Category: A Cool Bachelor's Diary


 

One of the founding fathers of rock & roll and a true pioneer has passed at the tender young age of 90. Charles Edward Anderson Berry or better known as Chuck Berry had such classic songs like “Maybellene”, ‘Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven”, that inspired so many young kids in the 50’s to turn to a new style of music.

I was not a great fan of his, but I respect the influence he had on the music of the Baby Boomer generation.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s eulogy is the best! http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/chuck-berry-rock-roll-innovator-dead-at-90

via Chuck Berry – R.I.P. – A Rock Legend! — 2loud2oldmusic

 

 

Check out my Musik-ONLY blog, https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/

“And the hits just keep on coming…”

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“Well, I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead.
But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life–longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.
And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.
And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”

Ten years ago this week, Vladimir Putin told the Munich Security Conference exactly what he intended to do to oppose the West and restore Russia’s greatness – “but the West didn’t believe” what he said and even “laughed about it” as nothing more a reflection of the Kremlin leader’s personal grievance, Georgy Bovt says. In…

via Like Hitler, Putin told the West in advance what he’d do – and the West ignored him — Euromaidan Press

Sadly, WordPress apparently is not offering its Bloggers a Year in Review for 2016.

To me, this is yet another example of one of the little nice things in our lives that our online corporate administrators, like even YouTube, and Google or Amazon, who are increasingly changing on us, to the civilian detriment, while withdrawing the ease of use after getting us used to them! It is classic “bait and switch”.

It Sux and is not about the “statistics”. Nyet, it is about the creatively fun way that WordPress.com presented this yearly gift to us, lo these past years, since I began to blog in 2009.

If you know of another blog platform that has not thrown the “baby out with the bathwater” and still is fun, please let me know because maybe it is time to take my writing “business” elsewhere it is still appreciated and FUN. Here is what a beautiful job they did last year. Attempts to contact “Support” directly only lead to frustration – and we have enough of that on a daily basis not to want to pursue it – what they must count upon.

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Click this link please and then leave a comment!

https://achilliad.wordpress.com/2015/annual-report/

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As Barbara Streisand and the late Donna Summer (I still cannot believe Donna died so soon…) sang back in 1979, “Enough is Enough“ with these losses, but somehow, I do not think they will end with the conclusion of 2016. 1859

OMG! What a tragic year for us who have lived via our stars like Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie and many more!! Is it our supernatural Baby Boomer karma catching up to us? All of this reinforces my reckoning with our human mortality. And you?

At the rate that our musical stars are dying I might be next!lol Even though I was only a Dee Jay on the radio, who played their hits!
I have experienced many strange events by being part of the media. For example, I was working the board on The Zone, 104.5FM, which was only one hundred yards away from the scene where the NFL’s Tennessee Titan’s legendary quarterback, Steve McNair was murdered by his extramarital lover. I digress; this article is about 2016!
Can we dig deeper into this? Is there a conspiracy about that is suddenly taking away American icons rapidly via some diabolical plan? Is it “ISIS”-related? Most likely, Nyet.

On the heels of learning about Colonel Abrams from the list I link later in this blog, I peruse it again, in order to do a possible year-end summary of the many important stars and musicians we lost this year, when I come across the name, “David Mancuso”. I’d skimmed this list many times during the past week and saw his name only this evening now, over a drink, while at a lonely, hidden bar in a southern town. This trend may well continue into 2017! I hope not…

I remember the shiny cobblestoned streets, often moistened by a recent rain as I, the still a bit shy, baby DJ, freshly graduated from Adelphi University, crossed to visit him at 99 Prince Street, the home of David Mancuso and the first Record Pool I ever belonged to which was responsible for many of the vinyl 12” DJ versions I own. Sometimes I left with just a couple big, album-sized envelopes and other times, I could hardly walk to the subway station, if I hadn’t driven there, parking several blocks away as parking was difficult in that part of “the Village” in Manhattan, New York.

David was kind of “scary” to the 1970s me. Not in the mean sense of the word, but just the kind of fun, strange cat that I would likely become! He briefly would chill with me, imparting heavy conversation sometimes [I didn’t always understand, but pretended to] and schooled me about stuff that I had no idea about though I now still relate to as “an old Black American Hippie”, which is, at my core, who I am! Many other Baby Boomers are similar to me, but will not admit it because of the un-corporate connotation of “Hippie”. I say “f-ck that!” Be who you are (another famous, educational song lyric!). David would agree. I wish I was him sometimes now!

