Saturday, April 20, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/19/19: Walking: No Bike Yet, Burgers at the Elks, Back to VH1's *Classic Albums*

1. I want to test ride my new bicycle in sunny, not rainy, weather. Rain was nearby all morning, either falling or about to. So, I put off buying my new bicycle. Sunny weather is coming soon. But, the showers, oddly enough, didn't deter me from walking almost three miles today when I strolled uptown to make a bank deposit and stopped off at Yoke's to purchase a bag of food for Charly.

2. Ed picked me up a while later. We waltzed into the Elks. We sat down at the bar. I bought a book of Elks Roundup tickets from Ed and we each had a drink before settling in at a table for a burger and fries. Afterward, we popped into the Inland Lounge long enough to have one drink and for me to bewail my outcast state in the two fantasy baseball leagues Cas and I are in. I'm getting crushed.

3. Earlier in the week, I was trying to remember the name of a VH1 program I'd come across on YouTube a few years ago that featured interviews with band members and sound engineers focused for about an hour on the making of one album. Tonight, out of curiosity, I did a Tom Petty search on my very smart television and one of the results was a look at Petty's Damn the Torpedoes on the program Classic Albums.

That's it. I used to love watching episodes of this show on my laptop.

I did a "Classic Albums" search on my very smart television and the results promise me many hours of viewing pleasure.

Charly and I watched three episodes this evening.

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours  

Steely Dan: Aja

Deep Purple: Machine Head

In all three of these episodes, the band members and production guys were looking back about twenty, thirty years or more as they told stories and discussed lyrics. At a studio soundboard they not only played parts of many tracks from the albums, but also isolated different parts at the so that viewers could hear, for example, a bass line or a drum track or the vocal harmonies. Each episode features footage of the band performing and interviews with journalists and, sometimes, musicians from outside the band.

I loved all three of these episodes, but I especially enjoyed the study of Deep Purple's Machine Head.

I don't know when the interviews with the band took place, but Jon Lord died in 2012. In their maturity, in this episode, the band members are calm, quiet spoken, complex in their intelligence, and offer illuminating insights about their work. I especially enjoyed listening to Jon Lord and reliving the scintillating impact of his work on the keyboards to the textures of Deep Purple. Lord was fluent in many musical languages and brought his vast knowledge and great instincts to bear on every Deep Purple song, enriching and deepening and, sometimes, tempering the band's heavy metal sound.

Many more of these Classic Album episodes are available. Next up? I will revisit the episode focused on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

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