Category Archives: Music on Mondays

Music on Mondays (3/30/20)—Ringo Starr’s latest, his hardest rocking album ever

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I grew up in The Beatles generation, so even if they covered some of those hits from the ’50s, I still consider them Beatles songs. “Money” comes immediately to mind, possibly because I just listened to an awesome cover of The Beatles’ version (1963) that is on Ringo Starr’s 2019 album, “What’s My Name” (doesn’t use a question mark).

This was my first listen to the album, and after only one listen, I’m going to put it at the top of Ringo Starr’s discography, just ahead of 1973’s “Ringo.”

“What’s My Name” is a much harder rocking album than ALL of his previous albums.

Here’s Ringo’s “Money” from “What’s My Name”:

Here is a link to the full album on YouTube: What’s My Name

Music on Monday (12/23/2019)—All the machines say, “We’re okay!”

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Excel tells me that I have in my rock & roll music collection 4,260 digital files totaling 1,594 hours, 16 minutes, and 2 seconds. Some of them are individual songs and some are albums.

By listening to my collection for a mere 10 hours each and every day, it only takes me 159 days, 25 minutes, and 36 seconds to listen to everything. Done. Start over. I should disclose that I listen to my collection in chronological order.

File #4,261 will be “Software” by Grace Slick released in 1984.

Grace Slick was the first female rock ‘n’ roll singer whom I liked. I listened to “White Rabbit” and “Someone To Love” by Jefferson Airplane until my wise old grandmother thought that I was in love with a white rabbit. I stayed with Grace through her years with the Jefferson Starship and Starship, only recently discovering that she had four solo albums:

        1. Manhole – 1974 – Peaked at #127 on the Billboard album chart
        2. Dreams – 1980 – Peaked at #32
        3. Welcome to the Wrecking Ball! – 1981 – Peaked at #48
        4. Software – 1984 – Did not chart

I listened to all four albums yesterday. Surprisingly, I didn’t really like Manhole, Dreams, or Welcome to the Wrecking Ball!

Software, though, got my attention. Here’s the track listing:

        1. “Call It Right Call It Wrong”
        2. “Me and Me”
        3. “All the Machines”
        4. “Fox Face”
        5. “Through the Window”
        6. “It Just Won’t Stop”
        7. “Habits”
        8. “Rearrange My Face”
        9. “Bikini Atoll”

“All the Machines” was released as a single, and it is my favorite song on the album.

I was going to include the lyrics, but Musixmatch, the world’s largest collection of song lyrics, has the wrong lyrics. Since they are the world’s largest collection of song lyrics, everyone else has copied them and cited Musixmatch as their source. I think I have something to do later today….

The reviews of “All the Machines are not good. They had comments such as

        1. dated
        2. not your typical Grace Slick
        3. what happened to Grace Slick
        4. synthesizer heavy

I completely agree, but I don’t find any of those to be bad.

Anyway, here it is:

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (8/19/19)—I don’t believe a thing I said

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

It’s somewhat rare for more than one song from any one album/CD to make it onto my Lost On A Desert Island list, especially for albums released after the mid-1980s.

Kongos is one of the rarities, having placed two songs from their 2012 album, “Lunatic” on my list. Here they are, but note that “I’m Only Joking” has some bad words in it, bad words which Twitler and his regime have convinced me are acceptable in today’s world….

“Come With Me Now”

“I’m Only Joking”

Love the dang horse

Music on Mondays (8/12/19)—Love the dang horse!

Music has been a significant part of my life throughout my life.

I started piano lessons at the age of two under the tutelage of my mother who played piano and organ.

At the age of six, I started violin lessons.

At the age of ten, I started voice lessons.

For 25 years I have been married to a pianist who has bachelor and master degrees in piano performance, accompanies voice and instrument students in private practice, has served as accompanist at San Diego State University, and has been in a chamber music trio for the last decade.

In my retirement years, I listen to music for 10-18 hours a day. For the past several years, I have been creating a “Desert Island” flash drive just in case I’m ever lost lost on a desert island—think Gilligan’s Island, or even Lost In Space. Currently there are 1,053 songs on my Desert Island list, but I haven’t added any songs since May 2017 when I added Dig Down by Muse.

I guess I should modify my previous statement: “I haven’t added any songs since May 2017….” until yesterday when I added Love the Dang Horse by Band Argument. “Slides” below is their 2-song release from a couple of days ago. Love the Dang Horse is track 2. Hopscotch is not bad, either, so give both of them a listen. Hopefully, Band Argument will get credit (and royalty money!) by me embedding their music here using their embedding code.

