Welcome to Operation Mindcrime

I remember now. I remember how it started.
I can’t remember yesterday, I just remember doing what they told me.

April 4th – it’s coming! And I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting for this album to be released since 1988 when the original came out.

New David Gilmour album coming in 2006

There’s a new David Gilmour album coming out in 2006. It’s going to be called “On an Island”. It’s been 21 years since Gilmour last released a solo album, and 11 since the last Pink Floyd studio album, so this is very welcome news.
I don’t know anything more about it other than it’s title and release date – Mar 6, 2006. I saw some tour dates listed on a Floyd news site I visit. Also, his official site has just launched, too:
We can confirm that on his birthday David will release his new album which has now been completed. Plans for a European and American tour are in the works and some firm dates are set (see below). David wants to tour between March and May of 2006. There is information that David will utilize an orchestra and chorus on his tour.
http://www.pinkfloyd-co.com/pfco_news.html
http://www.brain-damage.co.uk/general/news.html

U2 are better than the Beatles

The Beatles are founding fathers of music, and they deserve some respect for that. However, U2 has been more solid over a far longer period of time releasing NEW MUSIC. Yeah, the Beatles have been around for a far longer number of years, but put together the years they were together, and compare it to the number of years that U2 has been around.
U2 had a few down years in the 90’s (Zooropa, Pop), but they have more rock solid albums from front to back than any other artist I can think of. U2 wins hands down over the Beatles.
That is all.

MPAA – FOAD

Read this and weep.
It’s scary how nonsensical the MPAA is. These people need to go away. I’m not advocating anarchy and no control, but if you read through all of what I link to above, it’s scary. Spend some time and read this.
It made me so mad, I can’t say anything about it, because every other would would be obscene.

I Wanna Learn a Love Song

Harry ChapinSince I’ve become a father, I’ve spent a lot of time lost in my own memories of my childhood. Most of it is good, and I attribute that to the care and guidance I received from my mother. What I remember that isn’t good is mostly attributable to the fact that I didn’t have a father. At the time I didn’t think much of it, as I was a kid, and I took things as they came. To an extent I still take most of life as it comes, but I’m old enough that I can reflect on the past and understand it better than I used to be able to.
Anyway, my dad left when I was 12, and while I don’t have a ton of positive memories from before that there’s a few that I do have. The one I wanted to talk about now is Harry Chapin. Harry Chapin is a folk music singer from the 70’s who was a pioneer in pushing the agenda of eliminating world hunger, which was in the media (for about two seconds, but that’s a rant for another time) recently with the Live 8 concerts. The Harry Chapin Foundation is still active in trying to stop world hunger, and I have to believe that if Chapin was still alive now he would have been involved with the Live Aid concert from 85, and probably Live 8 now as well.
Anyway, one of the few really good “All four of us” memories I have of my family from back then was listening to Harry Chapin music. In specific his “Greatest Stories Live” album. While I don’t have a visual memory of the four of us sitting down listening to it in the living room or something like that, I do recall that the four of us all liked the same thing. For Ed and myself, I believe most of that was based off of his “30,000 pounds of bananas” song which is a bit of a goof – it’s a silly song. It’s also the first time I can recall hearing the word “sucks” in a song, which of course to a 10 year old or so is highly amusing.
As time went on, I listened to more songs, and it was with great sadness in 1981 that Harry Chapin died of complications due to a car crash. I recall at the time my mother saying something about wanting to go see him in concert with me, or she had tickets or something like that – the exact coversation is lost over time. I remember being depressed about that, as he had died, and I liked his work, and that I wouldn’t get to see him live. It would have been my first ever concert had it happened. Now as anyone who knows me will know I tend to be forgetful about a few things. However, these thigns are lifelong memories that have stuck with me over the years. A special message to my brother and mom – if I’m flat out wrong about either of these things, don’t tell me – let me live in my happy land with these memories. :)
Anyway, now that I’m much older, I still break out the old songs from time to time and give ’em a spin. Yesterday I did that, I was listening to my own favorites of Harry’s songs, and every time I listen to them it almost brings me to tears. Partially because of the emotion in his songs, but mostly because of the draw to my childhood, and the lack of a father in my life. I can also grasp the complexities of the relationships and emotions he talks about in his songs, and couple them with the feelings I had from my youth, and his music is EXTREMELY powerfully emotional for me. Several of them bring me to tears for no particular reason that I can discern when listening. As I’m writing all this, I’ve got my usual playlist of my favorites of his going. The songs are:
Mail Order Annie
Danceband on the Titanic
WOLD (Live)
I Wanna Learn a Love Song
Cats in the Cradle
Circle
Taxi
Sequel
30,000 Pounds of Bananas
I’m not going to go over all of them, but “I Wanna Learn..” is a very powerful song to me. If I remember my childhood memories correctly, it was a vision I had as a kid of what it would have been like to have a woman love them. There’s a very big message in there about “making him a man”, and while sex is a small part of the end of the song’s lyrics, that’s not what I’m referring to – there’s a very tender message in there about a woman who just wanted to have the kid (Harry in the song) around to show her some tender affection. Something I latched onto a lot when I was younger.
And then there’s Cats in the Cradle. This is by far his most well known song. It’s also the one that I’ve had the most problem with over the years emotionally. As anyone who knows the song can attest, it’s an intensely powerful “daddy” song. Even if you’ve had a dad in your life all the time, I’m sure you can appreciate the lyrics there. While my father and I aren’t exactly as the lyrics appear in the song, it is about a Father who is not involved with his son’s life. For years and years I couldn’t even listen to the song, it was just too painful. I never played it intentionally (except in moments of real bad sadness), and if it came on the radio, it was a quick switch elsewhere, but just the couple of opening notes was usually enough to set me off, as I’d think about it. It got worse when the band Ugly Kid Joe covered it in the 90’s and it was played a lot more again. Now in 2005 as I’m a father I have a completely different outlook on this song. It’s no longer completely a depressing song to me. I now view the song as an inspiration to me to NOT be the same thing to Samantha that my dad was to me. I’m very determined to be there for my daughter when she needs me.
Do I have “daddy issues”? Probably – although I’ve gotten better in dealing with it as I’ve gotten older, and thanks to my psychatrist, “Mr. Blog”, I can get these things out there.
But to sum it all up, despite listening to an awful lot of heavy metal, I can appreciate the emotion and power in Harry Chapin’s music. Chapin was one of the first artists I believe I ever really listened to as a kid (Billy Joel was the other). His music stays with me today and is a lot more powerful on more levels to me than almost any other kind of music I listen to.

