Jack Rose, 38, recently passed away from a heart attack

News and tributes to him have been posted across the Web.

YouTube: Jack Rose Kensington

The past few years I’ve been not paying attention to the awesome music around me and somehow I missed him entirely. He was too young. He and his music was well loved by many.

video via Susie Madrak.

I have some recordings I need to buy.

I Believe In Miracles Cover-a-rama

My last band used to cover “I Believe In Miracles” by the Ramones, influenced by Peal Jam’s cover. This morning I find myself messing around with it on my old acoustic, first time I’ve had the opportunity to play in quite a while.

Here are some versions of “I Believe In Miracles” I found surfing YouTube.

YouTube: Pearl Jam I Believe in Miracles Live:

YouTube: Pearl Jam – I Believe in Miracles (slow version) (Seattle ’03)

YouTube: Ania_Ughr – I Believe In Miracles (The Ramones Cover):

YouTube: Represion + IVA – I Believe In Miracles / Cover Ramones:

And of course, the original!

YouTube: I Believe In Miracles – The Ramones:

Economic situation leads one to source of relief: Metal

NYTimes: Josh Max: “Dance With the Devil”:

…I was carried off into a boiling sonic river of brutal, obscene, blasphemous noise that blasted me like a cannon out of my depressed cave and directly into the fury I was experiencing each waking day. For the next three weeks, all other music disappeared from my world. I listened to “Piece by Piece” as I dropped off to sleep at night, and the first thing I did in the morning, en route to the john, was cue up “Angel of Death.” Any gap of spare time during the day, no matter how small, was filled with “Post Mortem,” “Epidemic,” “Jesus Saves” and especially “Raining Blood.” Every other type of music seemed silly, trivial, light and useless.I didn’t bother listening very closely to the lyrics, either, despite my lifelong Ira Gershwin obsession. In fact, the less I could understand, the better. All I connected with were the screams.

After 30 days of Slayer saturation, I downloaded a blizzard of Death Metal onto a single iPod; 171 songs. Pantera. Anthrax. Venom. Cannibal Corpse. Devil Driver. If I previewed a band at iTunes and there wasn’t a WARNING: EXPLICIT label there or the tempo wasn’t insanely fast, I wasn’t interested.

Something was happening beyond the mind, the emotions and the circumstances. Music, for the first time in my life, was penetrating my body and shaking it. The force of Death Metal moved me out of my mind and into my arms, legs, head and belly. It compelled me to pull over in the car and bang the steering wheel, to run faster and farther in the freezing cold, to lift more weights and smash the heavy bag at the gym with renewed ferocity, and massively upped the intensity in everything I said, did and felt.

It also made me feel powerful enough to fight back against the injustice the world had delivered to me, to meet and embrace that inner demon who had always been told, since I was a little boy, “Smile.” “Be nice.” “Look at the bright side.” “Be reasonable.” “Don’t be angry.”

Make sure to read the whole piece and reader reactions.

Thank you Les Paul (and Les Paul’s mom)

Les Paul passed away last week, and I just wanted to post this little piece of thanks and to share something about his story that I had heard before, but seems extra relevant to my personal exploration into education and how we learn – his childhood music teacher told his mom, “Your boy, Lester, will never learn music.” (NYTimes).

Yep. You read that right.

It sounds like his mom enabled him to keep at it. Read the entire NYTimes story. Not only did she enable him to continue to pursue music, it sounds like she empowered him to look at his entire house as a creative pallet. And he did. Minnesota Public Radio’s blog, “Trial Balloon” went so far as to say that “Les Paul’s Mom Invented Rock & Roll”. It’s hard to argue that.

Beyond empowering him, enabling him to continue when some indicated he had no talent was huge. Perseverance clearly became a core part of his story going forward, dealing with a car crash that would have eliminated his capability to play (he had his arm fused in position to be able to still do so), dealing with painful arthritis in his hands (he adjusted his playing style). He would cope with a myriad of life’s ups and downs and in doing so left so many gifts for the world.

Think about it. And think about how the world was changed because Les Paul believed in trying and trying again.

Psychology Today, “Les Paul, Skills, and Abilities”.

NPR: Guitar Legend And Innovator Les Paul Dies

NYTimes: “Les Paul, Guitar Innovator, Dies at 94”

The Wrap: Obit: Guitar Hero Les Paul.

Gibson: The World Has Lost a Remarkable Innovator and Musician: Les Paul Passes Away at 94

Michael Jackson’s reach was across generations, across the seas

YouTube: (Michael Jackson) Billie Jean – Sungha Jung:


I had posted the following to Twitter, but it belongs here:

“11 years old, standing on chestnut st. near 11th, outside store, watching tvs play Thriller thru a window. that was me.”

Michael Jackson’s death triggered moments of reflection for many. So many that services across the Web struggled to stay functional as people either reached out for news, or to share their memories with one another.

He stands as a kind of Rorschach test. What you think of him and his contributions to music and entertainment are dependent on you – the information published about him you cared to absorb, rationalize, relate to, or reject.

He was a force. He left an imprint.

YouTube: Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” cover by Amanda Palmer (live):

Some links:

WNEW.com: The Epic of Michael Jackson

Metafilter: Ongoing thread

Attytood: The Love You Save: Michael Jackson and the rear-guard Baby Boomers

NPR.org: Michael Jackson: Life Of A Pop Icon

Susie Madrak: The Life and Death of Michael Jackson

Jeneane Sessum: Have You Seen My Childhood

Comcaster Scott Westerman: Michael Jackson’s place in the pantheon of our lives

Lisa Marie Presley: He Knew.

CSMonitor: Outpouring over Michael Jackson unlike anything since Princess Di

Koax! Koax! Koax! (via boing boing): Some thoughts on Michael Jackson

YouTube: I’ll Be There Acapella:

And lastly, a very deep thought by co-worker John: “The Michael Jackson we knew died a long time ago”

Pain kept me away too

Great to hear an acupuncture treatment helped Susie get back to her guitar.

Arthritis in the hands is scary. Part of me is thankful my pain stems only from the back.

Past few weeks I’ve been getting to my garage and plugging in here and there. Becoming re-acquainted with an old friend.

Speaking of that, I’ve been spending the past day transferring old recordings of myself jamming with friends and bands from long ago from cassette to my computer. Around 20 or so cassettes, so its a big job, probably will take a week or more. And I’m doing this, one side of a cassette == one .wav file (for expediency’s sake). Breaking down to individual songs will take a bit.