Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday Night Music

With the change of the seasons come the change of our music format.  Or at least this time.  Instead of cranking up the stereo and playing everything loud, we went unplugged.  We didn't shake the house last night, but it was a rumbling good time had by all.
  Music night started out with a girl and her guitar and her man singing.  We had started playing together over the weekend and found out that we enjoyed playing together.  We started the evening with a Ryan Bingham tune "Hard Times" and I think this one is a keeper.  With Tim on the vocals doing a Dylan-style melody the followers the Looney's may find it entertaining.  However, having said that don't be mislead that we'll be fashioning any open mic soiree anytime soon.  Practice must come first.  After all we aren't just ammee's here.  
   Next on the set list, a stunning rendition of Moonshiner.  Or was it strumming?  This one gets the fingers fumbling and without being repetitive, with one word I can sum this up-practice.
   "Tear Stained Eyes"-Son Volt  what a great song.    It is one of those tunes that you can easily sing along with especially the chorus.  It feels simple but it is quite complex which makes it a brilliant piece of Americana.  Don't fall off your chairs but we added some harmonies to this one.  Another keeper for the Looney's.  The capo really helps on this one-Thank You Jeff Schmidt.  You rock.
   "Passenger Side"-Wilco.  God I love this song.  Yeah, we got some issues with the beat but it will come together.  It is fun to play and sing along with.  Another smart writer, a simple song that is complex.  Where do these guys get that I wonder? :)  
   Now the voice is going and the fingers are starting to not work as well.  Time for some easier strumming and we're getting ready to close the joint down.  Grab that dance partner and start your little jig to "New Madrid"-Uncle Tupelo.  A great little ditty-it's a keeper.
  And  ending our session, a fun song to play and sing along to, "Wagon Wheel" -Old Crow Medicine Show.  Now somewhere I had heard that Bob Dylan wrote that song.  Guess I should research it before posting but that would require work and time, so for the moment I will CYA with, we were performing OCMS rendition of said song.  It's a great song.  
   Next on the FNMN show we viewed on DVD the 100s from Java House.  Performing back in January for IPTV Radio, it was a great performance.  Unplugged but not undone.  I love these guys.  Great songs, simple but highly complicated.  Similar to those other guys we mentioned above.  Do you see the attraction?  I don't know if you can buy this, but I believe every now and again, the cable channel in Iowa City shows these past performances.  It was a great show-Vern McShane rocking the place on the pedal steel.  I especially loved the bass solo on the "Picture" song.  The only thing about that gig that I disliked was the small room and crowded stage.  Not anyone's fault, it just was tight.  Great night of music folks.  If you have never heard any of these tunes before look them up on google. It is worth the little bit of effort to find them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday Night Music Night: Back on the Air

After taking some needed creative time, Friday Night Music is back. Thanks in part to sister Jill for her awesome Christmas present. And another thanks to boss Bob Burns and his CD at work. I'll explain how those two brought us here.
As I was driving to work Friday, I like to jam out. So I looked in my CD lunch bucket case and pulled out a CD Jill made for me for Christmas. Remember those days of "Mixed" tapes? Yes, this was one of those. I remember the other one she gave me and with a slight hesitation I put it in, fearing the worst. (That's another story for a different day.) Heard some great tunes including a Kinks cut. So I wrote to Looney and told him about it and he wrote me back about going to a Kinks concert and the opening act blew him away-Cheap Trick. Well, Bob had a Best of Cheap Trick on his desk several weeks ago and I asked him if I could take it home and listen to it. So Tim had finished burning it that day and when we got home, there was the Cheap Trick CD. So there is the back story now here is how the night started.
Goth girl was looking great and I wanted her to listen to a Pat Benetar song that I thought Adam Lambert should have performed on Idol when doing songs from the 80's. "Hit me with your best shot." So we jammed to that, she knew the words and danced around the basement and air guitared the solos....Looney still has it. Next cut, and Goth girl was so excited...."Carry On My Way Word Son turn the dial up some more! It was great. The three of us carrying on and such. Next cut (this is off the CD Jill had made it remember?) "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth. Oh, the great times of high school that song is. Goth girl doesn't know it, asks what's this? and leaves. That means she will check it out later without the parental units watching. Meanwhile, we dig it. Next cut is the Kinks-"Captain America" which cut then leads us to Cheap Trick. Following us now? So we listen to a cut that has Chrissie Hynde "walk Away" which I had never heard before. I had wanted to hear some Pretenders stuff so this was a nice treat. Loon says the Pretenders have a country album out so we really need to check that out. After hearing "She's Tight" "Southern Girls" "If you want my Love" and "Dream Police" we moved on to a band that maybe listened to RUSH......The Police. Great times we listened by all. Played "Answering Machine" by the Replacements, who must have influenced Uncle Tupelo because I hear so many nuances in Jeff Tweedy's music. I hope he is ok with this. I think Paul Westerberg is a genius. Drugs and alcohol is the downfall of a lesser man no doubt. Paul is still doing so stuff out there so look him up readers. I will do more research and see what I find out and post at a later time.
Played "seven Chinese Brothers" -REM. We had a nice discussion about REM. I told Tim I liked them when they were a college band, before they hit it big. He said he thought they were a bit pretenses and too artsy words not his.
I think (a couple of beers and a nice glass of scotch tend to fog up the later part of the night) we ended on the Police's Message in a Bottle-but I can't remember. Oh wait we spun a U2 song (Tim picked-can't remember the name....oh the edge sorry. Wait, Tim is looking it up...."The Fly" off Achtung Baby. And I think I ended it with Sinead O'Connor-"I don't want what I haven't got."
A great night of some of the finer music of the late 70s and mid-80s and into very early 90s. Tune in for updates on our picks.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bed Head

