Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby Please Don't Leave Me

I have a love/hate relationship with Rolling Stone Magazine. I hate it because it has got to be some of the worst journalism and critical reviews of any magazine I read on a regular basis. I hate the magazine because there doesn't seem to be any true thought put into the articles.

Rolling Stone always gushes over new material from living legends. I couldn't tear my eyes away from some columns recently that were gushing over U2's new album, and a new live dvd from Pete Townshend and the Who.

Don't get me wrong, I am not indicating either way whether this new material is good or bad, but, I am not going to rave and gush about it just because the artists are living legends. It seems like only newer artists, or artists who aren't quite to living legend status yet recieve actual critiques.

Last year I read an article talking about how I should vote for Obama because the journalist had read Obama's autobiography. I don't mind someone giving me their opinion about politics...but if you are going to tell me to vote for someone, please give me a VALID reason to vote for someone. Talking about an issue or two might help, or be enough to sway me, but, unfortunately, some other guy reading Obama's autobiography isn't enough for me to buy into any politician.

These are just two reasons why I hate the magazine. I could give more examples, but I don't plan on typing that long tonight. These same examples are why I love the magazine. I can't tear my eyes away from it. It entertains me. The magazine thinks that pandering to the popsters, and hipsters will sell magazines. I don't think that way at all, in fact I wouldn't pay for it at all...but seeing as how I get to read it for free...I will be entertained and wonder where the world of journalism has gone too...

At the moment....Buddy Guy's heavy, heavy guitar line is flooding my ears. The track is so reminiscent of Jimi, and we all know that Buddy loved Jimi. As Buddy sings I can't help but think...what if some of my readers like Rolling Stone Magazine...My instant response to that is...if you do like that mag, and don't like me bashing it, well...Baby Please Don't Leave Me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life on Mars

Mars; the red planet and the Roman God of War. Home of little green men and subject of many television shows, movies, and books. Nevermind the fact that Bowie wrote the kickin' song that this blog is named after.

Have you ever felt like two hours of your life were missing? How about years? When I woke up this morning and felt like the last month of my life was missing, I made sure to rule out little green men as the first option. Hell, I made sure to rule out little green men as any option. I quietly got ready for school and went to take two finals. The first one was for Medieval Lit, and the second was for a first year, second semester french final. That is when I knew that something was wrong. I didn't have anything relevant to say on my Medieval lit final! I always have something relevant to say! got me...maybe I don't. I do however, always have something to say. Relevancy may not be an issue for the continuous stream of vocabulary perpetually issuing from my mouth.

Could it be little green men? Did they somehow kidnap me, cut me open, sew me back up, and return me to my bed without me knowing? Again, that wasn't an option. Why? Because little green men don't exist? No...just...because.

I finished my finals, went home and turned on one of my favorite bands in the last two years. The Bad Plus. Life on Mars...a cover of Bowie, but as a jazz tune. I know what you are thinking. Jazz covers of rock songs are more terrifying than the prospect of little green men. At least with little green men, there is the possibility that one of those little guys could be a cool dude. Not so with the jazz covers of rock songs.

That thought isn't necessarily right though. There is no other way to say this. The Bad Plus rock! Check em out if you haven't...Unfortunately, listening to the Bad Plus three hours after my Medieval lit final was over didn't help me to have anything relevant to say about the subject...but I did enter the fascinating world of wonder and imagination.

What would Life on Mars be like? Could you even climb Olympus Mons (the highest known mountain in the Solar System) and survive? What would it be like to stare that face in the face? Oh come know what i mean...that one in the picture up there....If there really was life on mars do you think they like the stories about John Carter, or the Martian Chronicles? Do you feel like I have anything relevant to say at the moment?
Either way, Mars will continue to orbit the sun, I will feel like the last month of my life is missing, and I will continue to play some cool music on Blues in Orbit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Swingers Get the Blues, Too.

Frankie Manning died yesterday. he was on the verge of having his 95th birthday. He was the epitome of swingers, and swing dancing, the "Ambassador of Lindy Hop!"

Across the world, The Swingers Get the Blues, Too and this week is no exception for swingers, whether they be dancers, or musicians. Usually, Hellzappopin with the swingers, or maybe they felt like it was always A Day at the Races. Cottontail was another swingin' piece and Frankie and the rest of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers were struttin' their stuff. Blues has always been popular because everyone gets the Blues, and dancers and musicians have always had a penchant for feeling blue.

Swing and Blues, the two forms of music and dance, have always been related, and this week they come together again with the death of Mr. Manning. Take a listen to Duke's tune The Swingers Get the Blues, Too from the Blues in Orbit album. You might understand how with Frankie's passing, the swingers have got the blues, too. Yet, you might understand as well, how Frankie's legacy will keep us swingin'.

Frankie has inspired countless people, and will continue to inspire countless people. We have the music and the movie clips, as well as memories. Frankie continued to teach dancers, right up until the time of his death. The last time I saw him was in 2008 in Sacramento, California where dancers gathered to listen to his stories, dance with him, and learn from him.

Dancing has always brought happiness to my life. How could I not learn lessons of joy and happiness from a 93 year old gentleman who was still dancing? How can I not be grateful to a man who inspired other dancers? These dancers are my friends and family, and we have laughed, cried, sung and played together. Would I have these friends and family if it wasn't for Frankie Manning? In all honesty, maybe not. I do have them though, and I am grateful for them, and for Frankie.

Music has always united people, and dancers unite in unique ways (ask a few, they will be glad to share some unique experiences). Frankie loved the music, like we all do...therefore a couple of songs will be played on my show tomorrow night in tribute to Frankie. First: Shiny Stockings-it remains one of Fankie's favorite tracks. 2nd: The Swingers Get the Blues, Too...because right least for the moment the swingers have the blues.