David Mancuso was mysterious to me. I remember always wanting to smoke a joint with him! Ha! Maybe we did once, or I smelled it while copping my sides. “I can’t remember”, lol Those were the daze. How I came to find him, I cannot really recall. It must have been via one of my major record company Promotional contacts, my own research, Billboard magazine, or word-of-mouth via other DJs…I apologize for being so vague about this, which I am usually so succinct – at the time of this writing, but I do not have all of my belongings with me to research into my past, as it used to be when I began to blog. ‘Working on changing that asap! I always left there feeling part of the greater DJ game! I knew I was a real “player” and party motivator! All of that started, by the way, in my senior year at the now defunct, Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, Queens, New York City and going forward from there (as was mandatory in those great days) as an undergraduate DJ on the campus of Adelphi University in Garden City, Nassau County on Long Island.
This is as close to the David Mancuso that I remember:

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And as I write this, I receive the news that naughty, inner-conflicted “Wham” boy Gorge Michael died over Christmas weekend. He cheated death many times as attested to here:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/rob-sheffield-on-why-george-michael-was-a-true-pop-visionary-w457788

Again, this is a summary inspired by the passing of my 99 Prince Street Record Pool Founder, David Mancuso; yet another “nail in our collective coffin” during twenty-sixteen. Is there a larger message that we should be hearing behind these passings? I think so!
To encompass all of the disappointing hurt in words of this year’s losses is difficult. And again, as I write this, the news of Carrie Fisher of “Star Wars” (the original) fame now passing-away at only the age of sixty (60)! WTF?? 160421142237-people-we-lost-april-2016-medium-plus-169

How did the passing of Gene Wilder, Prince, Craig Sager, Ron Glass, Alan Thicke, Maurice White, George Kennedy, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Pearl Washington, Billy Paul, Muhammad Ali, Morley Safer, Bobby Hutcherson, Hugh O’Brian, Bobby Vee, Gwen Ifill, Clarence Reid or Florence Henderson and others you can view on the link below, impact you this year? We all have our “heroes”, right? There is no shame in claiming them.

http://www.syracuse.com/celebrity-news/index.ssf/2016/01/celebrity_deaths_in_2016_famous_photos.html

Please share in the “Comments” area in remembrance…of them. I pray upon the souls of all these giants we’ve lost and that some of what I have written in hommage has educated you and made sense.

**PickHitt: and just as I clicked “Publish”, the news of another beloved of my lifetime and mother of Carrie Fisher (I didn’t KNOW that!), Debbie Reynolds joined the parade of 2016 stars leaving the physical world. “Wow”…again.

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“When I say ‘Do Not Cross’, I MEAN it!”…

Have you ever noticed that the news rarely, if-ever reports of an “African-American” girl or female being “shot by police”? Why do you think this is? I offer now ten or so reasons why the “African-American” males of the early twenty-first century are being shot by police and some of them will answer the question I posed above.

1. Child Support Laws authored and promoted by the then powerful late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who was thought to be a “brilliant” and even-handed Liberal at the time whose ideas about how “minorities” (in other words black women) pimped the system by having many children on the larger (white) populace’s dime. His Welfare Overhaul ideas, enacted circa 1990, led to the current Child Support Laws and explosion of Family Courts who suddenly had more than lame divorces to adjudicate and which led to:

2. The disintegration of the traditional modern black American family thereafter, which:

3. Criminalized, disgusted and disempowered black American men (if they could not affor to pay Child Support) at about the same time that significant numbers of Caribbean (Jamaican and Haitian especially) and African immigrants began to infiltrate those of us black Americans who actually were born and raised here within the fifty states.

4. These laws emboldened women of color (and all American women, by-the-way) to have children out of wedlock (further disenfranchising the men) by removing the previous stigma of illegitimacy. This is the exact opposite effect that the Moynihan/Hillary Clinton camps desired, in my opinion; they facilitated the disintegration of the traditional American family unit! Now, these boys are growing up without the traditional male father in the home who would train them to respect authority and the role of police in society, and as soon as they encounter a situation where they might be acting-out and are “busted” doing so by the cops, they do not have that lesson in their heads that says, ‘give respect to the officer’, and that leads to the worst outcome all too often.

5. The lack of Truant Officers or as some school districts liked to call them, “Attendance Teachers”. Somewhere in the middle nineties, around the time that political correctness, spawned by the Bill Clinton Presidency, was introduced, the Truant Officer became a budgetary casualty across the nation and nobody pushed back against the decision. “Its too mean to make a kid go to school!” some must have said. I tie that into:

6. The lack of sensible and moderate Corporal Punishment and encouraging children to “report” discipline by their parents to outside agency strangers whose only agenda is a paycheck as intruders in situations whose genesis they have no clue about. There are some things better left within a family to iron-out and discipline is one of them!

