It's a quiet Saturday morning, perfect for a musical trip guided by artist Rutherford Chang. The vessel? The "White Album." The destination is up to you.
As an artist who creates art from sounds captured on vinyl, Chang has done something that stoners in the 60s could only dream about. What would happen if you took 100 original pressings of the Beatles "White Album" and played them simultaneously?
Clocking in at just over 24 minutes Chang's creation starts just like any vinly version of the classic album, with a couple pops and scratches, then the sound of a jumbo jet fly over. From there it quickly decends into maddness. Though each pressing of the "White Album" is thought to be identical the records fall out of phase fairly quickly. By the time you reach "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" you're listening to one trippy mess.
People have been searching for meaning in Beatles' songs for over 40 years. Just like you, Chang is a huge fan of the band. He collects first pressings of the "White Album" and currently owns 697 copies. His experiment is a completely unique listening experience of a timeless album which fittingly ends with John Lennon singing "happiness is a warm gun."
On March 1, my mom retires. After 33 years and 143 days of nursing, she’s trading in her stethoscope and Keds for a life of leisure.
From here out, it’s days filled with quilting projects, barking westies and dirty martinis.
After clocking out for the final time and turning in her security clearance, it’s fiesta time. Retirement deserves a hell of a party. One that is worthy of nearly 70,000 hours of dealing with patient complaints and hospital bureaucracy. One worth 4.2 million minutes of chart filling and afternoon meetings.
It’s time to cut loose.
I’ve been helping my mom with party planning, making sure everything is perfect. The location? Booked. The food? Catered by Carol’s Oriental Food and Gifts. The booze? BYOB. The party playlist? In my capable hands.
You simply can’t throw a memorable party without an epic playlist. The difference between a good party and a once-in-a-lifetime throw down are the jams. Everything hinges on the music. It maintains the vibe.
The song selection, the emotion, the timing — it all must be pitch perfect.
Putting together a playlist is more difficult than you might think. Sure, you could click the Genius button on iTunes or stick on Pandora, but how impersonal is that?
A perfect playlist needs to connect and have meaning for the situation. A random hodgepodge of music is not good enough for my mom. She’s had March 1 circled on the calendar for well over a year.
In order to craft something worthy of the moment, I’ve had my mom journaling her favorite songs — all genres, all decades. As long as it means something to her it’s going into the mix. Dion to Green Day. Michael Jackson to Mark Ronson. It’s all good.
Looking at what she had written, two things became immediately clear. One, I have a cool mom. Two, these songs are more than three-minute sounds to pass the time.
Would your mom select “Heavy Metal Drummer” by Wilco for her retirement mix?
Probably not, but it makes sense to me.
Since taking my parents and my brother to see the band play the Avalon Theatre nearly five years ago, they have become huge fans.
The majority of my mom’s selections are like this, loving moments remembered through music. They come from raising two boys and hanging around my dad and his concert DVD collection too much. They are the result of endlessly loving Sir Paul McCartney and surviving the 1970s disco era. They are a music collage of everything that matters in her life: family, friends and Paul Simon.
Weaving this tapestry together will take time. But that is what a thoughtful DJ does, though.
When I first started volunteering at KAFM 88.1 about 8 years ago, I sat in on one of Tone Lope’s shows. I think it was during “An Hour on Broadway.” I was only there for 30 minutes or so, but in that short time he gave me the best advice I’ve ever received about mixing.
“You could train a monkey to come in here and play music,” he said referring to the general ease of operating the mixing board. “What makes a good DJ is creating flow and emotion. Take your listener on a ride.”
It is impossible to quantify a lifetime of love in a three-hour playlist, but I’ve got to try. This is a celebration, of never having to work again and of someone who means a whole lot to a lot of people.
Just a couple more tweaks and it’s almost time to press play. If you listen close enough, you’ll hear much more than a simple song.
Bad Weather California have done something special for their upcoming gig at the Treefort Music Festival in March. Through Meep Records the band has cut a new song, "BBQ," to record. The difference here is instead of cutting it to vinyl they used plastic picnic plates. This extremely rare pressing, only 10 were made, will be for sale at Treefort.
On a side note, Bad Weather California will make a stop in Grand Junction on their way to Treefort, playing the Mesa Theater on March 22. Supporting bands include California garage rock trio The Blank Tapes and local favorites Dreamboat and Bronco Country.
Since Robert Plant refuses to reunite the band you have to ask yourself, what's the next best thing to actual Led Zeppelin rocking your pants off? It's Zoso!
For those not schooled in Led Zeppelin theology, Zoso was the symbol that Jimmy Page picked to represent himself on Led Zeppelin IV. It's also the name of the tribute band playing tonight at the Mesa Theater.
"After all this crap that we'd had with the critics, I put it to everybody else that it'd be a good idea to put out something totally anonymous," Page said. "At first I wanted just one symbol on it, but then it was decided that since it was our fourth album and there were four of us, we could each choose our own symbol. I designed mine and everyone else had their own reasons for using the symbols that they used." The other band members choose these symbols.
Any band that takes on Page's personally designed symbol as their name better deliver. I'd expect plenty of guitar tonight.
By now you've probably heard or or at least read about Baauer's ubiquitous trap song "Harlem Shake." You've also no doubt seen one of the million viral videos like this one from Matt and Kim. I can't really explain to you why this is so popular or what the Harlem Shake is (although I can tell you everyone is doing the it wrong) but after spending hours on YouTube I did find the best version out there. This one is for fans of destroying household appliances everywhere. Enjoy.