Slides by Band Argument

Band Argument is a local San Diego group.

Sil Damone – Bass / Vox
Jake Kelsoe – MIDI / Guitar
Alex Simonian – MIDI / Guitar
Jordan Krimston – Drums / Samples

I think they were founded in late 2018. I met their drummer, Jordan Krimston, through Julian Rey Saenz, a former employee of mine in 2014 whom many readers might remember. I might also note here that Jordan is an awesome guitarist and quite a good vocalist, too. A multi-talented musician. Look out, Paul McCartney!

Jordan and Julian graduated high school together in June 2016. Julian went off to college while Jordan eschewed college to follow his music passion. I understand both going off to college and following a music passion, so I support them both. Secretly, though, and with 20/20 hindsight, I wish I could have/would have followed my music passion. Anyways….

In reading reviews of this song and Band Argument, I discovered a music genre called math rock. According to the Wikipedia entry,

math rock is a style of indie rock that emerged in the late 1980s in the United States…. Math rock is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures (including irregular stopping and starting), counterpoint, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and extended, often dissonant, chords.

My only complaint about everything I have heard in the math rock genre is that it is difficult to understand the words, ergo making it difficult for a singer like me to sing along. I would love it if the mixer would put just a little more ooomph into the vocalist. They have published the lyrics, so here they are:

good morning how’s mother? do we still know each other?
the paper tears and they post a notice telling you I see clearly
sinking down through the bedding
a new world under my room
a new world inside my womb

this ink, it flurries. wash the milkshake off
friendly and free strawberries at the scene
hey boyo! operator press the green
I can’t see why you can’t read me thorough and quick
questing to be fuck naturally and sing
123 pickin out ticks suture me to that there cliff

we sink, in flurry
hope she can wake to rise in time for the dew
hey honey! operator tie my shoe
I can’t see why you can’t read me thorough and quick
questing to be fuck naturally and sing

suture me too I’ll say add some salt oh no

I’m thinking that the definition in Wikipedia of math rock needs to be updated, perhaps something like “Vocals are difficult to understand and make no sense.”

Apparently there is a large math rock culture here in San Diego. I’m rooting for Band Argument to rise to the top.


Love the dang horse

Music on Mondays—Working for a living

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

There are many things I don’t like from my childhood. Okra gumbo, eggplant, salmon croquettes, potato cakes, oatmeal, and grilled cheese sandwiches come immediately to mind. And blue jeans. I had enough of those while living with my wise old grandmother from December 18, 1965, to August 30, 1973, to last me several lifetimes. So I don’t do those anymore.

I also had quite a bit of country music, which could explain why I don’t have an abundance of country music in my non-classical music collection. I probably have no more than one album from any of the country stars, and that album usually is a “Greatest Hits” album. Marty Robbins. Johnny Cash. Hank Williams, Junior & Senior. George Strait. Alabama. Maybe I have more if we include The Eagles in the country category but I tend to put them in “country rock.”

Here’s what is quite possibly my favorite song by Alabama, somewhat prescient in today’s world of Twitler destruction of all things that used to make the United States a great country and a great place to live.

“40-Hour Week (For A Livin’)” by Alabama, 1985

Alabama formed in Fort Payne, Alabama, in 1969 as Wildcountry. Founded by Randy Owen (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and his cousin Teddy Gentry (bass guitar, background vocals), and soon joined by their other cousin, Jeff Cook (lead guitar, fiddle, and keyboards). They changed their name to Alabama in 1977.

Alabama’s greatest success came in the 1980s when they had over 27 number one hits and seven multi-platinum albums. Their first single, “Tennessee River,” began a streak of 21 number one singles, including “Love in the First Degree” (1981), “Mountain Music” (1982), “Dixieland Delight” (1983), “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)” (1984) and “Song of the South” (1988).

They have sold over 75 million records, making them the most successful band in country music history.

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Music on Mondays (12-18-17)—Ram on

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

As many readers will remember, I listen to my non-classical music collection in chronological order. My earliest recording is from 1903: March of the Toys (Babes in Toyland) by Victor Herbert & His Orchestra. My most recent recording is Full Circle, released by Great White in June 2017.

When it comes to my Lost on a Desert Island CD, my earliest recording that I’m taking with me is I Walk the Line, released by Johnny Cash in 1956. It was the first song that I could sing along with on the radio because I knew all the words. I was one year old in 1956. Don’t worry. They were still playing it on the radio in 1961, which is when I remember singing it in the car in Palestine, Texas.

