Lynyrd Skynyd (Freebird) – How Life Once Was!

I think when I saw this video today in my YT feed of Lynyrd Skynyrd performing Freebird I knew I was in trouble nostalgically from the get-go.

My understanding is this concert was performed just 40 days or so days before their ill-fated flight which killed members of the band. But what really made an impression upon me was just seeing how healthy and animated appeared the crowd – living in the moment. These were times before processed food, tattoos-makeup and portable technology became the vogue. And also before HIV and now the pandemic COVID-19 windswept the populations.

I like to remember this performance as how life used to be. Look at the radiance exuded from these fresh faces. It’s hard to equate that vitality and innocence to anything seen in recent times.

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Buffalo Bill (2000) – Sara Storer

Sara-Storer

This Australian country song was sent to me by mother many years ago and I took an immediate liking to it. Buffalo Bill is from Sara Storer’s debut studio album called Chasing Buffalo. Storer won the Best New Talent award at the Australian country music awards for Buffalo Bill.

And will the real Buffalo Bill please stand
Holding a beer and a gun in each hand
Those bright blue eyes give away more than he knows
When they sparkle as his story tells of chasin’ buffalo

Sara Storer was born on 6th of October 1973 which makes her my senior by 100 days or so which means I would call her Ma’am and stand-fast when she addressed me. She grew up on a huge cattle farm in Wemen, rural Victoria – Australia and completed her tertiary studies in Melbourne, becoming a teacher. Living in Camooweal, she met a retired water buffalo shooter, Harry Chandler, whose stories inspired her to write, Buffalo Bill, her first song.

Sara has since gone on to do six studio albums, three of which have have reached the top 30 of the ARIA charts. Despite her successful recording career she has never lost her country calling. When in Darwin she married David O’Hare, a cattle buyer, in April 2012 and the couple have four children and live on a farm near Albury.

References:
1. Sara Storer – wikipedia

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Buckets of Rain (1975) – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan 1975

Bob Dylan 1975

Buckets of Rain comes from one of Dylan’s most critically acclaimed records – 1975’s Blood on the Tracks. It is the last song on the record and is certainly different from all which proceeds it. Dylan often does that on his records. He tangentially leaves us on a different note than the impression or mood the record might convey. It’s basically a light closing of a desperate album.

Compare for example today’s song Buckets of Rain – a reflective and lighter refrained piece about love with his gut-wrenching love masterpiece  ‘If You See Her, Say Hello‘ which proceeds it 2 songs back. They both reflect distinct moods of someone thinking about the same thing and despite the bluesy whimsical tone of Buckets the narrator is still facing some awry conflicting emotions as seen below, not unlike where he went with Abandoned Love which has already been discussed here:

I like your smile
And your fingertips
Like the way that you move your hips
I like the cool way you look at me
Everything about you is bringing me misery

But the whimsicality of this verse hasn’t turned into the fervor of torment that is Abandoned Love which he would leave off his next record Desire. Buckets of Rain was recorded in New York City. The final album contains 5 recorded songs in NYC and 5 in Minneapolis. The guy singing this song seems like a deeply flawed individual not unlike that presented in Abandoned Love. He is thoroughly self-centered. Even his love for the woman is declared in a way which egotistically focuses on himself:

I got all the love…’

But the narrator in this case has humor and reuses the buckets metaphor is to associate his depth of his feelings – ‘all the love’ – with his misery, represented by the tears. And when he at last mentions her, it’s to compare her unfavorably with himself. He’s got so much love for her, she wouldn’t be able to ‘stand’ any more.

References:
1. Untold Dylan – Buckets of Rain
2. Bob Dylan Song analysis – David Weir

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5/05 – 11/05/20 incl. False Prophet, Herd Immunity, Trees & the 1619 Project

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Song at Bob Dylan:

2 days ago Bob Dylan released his third song False Prophet from his upcoming album Rough and Rowdy Ways which will be his first album of original songs in eight years.  Dylan’s gradual unveiling of new music during this pandemic has been to me at least one of the few positive things to have occurred in the world. Rough and Rowdy Ways, which is almost certainly named after the 1929 Jimmie Rodgers classic “My Rough and Rowdy Ways,” will be his 39th studio album, landing 57 years after his debut LP. Due for release on June 19th. He’ll turn 79 on May 24th. ..….…(Listen to song).

