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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #371
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    On a quiet lonely vacant night when others are able to slumber without violent interruptions or dull aching remembrances, those who can’t myself included look for company in simple musical brush strokes. Something to soothe and not stir too much. Something that applies healing to an aching heart or explores a room with one eye while the rest of your body hides behind a door or seated at the top of the stairs, gazing down toward the darkened living room. Perhaps while you kneel in a closet and peel open a forgotten folded box with photographs, yearbooks or time passages.....you might listen to something like this and then try to return to the forgiveness of unconsciousness.


  2. #372
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Thank you, WS.
    I woke at 3am and got up to have a glass of hot milk to get myself back to sleep. Never ever had jet lag like this. I listened to Miles Davis for a while and it is wonderful and soothing.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #373
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Ever since I’ve started rebuilding my vintage vinyl album collection, I’ve been amazed at the unexpected places I have recovered them. I went to a fall festival with my wife. She’s a sucker for handmade seasonal sweaters ; I like pippin apples for pie making. We both went with a purpose. Like so many small towns, a group of likeminded individuals form an historical society. This place had a book sale and the library had a sale of their own. In a cardboard box of castaway records I found a copy of “My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert”. The vinyl itself was sketchy but the outer cover is near mint. Fifty cents later, I took it home. Cleaned up, I think she will play.

    “My Funny Valentine” debuted in 1937 as a part of the Broadway show “Babes in Arms” which played at the Shubert Theatre on W. 44 th Street and Broadway, New York City. It’s a song that pokes fun at a partner’s strange characteristics but despite this the person makes you smile and is perfect the way they are.

    Miles Davis played it this way:



    It can also be a very emotional and sultry vocal performance like Alice Fredenham did it on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013:

  4. #374
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    WS:

    Mid-summer, I did go through the old LPs at Granny's Attic for you and came up with nothing interesting. But today is the last Granny's Attic of the season () and I'm going one last time to see if they have any old kitchen carts, so I'll go through the albums again. I know you like jazz but what else?--Throw out a few names and I'll see if I can come up with a winner! It's fun to look through those old stacks of albums. I've gotten a couple there for the son with the turntable.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  5. #375
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    WS:

    Mid-summer, I did go through the old LPs at Granny's Attic for you and came up with nothing interesting. But today is the last Granny's Attic of the season () and I'm going one last time to see if they have any old kitchen carts, so I'll go through the albums again. I know you like jazz but what else?--Throw out a few names and I'll see if I can come up with a winner! It's fun to look through those old stacks of albums. I've gotten a couple there for the son with the turntable.
    Kenny Burrell, Caravan, Frank Zappa, Jody Grind, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground And Nico, The Zombies, Van Der Graaf Generator, ....to name a few obscures.

    Thats very thoughtful of you Catherine.

  6. #376
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    There are some things that are inexplicable. Franco Harris’ immaculate reception....a hole in one in golf.....a bullet penetrating your torso and narrowly missing anything vital....hitting a royal flush at the Let It Ride table. But I could have never predicted this.

    A perfect example of a long playing record is basically three pieces: the outer cover, the inner sleeve and the vinyl itself. Finding all three in near mint condition in the wild is almost impossible. That’s why I will often take an album home that has a very good cover but a crappy record or a crappy cover with a nice record. I hope to run across something someday that will make a complete package. But I never expect to and usually never do. I have lots of incompletes like this.

    On one trip to a thrift store I ran across a Frank Sinatra album called “Nice N’ Easy”. The outer cover was rough and had been taped together at the seams. The record however was a decent looking enough example to take it home for a quarter. It sat in my container for quite some time after I cleaned it up. I noticed also that the outer cover was in Stereo and the record itself was Mono. Hmm. How’d that happen?

    The other day I went to a yard sale way back a dirt road on a deteriorating property that used to be a dairy farm. There I found about six hundred records in boxes sitting on a dirty concrete floor. The only way to check them is to get down on the floor and wallow in the dirt. Among those boxes, incredibly, I found a Frank Sinatra “Nice N’ Easy” copy with a near mint outer cover in Mono and quickly set it aside without looking at the vinyl itself. I took it home for pennies.

    When I got to cleaning the vinyl up I discovered that it was terribly cracked. And then I noticed that it was a Stereo copy. That’s inconceivable. So I threw the stereo outer and copy away and paired my good mono outer cover with the near mint mono copy for a perfect match.

    Frank now proudly spins on my turntable .... interestingly Frank had a part in the transition from Mono to Stereo back in the day.


  7. #377
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I find my life runs in certain places over and over again. On the farm, a one hundred acre beef spread of a friend, we access the hickory woods via a cow path. And the ruts that develop become the same pathway as over and over we pass. The hickory woods host all manner of the Commonwealths wildlife; fox and grey squirrels, snappy pine squirrels and chipmunks, holes with groundhogs, turkeys, and deer and a wide ranging bear or two. Perhaps a passing fox or even a bobcat but certainly coyotes. We invade the woods to repair tree stands and plan ambushes on deer. And we return to the barn on the same path in the same ruts to the complaints of the steers in the field.

