Tag Archives: music

Bach to Bach

Since Adrastos is (as of now) back home, but stressed to the max – I’m going rogue.

The late great Virgil Fox used to introduce his performance of this piece thusly :
“The tune comes once, twice, three times to the hands, and the fourth time when it comes to the feet – I ‘dahnce the gigue’ “.
Here’s Don Munro giving it hell :

After that (if I smoked) I need a cigarette.
Oh – and while I’m doing music stuff, here’s a little ditty I put together :
♫ You were so stupid that you didn’t get the jab-o
You’d rather choke to death than get a little stab-o
“I was a dumb ass” it’ll read on top your slab-o
Heyyy – Macorona ! ♫
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Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – headroom edition




I just added a second 1X12″ 120W subwoofer to The Home Theater From Hell.

Why? One word. Headroom.

Modern soundtracks make pretty heavy demands on home theater sound systems. If you have a crappy little soundbar, that’s going to get overloaded and possibly even push the amplifier into clipping (distortion) during the peaks that abound in today’s movie soundtracks. (movie soundtracks? these days even COMMERCIALS have low-end artifacts that sound like a tank coming down your street)

Nothing sounds worse than a speaker / amplifier system approaching its limit.  Amplifier manufacturers even put compressors in the amplifiers to push back the wattage when peaks hit so the amps don’t crap out.

Look at it like this – you have two cars going 80mph. A Ferrari and a Volkswagen.

Suddenly, you need to be going 90mph. The Volkswagen might do it, but the motor is stressed to the breaking point.

The Ferrari? Effortless acceleration.

The amount or reserve power in any speaker system isn’t about volume. It’s about CLEAN volume.

The speaker size / capacity also isn’t about volume. It’s about barely pushing the speakers to produce that volume. I use JBL 4412 studio monitors for mains, which also have 12s.

(side note – I spent a large part of my life hearing my musical group’s songs being mixed on them, and later, mixing (as a engineer/producer) other people’s music on them.
I’d go home afterwards and hear my crappy home stereo speakers and I couldn’t stand it.
I said to myself : “One day I’ll have a pair of these in my living room.”.)
And now I do.

This is why I have double the wattage and speaker capacity most people would consider adequate.



That’s also the reason my bass rig sounds so kick-ass. (IMHO)


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Saturday Odds & Sods: Wrecking Ball

Swing Landscape- Stuart Davis

Swing Landscape- Stuart Davis (1938) via IUB.EDU.

I’m not feeling particularly destructive this week but the heat is getting to me. We’re on target to break a record that nobody wants to break: consecutive days of highs of 90+ degrees. We’re at 48 days and counting and the record is 51. I’m just trying to stay cool, which is why I posted Stuart Davis’ Swing Landscape. Ain’t nothing cooler than that, y’all.

In other local news, some knucklehead tried to move a house in Uptown New Orleans and it  got stuck for several days on General Pershing Street between Camp and Magazine, which is not far from Adrastos World HQ.

Photo by Jennifer K. Lloyd.

Photo by Jennifer K. Lloyd.

It’s half a shotgun house sliced lengthwise, which was being moved to another lot where it was to rejoin its woody mate, replacing a circa 1970’s house. I believe the other house was demolished, which brings us to this week’s theme song. Make that theme songs, 3 different tunes with the same title: Wrecking Ball. We begin with a Wrecking Ball written by Neil Young and recorded by Emmylou Harris as the title track of an atmospheric album she made with producer Daniel Lanois in 1995:

Our second song reflects another theme this week, Wrecking Ball as album title. This more political song was written and recorded by some guy from Jersey:

Our final Wrecking Ball is wielded by Joe Walsh. It comes from Joe’s fine 2012 album, Analog Man, which was co-produced by Jeff Lynne. I guess that’s why it sounds like the James Gang meets ELO:

Please follow the bouncing wrecking ball after the break.

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Fare Thee Well


Poster for the final Bay Area shows.

Dr. A indulged me the last two weekends by not complaining about my watching the live stream for *all* of the Fare Thee Well shows from Santa Clara and Chicago. In short, I am Grateful that I’m not Dead. Sorry about that pun, but the ACAW post got me in a Diltz pickle this morning that I did not relish. I really need to stop pandering to the pun community…

I also had a little help from my friends in accessing the stream, which was wobbly at times but crystal clear at its best. The band, of course, started every show at least 30 minutes late and took breaks of around an hour each night despite Bob Weir’s insistence that they’d be back in a bit.  An hour is not a bit, not even a bit-o-honey. But that’s how the Grateful Dead have always rolled: to the beat of their own drum solo. I have a Pavlovian response to the Hart-Kreutzmann drum solo: I take a pee break, which, thanks to auto-correct, led to my tweeting about a pea break during the last show. That, in turn, led to considerable hilarity at my expense. But if you dish it out, you gotta be able to take it. Beats the hell out of mock terrapin station soup

I promise to mind my peas and cues after the break.

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Odd & Sods: Hump Day Roundup Edition

the-who odds--sods

This post is not about hunchbacks, weed killing, or humping. Sorry to disappoint you. I haven’t written one of these omnibus posts in ages and just felt like doing so. I am an arbitrary and capricious motherfucker sometimes. I may even make it a habit on Wednesdays, butdon’t want it to become a vice, which would make this whole exercise eerily like the title of a Doobie Brothers album, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. I obviously spend way too much time researching old album covers…

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you, on with the show this is it:

Shorter Bill-O: CDC honcho should resign because he won’t come on my stupid awesome teevee show. Doesn’t Dr. Frieden know that we live in a Bill-O centric universe and that everything revolves around him? Bow down to Bill-O and kiss his mystic butthole.