7. Today’s lowered educational standards and philosophies. Are students even required to begin the day’s lessons by standing, facing our flag and reciting The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States anymore? If not, then that is another huge miscalculation of training the little wild animal beings that are our kids!

8. Television news coverage of these incidents which lack even implied educational lessons by those who report them. Where are the produced Public Service Announcements (“PSAs”) of yester year that provided the moral reminders to us all not to (“litter” for-example) do certain things in the spirit of a better community for us all? That void only leads to:

9. The “copy-cat factor”. Too many bad behavior events in today’s world are the result of acts by too many with mental illness walking amongst the larger and generally sane population, who see and hear this junk and decide to duplicate it so that they too can be “famous”. How ridiculous! However, a whole attitude about rounding-up and putting mental cases in institutions must be revisited and the clock turned back to some of the practices of the pre-politically correct era.

10. And finally, I point to excess Caribbean migration and illegal immigration which began during the Ronald Reagan Presidency and the infamous “Boat People”. I guess intercepting them and turning them back for repatriation was all a sham. What’s more is apparently these individuals were allowed into our society without mandatory schooling about how we black Americans, the descendants of American slaves, had already fought for and won our civil rights during the days of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ebonics be-damned, there is no need to re-segregate ourselves and have to riot and damage what we’ve collectively built since then – all over again.

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This is not to say that the Cops bear no responsibility for how these situations escalate, nor that teen Caucasian American males are not shot while acting-up. That segment of the population does not take to the streets to “protest” every time it happens. They more likely seek legal help (available to all of us) and work the system behind the scenes. However, in this post 9/11/2001 era of Policing in America, it is even more important not to have a close encounter with any law enforcement Officer.

Your thoughts or additional Reasons?

And now the album my previous EP revu teased has dropped!

Janey Street’s “My Side of Paradise” [BER 1020 Blu Elan Records]

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If you would talk to Janey Street, you would never know that she is a singer because she is just a natural, typically loquacious chick with a regular speaking voice that has a slight New York City treatment. What I think it allows for is a variety of pitch within this collection which ranges from rock to funk along the blues street in paradise. The concept of this album measures today’s  social mores.

The album begins like I thought it would with the first drummer rim shots.

This is a collection of very well written songs.  I emphasize “well-written” lyrics and performed by Janey Street who has apparently paid enough blues dues to earn a shot to fulfill her dreams, proving that we must keep on keeping on (to borrow a title from the late, great Curtis Mayfield) because it is never too late as long as we have breath in our bodies and a strong pulse. Many of these heartfelt songs will end up rambling through your mind as soothing tune wedgies, long after your first listening to the album.

 

What I love about the first two tracks, which are my favorites, is their Motown-esq funky band feel that even features one of my favorite instruments, the baritone saxophone which made so many hits of the 1960s and 1970s so ballsy and timeless! It kicks in about midway into “Among The Missing” and staples it until the end. They keep that horny horn into “Good Side” and even lead with the baritone which becomes integral from the outset and throughout! I can totally relate to the lyric, “I’m a little moody in the morning/I can change my mind without warning…”

The next tune and ballad, “Bring it On”, brings in the orchestral strings and I think I heard a cello at one point!  It is a bit strident at times as occasional vocal overreach stretches Janey’s vocal range. What I found curious is how she pronounced the word, “stubborn” during this song. It sounded more like “stubbren”. No phonics?

“House Of Mirrors” is a storytelling funhouse rocker that is reminiscent of many 1980s Top 40 hits.  The next tune, “Situation” you already know how I feel about its succinct relevance from my prior writings. Events are oft not as hideous as we worry about them being at the end of the day.

I have another line for song number six, “Tears Taste the Same”, ‘they taste like whatever you been drinking, they taste like Beer…’  Nice, cold ending, by the way.

The advanced EP single, “I’m Not The Girl I Used To Know”, cut number seven, has actually grown on me since I reviewed it in June of this year. Maybe it is because of its context position midway through this album and because I can see how it speaks to some inner truth many people might feel even though I am the boy I used to know – and then some!

“Grand Delusion” takes on the perceived illusion that the internet and social media creates in this, the future that is now, if you do not know how to use it correctly. “Rose-colored glasses made for the masses…” Her treatment makes this global technology dysfunction seem almost pleasing – but as good as it is for song, they are off the mark in-reality, which is a debate for another post.

