cream

i've played in a few bands over the years. one of the problems with keeping the band together is whether the musicians are compatible, musically, personally. another issue is goals: one personal just wants to get together and play, another wants to record, another wants to tour. all those things can break up a band if they don't gel just right.

david gilmourthe bands i enjoyed playing with the most had great moments that transcended all those differences. that's when the music was so great that it didn't matter what else was going on. beginning at age 14 until my fuse blew and blisters burst, i've been blessed to play with some of the best musicians in the midwest, and have had more than a few of those musically transcendent moments.

since i probably won't be able to get all the bands back together again any time soon, i'm going to share our (collective) first hour setlist, featuring the original artists' live versions of the songs we used to play. 

so thanks kelly, gino, john, pat, mark, jim, mark, john, scott, joe, and myron. and everyone else. enjoy our first set vicariously...

  • Thu
    Jan 10
    9:00 pm -
    10:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jan 13
    9:00 am -
    10:00 am

the 3rd all-time best year of music!

in my countdown of the best years of music of all time, here's how the top ten looks so far:

10. 1968 moody blues

9. 1992

8. 2010

7. 1983

6. 1965

5. 1972

4. 1971

which means this week i'll present the musical reasons for what must be considered the 3rd best year of all time. admittedly, it got a lot of votes for #1, but all things considered, if you listen for the next 3 weeks, i think you'll agree with my final top 3 years of music.

without spoiling the fun by mentioning the year, let me just say this the 3rd best year featured 2 albums released by jimi hendrix, 2 by the beatles, the moody blues' [above] best album, the beach boys' best, the birth of cream, the doors, and psychedelia, the height of soul music, and the year of albums instead of singles--but there were plenty of great singles too.

  • Thu
    Nov 08
    9:00 pm -
    10:00 pm
  • Sun
    Nov 11
    9:00 am -
    10:00 am

1968 - the best year ever?

what was the best musical year of all time? we're about to find out.

for the next few weeks, i'll review the contenders: those years that had surolling stonesch an explosion of new, creative, and influential music, that they are often spoken of as "the best year ever" for music...culminating shortly after the new year--or if you have mayan roots, after the end of the previous epoc--in my musical overview of the best year in music ever.

many people have already spoken and registered their votes. every listener and reader is invited to do the same. send me an email, a comment at the bottom of this or future blogs, or stop me on the street and let me know what you think. i'll tabulate all the votes, add my own, and then announce the results.

  • Thu
    May 17
    8:00 pm -
    9:00 pm
  • Sun
    May 20
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

The 1968 jazz/blues/rock explosion

frank zappa

 

The year 1968 saw rock musicians everywhere playing blues and jazz. The wasn't necessarily a good thing, as every skinny kid from Hoboken was suddenly in a blues band.

But it did result in a diverse explosion of playing styles and creative moments, as bands like (the pre-weenie) Fleetwood Mac's tasteful guitarist Peter Green, Canned Heat's creative bassist Larry Taylor, and Cream's interchange between bassist Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton, opened musical doors for the world.

I'll close out the show with extended performances by Frank Zappa [left] & his Mothers of Invention and Miles Davis, that helped extend our attention spans beyond the 2 1/2 minutes of most pop records.

Click this link to what you'll be hearing.

  • Thu
    Jan 12
    9:00 pm -
    10:00 pm
  • Sun
    Jan 15
    9:00 am -
    10:00 am

1968 Instrumentals

I've been surveying the year 1968 musically for the past few months. One of the great developments for which that year is properly remembered, is the extensive development of long, creative guitar-based (mostly instrumental) performances. After this week's show, you'll understand why.

Much of Jimi Hendrix's "1983, a mermaid I should turn to be," is a musical tone poem, at once floating to the bottom of the ocean and into cosmic space... either way, enjoy the float...

quicksilver messenger serviceMany of the extended guitar performances were British-blues based, such as Cream's live "Spoonful" and Fleetwood Mac's "Need your love so bad."

For me the highlight of this week's show is Quicksilver Messenger Service's masterpiece, "The fool"--a climactic way to end the show.

The songs.

  • Thu
    Oct 13
    8:00 pm -
    9:00 pm
  • Sun
    Oct 16
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

1968

The music of 1968Lothar will take some time to review, and it's a challenge for me to find a different way to present it each week. This week, I go A to Z: Association to Zappa. Why? Because it's fun. And because...it works!

You'll hear the range of 1968 sounds from psychedelic Cream, classic R & B (Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor), avante garde humor (The Kinks), great song-writing (Laura Nyro, Procol Harum, Dylan), and all of the above, with one of the most interesting and overlooked bands from the year: Lothar & the Hand People, left. This was a group that recognized and explored the potential of the synthesizer, and over the edge creativity, along with super catchy melodies.

The full playlist is here.