Snoring Cure Part 3

The journey continues!

First was the breathing doctor who sent me to the sleep center - see:

The diagnosis: Sleep Apnea. It turns out I stopped breathing 14 times an hour!

Then the really bad news: I can't be fitted for a C-PAP breathing device because I don't move enough air through my nose. Surgery will repair a deviated septum and reduce my turbinates. "Hopefully" that solves the air-flow problem and I can get a C-PAP. Otherwise, the next thing we'd be looking at would be to remove my tonsils. While that is a relatively safe and easy procedure in children, it is one of the most painful and hard to recover from surgery for adults! As in, "Most people schedule it for the day before Thanksgiving so they can save on the sick leave." Yikes! Don't want that!

So, after a full physical and more blood tests, off to the hospital. What typically is an out-patient procedure will require an overnight stay for me - since I stop breathing so often.
Relaxing in the prep room as the drugs kicked in - and a thunder storm hit outside! Hope they don't lose power while I'm under the knife!

Next thing I know, I'm waking up in recovery! Then off to my room. I feel like I have the worlds worst head cold - perhaps due to the miles of gauze shoved up my nose? My nose is tender, but the drugs are preventing much pain. My biggest complaint is my neck - I think they broke it during surgery!

So, after an un-restful night, I can finally go home. Sounds good, right?

Well, the pain killers were strong, but not enough to eliminate all of my nose pain. My neck still was the worst, plus I have to sleep upright on several pillows, killing my back as well.

I've had surgery before, I thought that staying home for a week would be fun - movies, TV, internet - I thought I'd clean some files off an old computer. Boy was I wrong! The drugs made me brain-dead! I couldn't concentrate on anything. I couldn't follow a movie or even get into a televisions show. All I could watch was HGTV - I could wake out of a daze, say, "That's a nice kitchen" then doze back off.

So, it's gotten better since then. Flushing the nasal passages feels better than it sounds!

Finally, it was time to head back to the sleep center.

I scheduled it for a Friday night so I wouldn't have to deal with it at work the next day. I was pretty tired going in, and the Ambient kicked in fairly quick. I got wired up and had the C-PAP strapped to my head. Nice, cool air gently blowing into my nose. (When I opened my mouth, the air blew out lol!) With stuff between my eyes, I couldn't focus on the TV, but it didn't take long and I was out. She woke me up once to have me roll back onto my back, but otherwise, I slept the whole night - from about 9:30pm until 4:30am. I won't say I woke up refreshed, and honestly, I think I had a hangover from the Ambient, but it wasn't bad sleeping with the mask on. Other than the headpiece was too tight and gave me a headache. In fact, getting ready for bed Saturday night I kind of wished I had the nice, cool, gentle air forced up my nose!

But I could still get the report that it was ineffective and I need tonsil surgery, so I'm not going to rest until I know for sure.

To be continued...