When the Tigers Broke Free

I’ve been a Pink Floyd fan for a very long time. I bought the Wall when it was new, which was right around the time I started High School. As a kid when this was new, that album was very influential in my musical landscape. I’d heard of Pink Floyd before, but it wasn’t until the Wall that my appreciation of them crystallized (right around the time the band started to implode). Keyboardist Rick Wright was gone, Dave & Roger were at each other’s throats, and Nick, well I don’t know about Nick, but given the bad blood that I read about in the press at the time, I’m shocked we got anything.

Anyway, since the Wall had already been released, I was waiting for the next “new” Pink Floyd release after the Wall. That ended up being a rather disappointing greatest hits album called “A Collection of Great Dance Songs” (which in itself is a joke, as you can’t dance to Pink Floyd). So I waited. We then got the Wall movie, and to that there was a single released. It was called “When the Tigers Broke Free”. This was an extra/new song for the Wall movie. The single said “From the forthcoming album ‘The Final Cut'”. At the time, the album The Final Cut was to be a soundtrack to the movie, as about 60% of the music wasn’t from the original album.

So time went on, and the soundtrack was never released. The Falkland Island War came around, it got Roger Waters to write some new songs, and those were coupled together with some leftovers from the Wall sessions to make what was released in 1983 as The Final Cut. It’s a very disjointed album. It really feels more like a Roger Waters solo album than a Pink Floyd album. At that point, the Keyboardist (Rick Wright) was gone, there were some real personnel battles behind the scenes – any semblance of “Band” left was destroyed during the making of this album. But out of the sessions came some really good songs for me. Not Now John (the hardest song of the lot), The Final Cut (a Wall leftover, so much so that the lyrics say “behind the wall” in them), The Gunner’s Dream, The Fletcher Memorial Home (named after Rog’s dad, Eric Fletcher Waters).. All good.

