nodded.."story of my 80s musical world my dear" I said and we both had a good laugh.

So I think that I did pretty good for 10 British, 16 or so American.  The Sound of the Suburbs CD was only 3.50 British pounds which was about, almost 6 American so I did okay I think.  So far, I've been enjoying them both.  The 100 Hits-80's Pop compilation was produced by a company called Demon Music Group.  They've got quite the selection online if you ever want to go and check them out.  They seem to deal mostly with certain bands, repeating the bands on other compilations but not the songs.  They also have an unusual selection of Ian Drury and the Blockheads music.  Maybe not so unusual, but there is a lot of it available.  So if you are a fan and can't get his albums, that's probably where they all are. (just saying)

All in all I had a great time in Scotland.  Every store I went into had Top 40's music playing, which I recognized none of it unless well you know, it made it across the pond.  I only wish I would have had enough time to really dig deep to find new/old treasures.  Perhaps next time I will allot myself an entire day of music browsing.

One last thing I have to leave you all with.  On the second to last night before our stay was over, my husband took myself, his mum and his brother all out for dinner at the local chip shop.  Everything there is within walking distance where we were so we arrived in no time.  At one point during our meal, my husband and his brother got up and left the table to go smoke, leaving me and Mum there to finish our dinner.  A song came on the overhead system and Mum kind of perked up and said to me.."Is that Take That?"  My mouth opened slightly and then I closed it, thinking both of these things simultaneously.."Mum knows who Take That is?, she's like 70?"  and then "I know absolutely NOTHING by Take That"  I chose to blurt out the latter statement first as opposed to the former.  I think I mentioned something about Robbie Williams being a great singer and was going to leave it there.  She nodded and said.."I'm almost sure that's them.  I like them" she said.."And BoyZone, I like them too" I was faced once again with a musical group that I had only heard of in name and had nothing to contribute.  All I could do was smile and say.."that's pretty cool Mum"  she just shrugged her shoulders and finished her dinner.

Wow..I thought, "Is this going to be me in 20 years?

God I hope so..:)

Friday, August 19, 2011

IS? Anticipation Greater Than The Real Thing? You Tell Me Part 3

I really wasn't going to eek this out into a 3-Parter, but I couldn't help myself. (it could be 4 parts, you never know)  My strong desire to be a storyteller took control over my normal sensibility.  What can I say, I'm long winded :)

Nevertheless, the story must continue and having said that, if you recall, I left off on Part 2 with my husband finding me a really groovy 80s compilation.  I must say, it did brighten my spirits. So much so that I was pretty much thinking I was done shopping for music at that point.  I would have been if my stepson would not have said..."you know Mum, HMV across the street has tons of that 80s stuff you like"  I paused in mid stride as we were leaving 1UP and looked at him, a smidge confused. "you mean, there is a place on this earth that willingly caters to my music tastes?" I said with a peculiar grin.  He laughed and shook his head.."they have other stuff there too for regular people"  Regular people?  Am I an oddity now? Not really sure what to do with that, I extended my hand and said.."Lead on good man"

HMV is a very high profile record shop, more-so on the order of FYE or Tower Records for a lack of better examples.  (I don't frequent many large record shops these days, so I'm unfamiliar with their names)  As I was walking in I could feel the gravitational pull towards exactly what I wanted. Or so I thought. It was actually my stepson tugging my arm to hurry me along, apparently I started doing that "tourist thing" as he called it and was walking about aimlessly, mouth a gaped, pointing at things. (Who knew? I thought I was a tourist)

We climbed the escalator and there to my left were all of the compilation albums for just about any decade you could possibly want.  As long as it was in the 50 years :)  I was given a reassuring pat on the shoulder by my stepson a kiss on the cheek by my husband and these instructions "have at it" and away they went to free themselves of my tourist-y ways to do what they pleased. 

I must have looked really super lost, confused or out of place all together, because at one point a very nice young man with glasses came to my rescue and asked "are you finding everything alright?"  I smiled painfully as if someone had asked me how was my trip to the dentist.  "I'm just trying to make a decision here" I said, looking very much as though I was doing just that.  He actually looked eager to be of assistance and made more inquiries such as "any music in particular that you're looking for?" and "any particular artists?"  I nodded on both accounts and blurted out that I was a rabid fan of 80s pop music and how I had a Twitter page and that I was looking for new/old music for my video showcases to which he replied.."that's cool"  I had even mentioned that my username was @80sMusicGirl at one point.  He seemed to appreciate that extra bit of info, or at least he was very good at pretending.

When all was said and done he whirled around a section of the store at blinding speed and produced this little number, smiling all the while, thinking of the brownie points he was totaling up for being such a big help.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

IS? Anticipation Greater than the Real Thing? You Tell Me, Part 2

If you've read the unspoken part 1 of this blog you would right now be thinking, "I wonder what she found downstairs in the bargain basement?"  Amazingly enough, not a whole lot.  Oh I found plenty of 80s compilations that I knew about and some that I didn't know about, but I had no interest in them mainly because I knew all of the artists on them.  I wanted something fresh and uncompromising that I could cherish for years to come.  That wasn't too much to ask was it?  I also wanted to have some groovy tunes to bring back and play on my Saturday Showcases (hee!)

Now I'm not saying that 1UP Records is a horrible place to go by any means.  It's a great store in a fantastic location and the people that work there are very helpful.  I'm just going to assume they were not prepared for that type of brain exercise so soon after lunch.  I was just about to give up hope when my husband and my stepson came romping down the stairs where I was and offered to try and help.  At that point I had no idea what either of them could do and was away to say so when my husband turns around to see what I was searching through and puts his hand on a CD that I had probably passed over at least 3 or 4 times.  Apparently in my stage of disgruntlement I tend to over look things that are staring right at me...(anyone else do that?)  He smiles and says.."did you see this one?" and shoves this CD in my face.

I took it and smiled a bit, trying not to look too disappointed as I began to read the names on the cover.  I get halfway through what I'm reading and I started to actually smile.  I was actually thinking that this one was going to be a bust, but it wasn't.  It was a literal gold mine.  Okay it was a small gold mine, but it was a start. 

IS? Anticipation greater than the real thing? You tell me.

As you can see, I am back from my whirlwind tour of the North East of Scotland or as I like to call it.."How many relatives can you really visit in 10 days or less"  Quite a few actually if you set your mind to it :) 

I was very excited when we finally set foot on Scottish soil, mainly because I knew that in a few days I was going to be visiting one of the best record shops in the whole of Scotland-the famous, or infamous 1UP.  I'd heard tales of the magnificent treasures that awaited me there and I was gathering my thoughts in my head so that I could properly request the music that I was looking for without looking like a blithering idiot.

HA! It didn't work.

No matter how many times I said "I'm looking for slightly or majorly obscure bands from the 80s that possibly came from this area of the United Kingdom or outlying areas therein" I kept getting the same look.  "aroo?"  (Sometimes I honestly thought I was speaking to Scooby Doo himself. ) the reply that followed was thus..."Unless I know the names of the bands I couldn't tell you"  I suppose in retrospect that made some sense, but how am I suppose to know their names if they are OBSCURE???  I was then directed to visit their basement area to have a look there for  period compilations at bargain prices.  So with dread in heart and a heavy sigh of despondence, I walked down the two flights of stairs to find cheaply priced 80s music that I probably had already.

Or did I?