Downstairs Willard: Anyone else remember the character of Upstairs John on NYPD Blue? He’s got bupkis to do with this segment. It’s called a teaser in the trade. Feel free to call me a prick. Now where was I? Oh, yeah, this:

In an evolution from his stiff, buttoned-up demeanor that was often lampooned during his previous White House runs, Romney dished in the interview on his favorite television show, his grandchildren and even a leg massage.

On “Downton Abbey”: “I think the show was most enjoyable in the first season. Then when Matthew (Crawley) went off to war, it was a bit of a departure for a few seasons,” Romney said, straight-faced. “I actually like the downstairs part more than the upstairs part, even though I think Mary (Crawley) is an absolutely delightful character and I love watching her.”

I think Willard Mittbot Romney likes the downstairs part better for voyeuristic reasons. He enjoys seeing how  his inferiors (aka the 47%) lived in Woody Old England. Now that I think of it, he probably identifies with the stiff and pompous Mr. Bates except for the whole accused murderer thing. Willard would have outsourced that to Bangladesh.

It’s reassuring that the Mittbot still feels the need to prove that he’s a human being, gosh darn it. I wonder if he likes Upstairs Mary because she’s an arrogant and haughty hottie, which is probably how he sees Ann. It’s probably a good thing that Willard is a generation removed from seeking out Mary as a sister wife like dear old grandad might have. This is what comes from my binge watching Big Love this summer…

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Album Cover Art Wednesday: American Stars ‘n Bars

Neil Young has always been an absurdly prolific recording artist. In the 1970’s, he was grinding albums out like sausages. 1977’s American Stars ‘n Bars was one of Neil’s stronger efforts from that era. Additionally, it’s got that country rock thing going for it and it uses ‘n in the title. Why I like that, I’ll never know.

Some folks find the album disjointed since it was recorded over a few years BUT it contains a string of terrific songs, and I’ll forgive a lot if the songwriting is strong. Here’s how William Ruhlman describes it at AllMusic.com:

Neil Young made a point of listing the recording dates of the songs on American Stars ‘n Bars; the dates even appeared on the LP labels. They revealed that the songs had been cut at four different sessions dating back to 1974. But even without such documentation, it would have been easy to tell that the album was a stylistic hodgepodge, its first side consisting of country-tinged material featuring steel guitar and fiddle, plus backup vocals from Linda Ronstadt and the then-unknown Nicolette Larson, while the four songs on the second side varied from acoustic solo numbers like “Will to Love” to raging rockers such as “Like a Hurricane.”

The package for American Stars ‘n Bars lost a lot in the translation to CD. I’ve got the LP somewhere in a box in a closet and while I *should* being willing to dig it out for my gentle readers, I’m not. Ya dig?

To say that the cover is undignified is an understatement. It’s a swell parody of the rock star pomposity that was so prevalent at the time: Henley and Frey come on down. The album art was designed by former child star Dean Stockwell before his 1980’s acting comeback with Blue Velvet, Married To The Mob, and the swell time travel teeevee series, Quantum Leap.

Without further adieu, here’s the album cover:

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Beck-Ola 2009

It seems to be 9/12 sign day here at First Draft. My post was finished and waiting in the bullpen beforeAthenae threw that hard slider so I added this wee intro. This group blogging thing is harder than it looks.

Speaking of groups: The original Beck-Olawas a 1969 elpee (you know, one of those round black vinyl doohickeys with a hole in the middle) by the Jeff Beck Group whereon the guitar god was joined by Rod Stewart and Ron Wood to make some heavy blooze rock.<cue power chords>Beck essentially created the template for Led Zeppelin and countless others but was too restless to cash in. BUT that’s not the Beck-Ola in question, it’s my pet name for the Glenn Beck inspired hootenanny (hate-enanny?) they had in Washington last weekend.

There are some pretty remarkable Beck-Ola 2009 photos floating around the internets this week. Most are your common garden variety Obama is a Hitlerite Commie Fascist dictator who wants to take your guns away and force your womenfolk to have abortions. My favorite is below and it’s rather inventive; presenting an unlikely trinity of Stalin, Mugabe and Obama:


I stumbled onto the picture on a Flickr page dubbed theNineTwelve Photos photostream. They have all sorts of zany pictures of Paultards, Freeperazzi and other assorted nutjobs at the demonstration. These are, of course, the folks who some in the MSM keep assuring us are just ordinary Joes who are angry but NOT bigots; a point amply supported by this comment on this picture at Flickr:

“Mugabe is a NEGRO and so is BARACK OBAMA and
they’re both COMMUNISTS just like STALIN so
you’d better watch out, Dems – you’re not
fooling ANYBODY with your NEO-STALINIST

Maybe not.

Hmm, this explains so much: my cravings for borscht, ballet and hyperinflation in particular. We’re all Neo-Stalinist Mugabe-ites. Who knew?

Well, at least the marchers aren’t sexist, he said in a voice dripping with sarcasm, but their anti-Three Stooges bias really ticks me off


It’s time to bring this exercise in semi-coherent thought full circle and back to the Jeff Beck Group. I don’t know about you but contemplating Beck-Ola 2009 has got me all shook up:

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