In 2004, the album was remastered again (with a much cleaner sound than it had before), and after all this time, the song “When the Tigers Broke Free” was finally added back into the album. I’d been listening to it for 20 years, so having Tigers in there really jarred me in terms of what I knew was coming next when listening. But now that it’s been out for about a year (I’m writing this in the summer of 2005), I have to say it fits well. So much so that I probably can say the song “When the Tigers Broke Free” is the one Floyd song that envokes the most emotion for me out of any Pink Floyd song – on any album – and there’s a lot of them.

What’s odd is I love the thing despite it’s wonderfully depressing atmosphere. The music is minimalistic, I think it fits the theme of the lyrics well. As much as I love this album, I don’t think it is for everyone. Definitely one of the least accessible Floyd albums (although it really feels like Waters solo material).

So yeah, I love the masterfully depressing album The Final Cut. It was about the death of Roger’s dad, it was the death of Pink Floyd, and my favorite song on the album (Tigers) is all about death and sadness. Go enjoy the album – if you put some thought into it, I think you’ll like it too. I should point out that the album was also remastered in 1997 as well. The 2004 edition has a better sound, I think. The Tigers song does not appear on the 1997 version – make sure the version you’re getting is the 2004 release.

UPDATE FEB 2012: The album was again re-released and remastered in 2011 as part of the “Why Pink Floyd” packaging.  The 2011 version also has Tigers on the album, and is (to my ears) a sonic match for the 2004 version, I don’t notice any difference.  So the 2011 version and the 2004 versions are fine to get.  :)

UPDATE JAN 2016: The previous “sample” I had on this blog is now no longer available, so I’ve just put the whole song on here from Youtube.

Here’s the lyrics to When the Tigers Broke Free, I wanted to add them to this article.

It was just before dawn
One miserable morning in black forty-four
When the Forward Commander was told to sit tight
When he asked that his men be withdrawn
And the Generals gave thanks
As the others ranks
Held back the enemy tanks for a while
And the Anzio Bridgehead was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives

And kind old King George
Sent Mother a note
When he heard the Father was gone
It was, I recall, in the form of a scroll
With gold leaf and all
And I found it one play
In a drawer of old photographs
Hidden away
And my eyes still grow damp
To remember His Majesty
Signed with own rubber stamp

It was dark all around
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free
And no one survived
From the Royal Fusiliers Company C
They were all left behind
Most of them dead
The rest of them dying
And that’s how the High Command took my Daddy from me

Support The Bone!

Radio sucks. I don’t like it. I prefer to listen to my own CD’s. I’d have an iPod, but for the amount of music I have, I’d need the biggest one, and I can’t afford that.
What I’m about to write here further puts me in the “radio sucks” camp. When I do listen to radio, the only stuff I do is sports (and not even then, because I can’t stand most of the pre-pubescant prattle of the Ticket guys), or KRLD for news/weather/traffic & the Texas Ranger games). Rarely do I listen to the radio for music.
I briefly toyed with that during the early part of this year when the radio in my new truck I found was capable of handling “Digital text” which is a relatively new feature for standard radio where your radio display will optimally show you the band name and song of what’s playing along with whatever else the station wants to put there, which for me appears to be the call sign and frequency or something similar. Some stations wimp out and only put their station name and no song titles – what’s the point in that?
But I digress, getting to the point of why radio sucks even more now…
I just read where 97.1 the Eagle is no longer a rock station. It’s now a wimpy music station (“Sunny 97.1”) that plays crap like Nickelback and Cher. What the hell is with that?

Continue reading “Support The Bone!”

The Sound of Silence

I’m a big fan of iTunes. I think it’s got a great interface, the software is slick, and I can find tunes for a buck. That’s a great deal, IMHO.
However, I ran across a link that is an iMix of songs that are for sale on iTunes that are blank! The fact that empty tracks would be for sale just never crossed my mind. Granted, iTunes works by automation in a lot of places, and I’m sure that’s why there are empty tracks available for sale there, as they’re part of full albums.
But if you have iTunes 4.5 installed, you should click this link. It will open up an iMix link I found showing a bunch of blank tracks. If you vote for the iMix, it will get rated higher, and that would be fairly amusing to see. I didn’t start this idea, but I really enjoy it, so I’m going to try and get this iMix pushed higher. :)
Something else amusing, some of those silent tracks are marked as explicit. Explicit silence. Something very comical about that. :)
Here’s another link with a story that goes into a little greater detail about all these empty tracks on iTunes. I suggest you read it. Gotta love technology sometimes. ;)