Video podcast at Bret Weinstein:

Bret and Heather’s podcast which is released biweekly is dedicated to the Pandemic and has become my primary source of information during this quarantine. This married couple who also both happen to be doctors in Biology are providing an invaluable community service by carefully responding to the great unknowns associated with the virus and unpacking with due diligence their interpretations of the various conspiracy hypotheses doing the rounds. Personally, I have found their measured discussions to be of a great relief during this time of immense uncertainty and frustration. Watch entire video podcast

Short Story at Intellectual Shaman:

Sometimes luck finds us, and the best kind finds us when we are young. -Intellectual Shaman

After reading Treasure Island, I had a habit of rowing to small islands and digging big holes for treasure; just because I hadn’t found any yet, didn’t mean it wasn’t there. It’s not about the treasure, but about the hunt; finding a map in an old book and understanding the riddles that can take you on an adventure. Strangely, if you think this way, treasure comes to you in different ways. And this is the story of one of the treasures I found without looking for it.(Read Entire Short Story)

This is quite simply one of the most enlightening discussions I have ever heard surrounding ‘race’. I have watched it twice since it came out and recommended it to many since I was so impressed to see such a transparent yet passionate discussion about this controversial subject which hasn’t let up particularly in North America. Some of the topics they delve into are the following:

    1. Nikole Hannah-Jones wins a Pulitzer Prize for the 1619 Project
    2. This is “a desperate struggle for dignity” and
    3. Self-hatred and patronization ..(Watch entire podcast)

news on the march the end

Posted in Music, News, politics, Science

Bubak And Hungaricus – Anonymous

Bubak And Hungaricus is early 18th Century gypsy music which was arranged by Jaroslav Krček and included on the Amadeus soundtrack.  The composer is unknown, but it’s a fun old Central European folk musical piece which seems to have been turned into a court dance tune over time. These folk dances which was performed at the palace as a curtain raiser to Mozart’s music show how classical composers constantly drew from the folk music that was all around them.

In the feudal courts of Europe, the usual instruments of strings, cornets, and harpsichords were often joined by folk instruments, like a bagpipe made from a sheep’s bladder. The ensemble heard here includes an ancient recorder-like flute, and a curious single-string double bass with a penetrating drone, the tromba marina, so named because it was used as a foghorn on ships.

Reference:
1. Amadeus – The Music – A musical process

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28/04 – 4/05 incl. Stacey E. Bryan, Defeating Evil & The Bob Dylan Project

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Blog article at Inner Circle:

Stacey Bryan backflipI was tickled pink to wander across this recent interview with my good friend and author of Day for Night – Stacey E. Bryan. Few other ‘blog guests’ spots I have found as witty and engaging as what Stacey unpacks about herself here. Her backflip as a youngster from a friend’s fence (see inset photo) was the bee’s knees! You can check out Stacey’s blog Laughter Over Tears here.

My name’s Stacey but everyone calls me Oaks after the place where I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in L.A., Sherman Oaks. That’s not true. I just made that up. I am from The Valley, but I don’t have a cool nickname, although I’ve always wished I had a man’s name. Carson. Wyatt. Levi. Reed. From here on out, please call me Levi.
My last blog entry was a few paragraphs from David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King” that involved a lot of dreamy, flowing words that I thought would instill a sense of quiet in those who read it, maybe diminishing all our coronavirus worries and concerns for a few moments at least.
.
.….…(Read entire article).