    A lot like my life, I use the same ways to get to the same places. Music is a path to get a hurting soul into a place where healing can occur. The instruments the path into the soothing woods of my mind. I remember an experiment I tried to recreate as a child. It involved playing different music to plants, in my case it was green bean sprouts. I played classical, jazz, pop and country music. And I grew some sprouts in silence. I was unable to confirm my belief that plants appreciate classical music more than other genres. But I did to my satisfaction show that plants appreciate music. The sprouts grown in silence did noticeably take longer to develop.

    And so I often wake during the night troubled by thoughts and burdened by a stiff body. It helps to hear music. It helps to have someone like Yo Yo Ma at your disposal.


  8. #378
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I’ve read it somewhere or heard it that everyone you meet has a purpose for your life. And certainly if my life is about average, it’s a sign that most of us have been visited by some mysterious passers by that make you think something was purposeful in the encounter. Yet, it’s not the people who have entered my universe and stayed that most intrigue me. It is those who have seemingly arrived without fanfare and then disappeared without saying goodbye.

    It can be seemingly insignificant interactions like a smile , it can be obvious life changing events like a medical emergency. Or it can be a middle aged woman having a garage sale on a cold and rainy Saturday. She seemed to have that worn look about her, perhaps worried about the future or thankful the past is the past. She was cleaning out a house and had a last ditch sale to try to get rid of some of the last hangings on.

    I was going through some records on her porch that had “free” written on the box. I try to be selective but I ran into some vintage Frank Sinatra and an interesting rare Ella Fitzgerald double album. As I walked off the porch she approached me and forced a gentle smile and we exchanged greetings. I was satisfied with my handful of records especially the Pink Floyd - Animals piece when she said, “I’ve got a few crates of rock n roll records in the basement but I was too tired to carry them up.” I asked if I could dig through them. She opened her side door to the house and said, “Down the steps and to the left.”

    She was right. She had about a hundred and fifty or so. When I was done sorting and evaluating condition and rarity....I had forty records I was interested in. She wondered down the steps probably because I was taking so long in the “digging” process. I asked her what I owed her. “Nothing. I just want rid of them.” I insisted on giving her a token donation but she looked at me with a determined stare and firmly said, “No. I don’t want anything.”

    As I loaded in the last of the records there was a pang a guilt knowing that much of what I took was near mint and still in its shrink making them profitable if I wanted to sell them. And the rest was classic rock that never lost its value. But her determination would probably turn into offense if I approached her again, so there was nothing left to do but drive away.

    The short time I spent with her will probably result in my remembrance of her for the rest of my life. And if good thoughts and entreaties to God on her behalf are at all beneficial, I suppose she will have better days ahead. Mysterious people come and go and you can even identify them if you have the time.


  9. #379
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    In another thread Catherine started there’s a discussion about favoring downloaded books on electronic devices over physical paper and bound books or vice versa. This started with an observation that even when one has 189 Channels of television, it’s a fraction of the couple million books available at request over the icloud.

    I thought the comparisons of books to e-readers was interesting as it seemed to have a parallel to streaming music and physical vinyl records. But I got to thinking about it in a more psychological way. Obviously, I make use of YouTube as a source for musical research and on occasion enjoyment but I much prefer going to my record shelf, which is of course alphabetized and each album protected with a poly inner and outer sleeve.

    I like making a selection, sliding the record out into my hand, reviewing the playlist, reading the liner notes and gingerly removing the delicate vinyl from its protective cover and slipping it onto the platter of my turntable. The press of a button launches the tone arm and needle into the air and gently onto my record where as if by magic music comes alive.

    But is it about the music? At this moment I have just shy of 400 pieces in my collection. I just sold 40 at a small profit in order to alleviate my concerns about space but when I am out and about I constantly look for opportunities to find new titles I haven’t owned. Now there is no way I can own a copy of every record that has ever been produced but I suspect I would try if I had the space. I enjoy researching the record, judging its condition, determining a value, cleaning and properly storing it. I am, I believe, an obsessive compulsive person about this. This leads me to the conclusion that it is really not about the music. Music is simply the byproduct of an overzealous collector.

    Can books be the object of the same situation? is it so much about the information or entertainment of reading that is the goal or is collection of book titles in an obsessive compulsive manner the real importance for a serious reader? If one read the perfect book or heard the perfect musical performance, could a person give up reading or listening to music? Of course not, but yet we know that going in don’t we?

    The older we get the more limitations we find creeping up on us. I was encouraged by the discovery of a 1958 recording by Billie Holiday which was done past her prime when her singing voice had been on decline for quite some time. Yet, she was able through emotion to overcome her limitations and provide a meaningful and enjoyable experience for the listener. Something to think about as you discover more limitations along the way.


  10. #380
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Just wanted to thank you for sharing these thoughts, WS. I especially treasure the Youtube link to the Yo Yo Ma Tiny Concert. I fell in love with the cello hearing him play the cello on a simple stage at a high school many years ago. He was by himself and playing such exquisite music totally oblivious to his audience. It was a tender love affair between him and his cello. I have never looked and heard music in quite the same way again.

    I just did a search on Youtube for Yo Yo Ma and have his recordings on autoplay. Pure heaven!!!! Thank you.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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