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Top 5 Rock Trumpet Songs

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Splendid logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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With the Artist of the Week Series, I’m hoping to do at least a Top 5 with each Artist.

In honour of Miles Davis, a celebration of his primary instrument, the Trumpet.

Top 5 Rock Trumpet Features!

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5. Moist, Creature
Though the band name is decidedly unappealing, the trumpet feature here is anything but.

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4. Billy Joel, Zanzibar
Bonus marks for including a vibraphone part.

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3. The Cure, Close to Me
Surely the #1 Trumpet outro.

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2. Sloan, Everything You’ve Done Wrong
Sorry HMO 🙂

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1. The Beatles, Penny Lane
In university, my roommate Lee was convinced that the reason for my seemingly constant optimisim was that Penny Lane was constantly playing in my head, providing the continuous soundtrack to my life. It’s a valid theory – and one could do a lot worse for a looping soundtrack!

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to the aforementioned Lee, inevitably the first person to email me every year on my birthday. The streak’s still alive & well!

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (1970)

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Nifty logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 522/1001]

Memos might just be the worst.

But these 2 memo examples might just be the best.

1. The “Did you get that memo?” scene from Office Space. Painful & priceless.

2. The photo of the memo below, issued after Miles Davis let his record company know the desired name of his eventual 1970 record.

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Although I don’t particularly enjoy being on the receiving end of memos, I can sympathize with the memo senders.

Admittedly, they’re probably useful in situations of:

1. Information overload

With the corporate software company in Office Space, there was likely an obscene amount of data to be processed, mountains of information to be managed. I can see why a company might resort to clearly worded memos in an effort to highlight key messages.

2. Unprecedented experiences

As with poor Teo in the CBS memo, prior to 1970, nobody had ever called an album anything along the lines of “Bitches Brew.” There’s no employee manual for how to field that phone call; an advice-requesting memo sounds reasonable in this context too.

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my cassette cover

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My friends, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to be on the receiving end of a memorandum.

1. With Bitches Brew, information overload is putting it lightly.

At a running length of 94:11, there is so much going on (often all at once) that ‘hearing it all’ is equally challenging on the first listen as it likely is on the ninety-fourth.

2. I’ve never heard anything like this.

Well, I’ve heard 20-minute opening tracks before, like Rush’s 2112.

But Rush was a trio.220px-bitches_brew

On the 20-minute opener here, there are a trio of piano players, two drummers, two bassists, with individuals playing guitar, congas, shaker, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, and trumpet. Not to mention tape loops and other studio effects.

On my cassette (photo above), the cover features the credit, “Directions in Music By Miles Davis.”

Which feels entirely appropriate, as I gather at the time, he was taking music into entirely new places.

47 years later, I’ve finally arrived at this particular place, but I’m still working out what it all means.

And for that, I turn to you.

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Verbalize the Positive

Tip of the hat to my friend Bruce @ Vinylconnection. When I told him in November that I’d be reviewing Bitches Brew soon, he suggested, “if you start listening now, you may be ready to write by Spring 2018.”

As you can see, he was right!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #9

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Bob Marley & The Wailers last week.

Here are the results after 8 quizzes:

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week-9

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Ready for Quiz #9?

Bonus marks if you replied “I was born ready!”

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #9
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..In the 1995 film Billy Madison, an elderly actress stole her scene, name-checking this male artist, “If peeing your pants is cool, consider me _____  ______.”

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400 points………………..Appearing 4 times on the 1001 list, he was born in 1926 and died in 1991

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300 points…………………A jazz musician, his primary instrument was the trumpet

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200 points………………….Quincy Jones describes this artist’s album, Kind of Blue, as his “orange juice” (he plays it every day)

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100 points………………..His initials are M___ D______

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Answer: مايلز ديفيس
(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate that so many people are making this quiz a part of their week!

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus (1977)

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Lovely logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 521/1001]

“It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans”
– Sloan (or rather Sloooooooooooooooooan), Coax Me

If you’re a Bob Marley fan, chances are you love Exodus.

Or at least, part of Exodus.

And you may not have any interest in the other part of Exodus.

Hence the non-overlapping Venn Diagram below:

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Due to side two’s sheer commercial strength, Exodus might be the most unintentionally ironic title on the 1001 list.

Whereas my understanding of term would mean a mass movement away from something, based on the continued & seemingly unwavering popularity of the second-side anthems (Jamming, Three Little Birds, One Love/People Get Ready), I’d imagine there was more of a mass influx of fans during & since 1977, rather than an Exodus.

It’s easy to see the appeal of the massive side two sing-a-longs; the music is upbeat, the tone is optimistic, what’s not to like?

Well, I suppose, despite being somewhat less interesting than the side one material, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the side two Exodus content here.

The record was deservingly a critical & commercial success, I don’t think allegations of “sell out” would be approppriate either.

Instead, Sloan’s post-opening quote may be more apt.

It’s not Bob Marley & The Wailers that Exodus side-one-devotees hate.

It’s their new kind of “fan.”

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at 1:10

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You know “that guy.”