Video Interview excerpt at Rebel Wisdom:

Psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson shared on a former film “‘Mysticism, Spirit and the Shadow” his insights on how to defeat evil. This clip is from “‘Mysticism, Spirit and the Shadow”.Watch entire interview excerpt

Poem at Intellectual Shaman:

Ordinary Confidence
is not enough
and when I make things bigger
I can’t ride the wave
Everybody wants some
until the fall
So, we must believe
there is an angel inside….(Read Entire Poem)

Any aficionado of the music of Bob Dylan should get their kicks from this massive resource site. I only stumbled across it when they linked one of my music articles about Bob to their resource links.

The objective of The Bob Dylan Project is to list every recording of every song sung or written by Bob Dylan and to provide direct links to the actual recordings. In addition the project provides direct links to other notable versions of each song available on YouTube or other streaming services….We are now at 200 Albums, 1,500 Songs, 5,000 Artists, 10,000 versions and 70,000 links to Bob Dylan related music! ..(View web site)

news on the march the end

Posted in Music, News, Reading

ANZAC Day in Australia and memories of my Father.

Anzac Day

My father Colin Kick at the ANZAC memorial

I just finished watching some commemoration videos live of ANZAC Day in Australia and I’m so thankful my children were able to see some of them too.  My father passed away on this day back in 2003 and I wrote a post about that here. It remains the most difficult post I have ever written but the one I’m most proudest.  My father – like what this day represents was the most courageous man I ever knew. He didn’t take out any gun turrets or serve in any war, but the way he lived life and vigorously searched interest and common ground in others was something I hadn’t seen in another human being.

So today by writing this post marks my celebration of his life. A life shockingly short, but extremely influential with those that had the good fortune to cross paths with him. I remember when my brother and I were at ‘Little Athletics’ in our youth, my father was such a go-to person that all the other kids played rough and tumble with him and he is the only parent in my youth where I remember that happening to. Perhaps that frivolity is frowned upon now, but he reveled into just letting his guard down and kids sensed this aura about him and took a particular liking to it. That was my Dad!

Ah, it feels just so long ago that all happened. Almost so much so that I wonder if it happened at all. But it did and they were the days and this individual – my father enriched the lives of so many around him. When I finished my yoga session yesterday I felt compelled without even realising the significance of today that I had to project to him my ‘sunshine song’ which I have written about here. You see I almost always do it for a living person, but yesterday was different.  I love you Dad!

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Posted in Reflections

Finding a sense of calmness and purposefulness during the Pandemic COVID-19

You may already be bombarded with too much information regarding COVID-19, but I thought I would relay the presentation below from Rebel Wisdom because ironically its focus is to assist us on reflecting just that – too much information and speculation.

Its approach about our psychology and coping mechanisms in this period of great uncertainty is especially engaging and instructive. The major theme in the various short interviews is one of ‘Conspiracy’, but what I found most compelling were the following aspects:

1. The various ways we are psychologically susceptible to finding patterns in making sense and meaning of whats going on.

2. The various strategies we can adopt to be able to find an equilibrium in not only our reasoning during the Quarantine but with respect to how we respond to conflicting sources and people who hold extreme views.

I would be enlightened to find out what you thought of the video and how you are coping and dealing with the pandemic to find a sense of calmness and purposefulness.
SAT NAM!

Posted in News, politics, Reflections, Science

Symphony No 101 in D Mayor ‘The Clock’ Andante – Joseph Haydn

Joseph_Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

This delightful little piece will put a spring in your step, speaking of which I just read that from 27 Abril we will be allowed outdoors to exercise in Bogotá. Symphony No. 101 in D major is the ninth of twelve London symphonies written by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. It is popularly known as The Clock because of the “ticking” rhythm throughout the second movement. He wrote it for the second of his two visits to London. On 3 March 1794, the work was premiered with an orchestra of 60 personally gathered by Haydn’s colleague and friend Johann Peter Salomon. The response of the audience was very enthusiastic. The Oracle even reported it to be his best work and the Morning Chronicle wrote: ‘the inexhaustible, the wonderful, the sublime HAYDN! The first two movements were encored; and the character that pervaded the whole composition was heartfelt joy’.

