Bud’s Choice: Contemplation

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It’s been more than a while! Bud was supposed to share his favorite albums on a monthly basis, but somehow his intention got lost in a cybermaze. There really is no valid excuse but the fact that he was on a journey, barefoot. And whilst traveling, he discovered so much in the world he didn’t know about yet, he needed all his spare time to think all of those discoveries through and give them in place in his mind and heart.

But we have good news for you! As one of his traveling companions, he brought this very fine album by Chicago pianoman John Erickson, ‘Contemplation,’ released in 2000. Listening to this music guided Bud through many difficult moments and especially blister hell, so to celebrate the album’s 10th anniversary, Bud would like to offer you a humble review of this must own CD. There are still a few copies left via CD Baby, so don’t linger and order this rare gem! And before Bud’s gonna spill some of his own magic beans, here’s an excerpt from a M5 Interview with John Erickson:

M5: Your first CD, Contemplation was released by Astarte Records, an independent label founded by acclaimed singer-songwriter Joy Eden Harrison. The CD has four piano/bass duets with Steve Rodby, known as being the bassist/producer for the Pat Metheny Group. How did the two of you meet and what was it like to work with him on your debut album?

JE: I was working at a record store soon after I got to Chicago and Steve wandered in one night with his wife. I said “hello”, told him how The Pat Metheny Group is one of my favorite bands, but more importantly that one of my all-time favorite albums is a duo record that he (Steve) did with guitarist Ross Traut. “Which one?” he asked. I said “You mean there’s more than one???!!!” I was speaking of “The Duo Life”, but apparently they also did one called “The Great Lawn”. It was out of print by then, but a few days later I went in to work and found that Steve had dropped off a copy for me that he had laying around in his garage–still in it’s longbox! ( remember those? ) Anyway, when it came time to record, I e- mailed him to see if he’d be willing to play on a few tracks. I figured he’d be too busy, but I guess my timing was good. He’s a super nice guy, great to work with. My only regret is that it was over too quickly. He showed up, read my charts and played beautifully. It was so very inspiring and I just really love his sound. One of the songs “The Universe and Dave”, I wrote with Steve in mind. It’s built around a simple 2 bar vamp that I thought might be fun for him to play on bass. He improvised an intro that felt so good and was so much fun to listen to I had to work really hard to keep from laughing out loud while tape was rolling.

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Bumper Book of Lies

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The mind can play tricks when you least expect it. The universe can do the same, for those so inclined to read between the stardust (vulcano dust?) and moonlight. A friend once brought up the concept of the inner jukebox, music you hear in your mind, a fascinating phenomenon in its own right, how we’re able to “hear” and “see” in our mind.

The inner jukebox had me play Married, Broke or Gay, a song from the Fabulous Breithaupt Brothers songbook this morning, sung by Shelley McPherson who is also married to Jeff Breithaupt. It’s a very humorful tune with humorful lyrics. Shelley sings “He’s married, broke and gay. He scored a hattrick when he married Patrick”.

It’s the hattrick idea that kept lingering. Everything Must Go.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Chris Bell, a writer in New Zealand. We once found one of his short stories, The Boom On Mizar-5, that matched perfectly with our own modest circulation on the internet back then. Chris wrote to let me know he was going to stop writing stories and that his latest story would be available for free and if I would want to notify anyone among friends and foes who’d be interested in reading his work. You can click HERE to send him an email to obtain a free copy of his last story Iniquity!

CHRIS BELL was born in North Wales in 1960. He studied going-slowly-all-the-way-around-the-outside in the playground of Old Park Primary School, Holyhead, which was later demolished to make room for an Unemployment Benefit Office. One of his secondary school reports read: “This boy shows no interest in music.” He has since worked as a musician, record company runner and a song lyricist, and since 1997 has been living and working in Auckland, New Zealand. His hobbies include baby-wrangling; tinkering with a bass guitar plugged into a Korg ToneWorks Pandora PX4D; drinking single malt whisky; and irregular blogging. He gave up ironing but nobody noticed.

The Bumper Book of Lies is his only collection of short stories and this is a very old photograph.

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Cats & Candles

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(Click image for YouTube clip)

There has been a lot of quality music lately, we’d like to mention some of it in here as well, namely a few reviews for All About Jazz: get the blues with Memphis guitarist Billy Lavender and explore your “Boiling Point” with young saxophone sensation Brandon Wright.

Since writing about others seems to be a primal nature, it can’t harm to give into a little self-reflection sometimes by sharing the fun that can be experienced when using GarageBand, iMovie HD and various musical loops. It beats having to play the guitar again after too many years of absence in that area and it is interesting to discover and learn how to put together sounds as harmonically as possible. Should you be curious like our young cat Souris is when watching a burning candle… click the image above and see & hear for yourself :-)

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Everything Must Go

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Sometimes we’re caught in cycles. This morning, the Royal Scam album suddenly warmed up the cold ambiance of an empty living room. Cold due to its ancient, but lovely tiles. Cold because it’s a damp light-greyish day today.

It wasn’t me who turned on the luscious tunes and imaginative lyrics and brilliant story-telling. And i was pleasantly surprised. So, out of curiosity, i figured why not listen to some more Steely music? And then Everything Must Go came in the picture after quite some time as well. And i REALLY liked what i heard, the cool horn arrangements, Fagen’s voice, the babe choir, the rhythms and beats…

But this idea of EMG kind of got prompted due to a photograph Nigey Lennon sent me yesterday: “This sign appeared a few months ago on a vacant Taco Bell building in East Northport. I’d been meaning to take a pic of it forever, but always forgot to bring the camera. Everything must go, indeed — except no one seems to want to buy an old Taco Bell. :)”

There are tides and cycles in the universe. Sometimes a smile is all there is to say while the rest is a matter of chemical reactions unfolding within one’s brain, or heart and soul.

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