“Radar” mellows it out like a Joni Mitchell song from the seventies.  “Scat Like Ella” is the best possibility for a “tune wedgie” as it is catchy and will linger in your music mind for all times. It is a really good concept song that Ms. Street performs to the max and conveys the message succinctly.  Again, the lyrics carry part of the day as she mentions so many of the giants of legendary Jazz music.  I left it believing that she really does want to “scat like Ella Fitzgerald after hearing her give us a sample! Now I think I want to scat like Cab Calloway!

At the “End of the Day” is a finale, mostly acapella and well-positioned wrap song for the album, which, maybe, with the exception of “I’m Not The Girl…”, tells a kind of revolutionary story about the times within we reside in toto.  I like Blue`lan’s packaging of the CD, which includes a lyric booklet. My final question is how to get  a ticket onto that train to Janey’s Side of Paradise – or is it an island?  As a songstress/storyteller, Janey Streets consistently paints a beautiful word-picture throughout the effort that defies any one music genre catagorie, in my opinion.  I bless it with Four out of a possible Five Guitars.

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Please add your comment and impression of this music after you add it to your music library.  Another version of this revu can be read at https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/

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History is the most important subject your children must learn and study. Don’t think so? Well pay attention to what is happening right under our noses these days…

There was a time, not so long ago, that when a group exercised its agenda upon the innocents with explosives or gunfire, it was just that: a “bombing” or “shooting”. Shit, when I was coming of teenage, the civil rights movement in American begat any number of groups from the so-called “left” who would, when they felt they were being ignored, would blow up the establishment’s shit on the regular! Ever heard of the Weather Underground (“Weathermen”), Symbionese Liberation Army (world famous for the kidnapping of publishing heiress, Patricia Hearst in 1974), Black Panthers, Puerto Rican F.A.L.N, the Unabomber, the Oklahoma City duo and others?

Now and since the cowardly declaration of war attack by Osama Bin Ladin et al, on September 11, 2001, any act of stupidity by a mentally ill person who kills innocents is labeled “terrorism” by the news media. But is it really? The then American President Bush re-coined the phrase, I believe, and that vernacular should change in-order to improve our understanding within the discourse.

Can we not revert back to when we had different terminology for assorted barbaric behaviors? Every nut with a gun is not a terrorist. More than likely, it is a “copy-cat” mentally deranged person who, because of current technology, that allows one to perpetually view negativity on television, who decides to act-out their perceived bullshit violent psychosis which drives them insane in a similar manner!

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This same American news “cycle” has, in a backdoor way, encouraged these crazies to act-out not only here but in place like Nice, France. Who says that petty thief truck driver is a “terrorist” but not just a NUT-JOB who should have been institutionalized and on medications? We will never know because now, due to the perception that the every violent character is a “terrorist” mentality which has filtered from government into law enforcement, and now the police shoot (or blow-up, as in Dallas, Texas recently) to kill instead of wound, therefore we collectively lose access to psychoanalyze the individual’s deep, true intentions and what really inspired them. I would bet good money that their acts are not borne so simply out of just religious hate.
It is time to pull-back from the brink of religious-borne anarchy and/or [in the USA] race wars now. They are killing instead of capturing.

You will notice, if you read the subtitles in the video below, from shortly after the 9/11 event, the coward Bin Ladin himself, who uses the word “terrorist”. For American news media and the President to copy his words and perpetuate them to this day in 2016, is a damn shame and News Directors’ heads should roll. The English language has so many other adjectives to describe and simultaneously educate the populace than the fodder they have been using which is dividing the world.

Every bombing act is not an “Isis” event these days, just as back in the 1970s, during the black American Civil Rights movement, my friend, Imhotep Gary Byrd said, “Every Brother Ain’t A “Brother”…

C’mon, People! Do your homework! Teach your children well and to study HISTORY – so that the mistakes of the past are not made again! Our “leaders” in the USA have let the modern “Trojan Horse” enter our sphere. We, the People, cannot be “terrorized” unless we are in fear! Media know that spreading the fear of “terrorism” sells products.

Please add your comments.

“Dearly Beloved, I would die for you…”

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Finally, “like 1999…” Do you remember where you were when that year actually hit? I bet that song, by Prince, was blazing at the party that midnight!

