Skip to main content

Long Play

It is with some dismay that I've had to accept the notion that the album truly is dead (or dying). This doesn't come as a surprise, though the sadness isn't lessened any by it. For years I would be able to rattle-off my top ten favorite albums of a particular year. Then it became five. Then, finally, I stopped doing the list altogether, as there just wasn't much to choose from.

New music is constantly being made, of course. Just go to iTunes, Spotify, or your local record store (if one is to be found), and you'll see plenty of new albums available. But the experience just isn't there anymore. I used to purchase an album, put it in the cassette deck or CD tray, and just let it play. Not so anymore. They just don't have the cohesive quality I'm looking for.

We live in a singles-driven society. The song's the thing, not so much the song collection. This isn't necessarily a new existence for the music industry and its fans. Before the 1960s, most artists put out songs first, eventually followed by a grouping of them to be released later. There were a smattering of concept albums (by the likes of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra), but for the most part we weren't all that big on the album.

Now, after fifty years, the album has gone back to being mostly a collection of the (hopefully) hit songs you heard on the radio or sampled online. With few exceptions, there doesn't seem much point in listening to a complete album all the way through. If one tries, it's often a disjointed experience.

I still listen to music, of course. Music is important. It is one of the quickest routes to the soul. It's a drug-free way of altering mood, mind and body. I love it. And there's plenty of new songs that are worthy of a listen. I just wish they worked better together.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.