For much of his career Joseph Haydn was the most celebrated composer in Europe. He was a friend and mentor of Mozart, a tutor of Beethoven. Who wouldn’t kill to have that on their CV? Since there was no little or no formal music training where he grew up Haydn’s parents sent him off to a relative who was a choirmaster where he would train as a singer and musician. Haydn later recalled that he remembered being frequently hungry as a small child and after he was taken in, he would never return to live with his parents. For nine years in his youth he was a chorister at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

After he matured Haydn struggled working at many different jobs: as a music teacher, as a street serenader, and eventually, in 1752, as valet–accompanist for the Italian composer Nicola Porpora, from whom he later said he learned “the true fundamentals of composition”. As his skills increased, Haydn began to acquire a public reputation, first as the composer of an opera, Der krumme Teufel, “The Limping Devil”. Haydn also noticed, apparently without annoyance, that works he had simply given away were being published and sold in local music shops. 1779 was a watershed year for Haydn, as his contract was renegotiated: whereas previously all his compositions were the property of the Esterházy family, he now was permitted to write for others and sell his work to publishers.

Another friend in Vienna was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whom Haydn had met sometime around 1784. According to later testimony the two composers occasionally played in string quartets together. Haydn was hugely impressed with Mozart’s work and praised it unstintingly to others. Mozart evidently returned the esteem, as seen in his dedication of a set of six quartets, now called the “Haydn” quartets, to his friend. Haydn became a very popular composer In London where his music dominated the concert scene and it is said “hardly a concert did not feature a work by him”. His journey to London in 1791 was the start of a very auspicious period for Haydn. Audiences flocked to Haydn’s concerts; he augmented his fame and made large profits. Musically, Haydn’s visits to England generated some of his best-known work, including the Surprise, Military, Drumroll and London symphonies; the Rider quartet; and the “Gypsy Rondo” piano trio.

As a rich man, Haydn now felt that he had the privilege of taking his time and writing for posterity. This is reflected in the subject matter of The Creation (1798) and The Seasons (1801), which address such weighty topics as the meaning of life and the purpose of humankind and represent an attempt to render the sublime in music. The change in Haydn’s approach was important in the history of classical music, as other composers were soon following his lead. Notably, Beethoven adopted the practice of taking his time and aiming high.

References:
1. Joseph Haydn – wikipedia
2. Symphony No. 101 (Haydn) – wikipedia

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Brothers in Arms (1985) – Dire Straits

Today’s featured song is the title track from Dire Straits 1985 album.  It’s the first song to feature in this music library from Dire Straits and cofounder/lead singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler, although Mark’s musical influence and collaborative efforts with Bob Dylan have been mentioned here before. It seems to me that Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler don’t get their just deserts when aficionados reminisce on 80’s music and/or rock’n roll in it entirety. I just don’t see them paid the due attention in musical circles that other big rock groups get and that’s that. Brothers in Arms is one of the world’s best-selling albums, having sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Brothers in Arms is difficult to write about and it’s also hard not to get emotional about this song. I think it’s the ants pants as far as war songs go, yet like most of Dire Straits songs you don’t hear it paid mention. It was actually written during the Falkland’s War and is essentially a solidarity song for war troops.  Mark Knopfler explains that the song is sung by a soldier dying on the battlefield; as a real singer he has to immerse himself, so to speak, in his view and feelings. In the first two verses it is the own comrades to whom the speaker turns, i.e. the “brothers in arms”. Only in the final line does it become clear that all enemy soldiers are included within “brothers in arms”.

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Of course Money For Nothing was a megahit from that album and may have done more harm than good retrospectively as it was criticized of reeking of mega bucks and sell out stadium concerts.  Knophler himself concluded “the old rockschool restraints and the undeniably attractive smell of the winning formula seem to block out any such experimental work and what you end up with is something very like the same old story.” He said this just after exploring different creative directions with his work on Bob Dylan’s Infidels.

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