“Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream (1967)

5 02 2017

Cream was a supergroup consisting of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce. All three are considered masters of their game.

Jack Bruce, the bassist, sings this song, and he’s one of my favorite bassists. Thought that you should know that, as a bassist in your own right.

But there’s another reason I’m posting this song for you. Bear with me.

There’s a lot of hate and division in the U.S. right now, and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse.

When I was a young man, I spent a summer in Israel. Israelis and Palestinians have been at each others’ throats for a long time. Well, mostly with the Israelis at the Palestinians’ throats.

While there, I spent two months on a kibbutz, which is a kind of collective, often a farming operation. I was a volunteer member of Kibbutz Rosh Haniqra, which mostly produced bananas. That’s right, your dad was a banana farmer in the Holy Land.

At this kibbutz, I jammed with a couple musicians. The bassist: me, with only limited Hebrew skills. The drummer: a Palestinian, who spoke Arabic and decent Hebrew, but no English. The guitarist: An Israeli Jew who spoke Hebrew, decent Arabic and English.

So we had no language in common, really. Except music.

After much linguistic confusion, we settled on this song, and the drummer counted us off.

For the first time, it wasn’t too bad. We kind of clicked. Even if sloppy and unrehearsed, you can still tell when you’re in sync with the other musicians.

And the three of us–who have no common language–knew it. Even though we couldn’t really speak to each other, we were smiling, and we were digging it.

This song always reminds me of that tiny little blues/peace summit.


Pure Pop Goodness

12 06 2010

I’ve been having a hard time keeping this up. Things are kind of stressful right now, and I’ve dropped the ball. I’m going to try to pick it up, with a theme. For a while, I’m going to just highlight some great pop music.

You should know by now that I think music provides many things: comfort, sympathy, empowerment. But it also provides some grand escapism. Whether you like to get up and dance, or you like to latch onto a glorious melody and join in, or maybe you just need to smile while subtly tapping a big toe, good pop music is your tonic.

I could use the escapism myself!

100th Post

1 03 2009

The last post was the 100th I’ve put up on this blog, and I’m wondering if you’ll even read any of them one day.

And then, I wonder if you’ll even like any of this music.  I like to think that there is enough variety here to offer you something.

You are six-years-old now, and I think you really do like music, which pleases me.  You sing a pretty mean version of “Pretend We’re Dead” by L7 on Rock Band 2, which is awesome.  There are a lot of parents who wouldn’t be pleased by that, preferring their kids eat up generic pap by “safe” pop stars.

I would much rather you listen to stuff that comes from the heart and soul.  Stuff that’s not manufactured merely to sell records.  There’s nothing wrong with a little candy now and then, but we need real nourishment, too.

My Decade

14 10 2008

I think I should explain why many of these posts are of music made in the 1980’s.  That decade encompassed most of my formative years, the time period of a lot of growth for me as a young man.  In the 1980’s, I graduated high school, went to college, had some of my first real jobs, and first “real” girlfriends.  I also got to travel to some great places, which expanded my horizons and perspective tremendously.

Fortunately, there was a lot of great music produced during the ’80’s.

Where to begin?

26 08 2008

I have to remind myself that I’m just trying to highlight songs that have meant a lot to me.  Music that might just give you a little boost every now and then.

But there’s so much great music out there, it’s almost paralyzing just thinking of where to begin.

So these are posted in no particular order.  I just have to dive in.

Spread out on the living room floor

11 08 2008

That’s how I listened to music.  Once upon a time, albums came on large vinyl discs, called LP’s (for “long-playing”).  You might have seen them in our garage.  The LP’s were often packaged in sleeves, which were then tucked inside jackets or covers.  The sleeves and covers often had liner notes, lyrics, musicians’ credits, recording session information, and really nice art.

So try to imagine your old man as a kid, coming home with a new LP, tearing off the plastic wrap, and carefully removing the vinyl to place on the turntable.  Placing the stylus on the outer groove of the LP, and adjusting the stereo’s volume, I would find a nice spot on the carpet to spread out both myself and the album’s cover and sleeve.   Then I’d follow along with the lyrics while soaking up as much of the music as I could.

So much great music, so little time

11 08 2008

You are almost six years old now.  By the time you’re buying your own music, good songs will be buried in iPods and playlists, needles in giant haystacks of mediocrity.  Many will be mislabeled, too, so you might just think that “Brown Sugar” was done by The Beatles, or that Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2” really IS titled “We Don’t Need No Education.”

A sad state of affairs if you ask me.  These artists spend a lot of time and effort putting their music out there.  They generally record albums, or collections of songs, which often have themes or something tying them together.  This is how I learned to enjoy music.  As a work of art from a group of people.