Singing is a significant part of the music on my Lost on a Desert Island CD. That doesn’t really surprise me because I love to sing. It’s hard to sing along to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture or The Nutcracker.

Part of my reason for creating my Lost on a Desert Island CD is because I thought it would help me determine what my favorite albums are, and if I could identify my favorite albums, I’m pretty sure they would point me to my favorite groups.

When I started this project, I was pretty sure that The Beatles and The Who were my top two groups. Although I’m in July 1982 right now, I’m questioning whether or not my assumption about The Beatles and The Who is true.

I can definitively tell you that the year that will have the most songs on my Lost on a Desert Island CD will be 1971. Although I have more hours of music from later years, the songs were much longer so I probably have fewer songs on fewer albums, but they happen to be long songs on long albums.

Here are the years and the number of songs on my CD:

1956 – 2
1958 – 1
1959 – 2
1960 – 3
1964 – 2
1965 – 18
1966 – 35
1967 – 28
1968 – 36
1969 – 22
1970 – 53
1971 – 68
1972 – 59
1973 – 42
1974 – 48
1975 – 53
1976 – 34
1977 – 36
1978 – 36
1979 – 50
1980 – 21
1981 – 42

So far the top album is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released by The Beatles in 1968. There are 13 songs on the album; 12 are on my CD. The only song missing is the reprise of the title song.

Interestingly, the #2 album so far is Ram, released by Paul & Linda McCartney in 1971. There are 12 songs on the album; 11 are on my CD. The only song missing is the 56-second reprise of “Ram On.”

I can definitively state that no other album will come close to those two.

So, for Lost on a Desert Island, 1971, part 1, following is the complete Ram album by Paul & Linda McCartney. I could not find any YouTube videos that allowed embedding, so you’ll have to click on the link and listen to it on YouTube.–MuJM

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Music on Mondays (11-27-17)—Lost on a desert island, 1970, part 1

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My Lost On A Desert Island music collection would have 53 songs from 1970 on it, 8 by The Beatles, all from Let It Be. I’m pretty sure Let It Be ranks as my #2 Beatles album behind Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Original Beatles songs are not available as videos on YouTube so I cannot provide any links to such videos. I leave it to you to search out Beatles videos or simply put on your own music and start singing! Here are the 8 from 1970:

  1. Two Of Us
  2. Across The Universe
  3. Let It Be
  4. I’ve Got A Feeling
  5. One After 909
  6. The Long & Winding Road
  7. For You Blue
  8. Get Back

Following are the next 23 songs from 1970 that I would take with me if there were a possibility of being lost on a desert island. With the breakup of The Beatles, this was the year that I started exploring darker, heavier music, much to the chagrin of my wise old grandmother. She understood Let It Be and The Long & Winding Road. Not so much Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

25 Or 6 To 4 by Chicago
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Chicago’s first song to reach the Top 5

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Won the 1971 Grammy for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”

Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkel
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
I always wanted to date a Cecilia so I could sing this to her.

Colour My World by Chicago
Released twice, both times as the B side to other singles
Make Me Smile in 1970 and Beginnings in 1971
The first non-classical song that I learned on the piano.

Easy Come, Easy Go by Bobby Sherman
#9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

El Condor Pasa (If I Could) by Simon & Garfunkel
#18 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Ma Belle Amie by The Tee Set
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Until I went to YouTube for this blog post,
I had no idea that this was a “Gay Tune.”
Should I turn in my Gay Card?

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel
#7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Forty years later I won a music trivia contest by being able
to name this song after just 3 notes.

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Come & Get It by Badfinger
#7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Written by Paul McCartney.

Shilo by Neil Diamond
#24 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
My aunt in Los Angeles introduced me to Neil Diamond in 1968.

Hitchin’ A Ride by Vanity Fare
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Add Some Music To Your Day by The Beach Boys
#64 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
One of my favorite songs about music.

Go Back by Crabby Appleton
#36 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Ride Captain Ride by Blues Image
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Gimme Dat Ding by The Pipkins
#9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Black Knight by Deep Purple
#66 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Evil Woman by Black Sabbath
#19 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Wicked World by Black Sabbath
From their eponymous debut album

Lookin’ Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Who’ll Stop The Rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#43  hit on the Billboard Hot 100
The single was 3:50; it’s this 11:11 album version that really turns me on.

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