That guy that plays little beyond the side-two hits, embraces Marley as a marijuana poster-boy (literally), giggling if a track length approaches a running time of 4:20, equating the drum roll intro to Jamming as an unignorable cue to, umm, burn one down, completely disregarding Marley’s messages & melodies elsewhere…yeah, I could see how longtime Marley devotees wouldn’t be so keen on that guy.

So while this album may have been the Marley gateway for legions of new fans, perhaps this album marked a smaller-scale Exodus of some one-time Marley fans that weren’t so enamored with this new crowd?

Either way, if fans like “that guy” described above have been a deterrent for further Marley exploration, I’m pleased to report that there’s much more substance to Robert Marley than merely, err, substance abuse.

To modify my favourite Exodus track, he has So Much (more) Things To Say.

And I’m glad that over the past couple years, I’ve been able to get past “that guy” and enjoy hearing the actual messages straight from the source.

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Verbalize the Positive

Tip of the hat to Mr. Marley for setting a good ‘verbalizing the positive’ example for me.

From time to time, it’s just nice to be reminded that “every little thing’s gonna be alright.”

Top 5 Musical Roberts

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Splendid logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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With the Artist of the Week Series, I’m hoping to do at least a Top 5 with each Artist.

Is Bob Marley the Top Musical Robert?

He’s not far off!

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5. Robert Fripp
Perhaps my favourite discovery of the 1001 list so far, a guitarist with a knack for playing the right tones at the right times.

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4. Robert Marley
As in the Jamaican singer, though “Robert Marley” from the Muppet Christmas Carol is also noteworthy in his own way.

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3. Robert Plant
“Robert Plant, Bobby Plant, let me be your sycophant” – Weird Al, at 2:02!

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2. Robert Zimmerman 
Would be #1 for many…

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1. Robert Smith
…but it could only be Robert Smith for me.

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Verbalize the Positive

A tip of the hat to my personal favourite Robert.

When I teach grade 10 math, I inevitably show my students the Rick Mercer Report clip below, where Rick exclaims, “I feel like I’m back in Grade 10 math!”

But then I’ll pause the video after he says the line (around 4:00) and ask if they caught the name of the Mad Hatter/Tap Teacher.

At which point, I not-so-modestly point out, that’s my brother!

Cheers Robert, looking forward to Pinnochio next week!

(starting at 3:00)

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Catch a Fire (1973)

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Lovely Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 520/1001]

I continue to be wrong about Bob Marley.

A couple years ago, I thankfully had a series of misconceptions set straight when I reviewed Natty Dread.

As part of an overwhelmingly positive review, I suggested Natty Dread was an album to press play & enjoy, it didn’t feel like an album to “type along with.”

So anticipating more of the same with Catch a Fire, this week I figured, Bob Marley as background music while prepping classes, what could go wrong?

Well, it appears, I still have much to learn.

With Catch a Fire, I was constantly typing along with the music.

More specifically, typing the letters “google.ca,” immediately followed by “Concrete Jungle lyrics,” and then repeated with each individual track name.

It turns out, while I like Marley’s music, at this stage of his career, I’m even more interested in hearing what he had to say.

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Lyrically, the mid-section of Catch a Fire drifts into love song territory.

Which is fine, or to borrow a Seinfeld-ism, not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Perhaps if the timing had been different, those would have been the standout tracks.220px-bobmarleycatchafire

However, because I listened in February 2017, it was the political injustice tracks that kept me scrolling through the lyric sheets.

Like Concrete Jungle‘s, “No chains around my feet but I’m not free.”

Or Slave Driver‘s, “It’s only a machine that makes money.”

Not to mention No More Trouble‘s, “If you hope good down from above, Help the weak if you are strong now.”

Frequent interruptions to look up these, and other such compelling lyrics, did absolutely nothing for my lesson preparation efficiency.

But all of which made Catch a Fire feel like one of those albums that I’m glad I heard when I heard it; it may not have been as resonant before now.

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Verbalize the Positive

A tip of the hat to Sir 1537 for getting me started on my path to Bob Marley appreciation with his 2015 review of Natty Dread.

Though we don’t always agree (I’m not convinced Morrissey-anaphylaxis is a diagnosable condition!), I’m always keen to hear what he says about different artists & how he says it. With lego, no less.

Artist of the Week – Quiz #8

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) last week.

Here are the results after 7 quizzes:

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Ready for Quiz #8?

To quote Michael Scott, Yeppers!

Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #8

Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..Was name-checked in the RHCP song Give it Away, “________ poet and a prophet…__________ walkin’ like he talk it

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400 points………………..Was born in 1945 and died in 1981

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300 points…………………His posters will continue to hang in university dorm rooms for (at least) the remainder of the 21st Century

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200 points………………….Performed with his backup band, The Wailers

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100 points………………..His initials are B___ M______

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Answer: بوب مارلي
(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate that this project has given me the opportunity to be wrong so often.

For example, I didn’t used to see the appeal of this week’s artist at all. But through repeated exposure, I’ve changed my tune!