Prince was a curiosity; basically an anomaly to me, when he came on the music scene at the time that I was a young, rising radio DJ. I received his first vinyl album, “Uptown” from my Warner Brothers Records friend, Jackie Thomas, while the “Awl Nyte Flyte” host on Worcester, Massachussetts Top 40 station, ‘ WFTQ AM/”14Q” circa 1980. Soon I would be playing the single, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” often on the Contemporary Hit Radio air waves.  I remember my late radio DJ inspiration and Program Director, Frankie Crocker, referring to him on the air as “his royal purple badness”; a great description! lol

I thought Prince was kind of an ordinary – but naughty – singer, at first.
He had this band and wore what looked like a raincoat on the inner sleeve picture of that first album, “Uptown”.  Who knew that this cat would become a major musical muskrat?  I played much of his music in clubs and on the radio as a disc jockey talent. He became a little more weird when he changed his name to a symbol in the early 1990s. “Hmmm…”

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My top five (5) Prince jams are: “When Doves Cry”[the long 12” extended version], “Little Red Corvette” [ditto the version], “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, “Erotic City” and “Lets Go Crazy”.

I had forgotten about this jam, “Lets Go Crazy”, until it came to me, recently and subliminally while at my day job, a week after his untimely and sudden death. Watching the performance on this video inspired this blog post!

Prince courted some baad babes too! Maybe that is why I ignored him: he didn’t share with me! My top Prince hot chick ladies are: Apollonia, (the late)  Vanity, Shiela E and Carmen Electra! More of them are here!  http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2010/02/princes-10-hottest-female-proteges/  Some guys have all the luck – and then you die. Ain’t it a shame?  Here is some of my collection of Prince vinyls:

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Yes, I took Prince for-granted as I am sure you did too (unless you live in Minnesota). He burst onto the scene in the early eighties and became a fixture of hot, dancible contemporary American hit music that people from all walks of life partied to and appreciated.  I recently heard some blue-collar types complain that while country music icon, Merle Haggard had passed away recently, he did not receive as much media attention as this “so-and-so” Prince did from the news media.  Well, maybe they missed the updates, or misunderstand the nuances of how the body public processes music genres.  We are the world, we are the music. I loved that he was not afraid of Controversey and not ashamed of his self deprecating “Dirty Mind” (like mine). His over-protectiveness of his videos being on YouTube troubled me.

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You already know how weirdly strange it is that Prince is the latest in a string of musician deaths here, only four months into 2016.  This year reminds me of this time in 2012, when we lost the likes of Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Don Cornelius (Soul Train’s host). It is very strange and the only saving grace is the music they left behind for we, still in the physical world, to listen to.

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Above, the flip-side of my first Prince vinyl album cover. Well, “This is what it sounds like when” [Your] Fans cry…

Hey, be sure to save the location of my new, music-reviews-ONLY blog post! https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/ 
There you will be able to keep up-to-date on the latest music and learn about the contemporary music artists of my lifetime. It is a work in-progress…
Please check it out and let your voice be heard above the herd.

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Zaporizhzhya volunteers have launched an action event for St. Valentine’s Day. Volunteers of the NGO
“Chesne Zaporizhzhya” (Honest Zaporizhzhya) address their appeal on FB: – We call on all our wonderful and beautiful girls and women! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… So we decided to launch an action event called “Give a Soldier your Gift of Love” (for Valentines Day).

Zaporizhzhya volunteers have launched an action event for St. Valentine’s Day. Volunteers of the NGO “Chesne Zaporizhzhya” (Honest Zaporizhzhya) address their appeal on FB:

– We call on all our wonderful and beautiful girls and women! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… So we decided to launch an action event called “Give a Soldier your Gift of Love”. Please write letters and declarations of love to our defenders, make a handmade gift, or prepare snacks and treats… It could be anything. Let’s give them the warmth and love that they need and deserve. For there, at the front, it’s important for our soldiers to know that lovely warm hearts are waiting for them at home.
Your gifts and sweets can be delivered every business day to our warehouse located at 152V Lenina Prospect, Room 21. Please call before visiting us: +0505393006, +0938729270 or +0966124412). If you arrive and no one is in the office, please leave your gift with the watchman.

Suggested snacks, treats and sweets:

– candies, chocolate, cookies, cakes and waffles;

– salo (lard), sausages, canned meat and fish, meat pâté;

– tea, coffee, cocoa;

– sugar, sugar, and more sugar;

– flour (for baking needs; our patriotic girls bake pies, pastry, cakes and buns and bread; the flour disappears in the blink of an eye!)

– you may add shaving supplies, socks (never enough!), flashlights with extra batteries, lighters and anything that pops into your mind.

The volunteers plan to travel to the front on February 16.

Pickhitt: This is very special because it is where my Ukrainian friend and other half of the “Cafe` Skype” story lives – or lived last time I heard from her. Bravo.