R.I.P. John Perry Barlow (1947–2018)

http://www.davidmcelroy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/John-Perry-Barlow.jpgYesterday morning, Grateful Dead lyricist and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow passed away in his sleep.

Rolling Stone has nice obituary for him.

It was Barlow’s lyrics and Bob Weir’s music that had the earliest influences on me when I was first turned-on to The Dead. Throwing Stones and Hell In A Bucket from the album “In The Dark” made their early marks. Mexicali Blues from “Skeletons From The Closet” and Estimated Prophet from “Terrapin Station” followed closely. Then others, such as Looks Like Rain.

I had been passingly familiar with JPB long before I knew his music though. In high school, I found a long article in Harper’s magazine titled, Is Computer Hacking A Crime? It was a long chat-room transcript from The WELL (a pre-world wide web bulletin board system). The chat included JPB, early computing luminaries such as Richard Stallman, and a hacker who would later become more widely known

Hacking was more of the exploratory, curious and creative nature back then. I still vividly recall JPB referring to our ancient ancestors as engaging in “fire hacking.” In that chat article, hacking was a force for good that drove our species forward. The word was only just gaining its nefarious, darker pall for the renegade and destructive activities it is known for today.

Like the other members of The Dead Family before him, John Perry Barlow will be sorely missed.

Thank-you for the EFF. Most importantly, thank-you for the music!

R.I.P. Dolores O’Riordan (1971–2018)

imageI was shocked to see that Dolores O’Riordan had died suddenly today. She was almost exactly one year older than I am.

My condolences go out to her family and the band. Dolores will be sorely missed.

I’ll be playing The Cranberries’ music in remembrance of her talent.

R.I.P. Gord Downie (1964 – 2017)

On Tuesday, The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie succumbed to the terminal brain tumour that he was diagnosed with last year.

I’ve spent the rest of the week processing this and listening to The Hip constantly. Much of Canada is still mourning this collective loss. Downie’s music and poetry has a way of vibrating the Canadian nerve.

He will be missed deeply.

Farewell, Mr. Cohen

What a week! A tumultuous upset in the United States’ election – which I kept out of on this blog but was rather active on Facebook. I’ve had a lingering sore throat all week and that was what got me out of bed on Friday morning at 1am.

My cousin Hana had posted the news about Leonard Cohen’s passing.

2016 has not be kind to music. This time I felt it much deeper.

The sore throat got worse and the only positive is that I could sing in closer tune to the Cohen songs that I’ve been playing on WinAmp all weekend.

So long sir. Thanks for everything you’ve given us.

Faith No More

Last Monday, July 27th, I caught the Faith No More concert at the Southside Ballroom in Dallas!

It took at least 2 full days for my ears to stop ringing.

Faith No MoreThe opening act was Napalm Death and I can’t say that I enjoyed that. At first I didn’t believe their singer when he described themselves a “impenetrable fucking noise.” But with 20/20 hindsight (and Wikipedia), that is exactly what they were.

Fortunately, Faith No More put on a great show that more than made up for the opening. Of course they played their big hits from the past but also added in the new material from the Sol Invictus album.

The lighting was great – almost mesmerizing. Most of the stage and the band were in white, so the light show took full advantage of that.

Alas, my cellphone camera could not do justice to the event.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing FNM performing together again.

Still Remembering Jerry…

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing. I’ll remember him and his legacy by listening to my Dick’s Picks collection today.

And now he’s gone
Now he’s gone, Lord he’s gone
He’s gone
Like a steam locomotive rolling down the track
He’s gone, gone, and nothing’s gonna bring him back
He’s gone

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Hot as a pistol but cool inside

Cat on a tin roof, dogs in a pile
Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile

Treadmill Tunes

For the past two years, I have been working out with an awesome personal trainer – I’d give you a link but Patrick won’t take my advice and create a personal website. The results have been worth every penny.

Although I often have my Zune playing when I am on the treadmill or elliptical machine, it is only recently that I put together a playlist of songs that I really want to listen to during a cardiovascular workout. I want music with a good beat and that can be turned-up loud enough to drown out the gym’s radio.

Here is a sampling of the 232 songs that make up my Treadmill Tunes:

Faith No More – We Care A Lot

REM – What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?

Shock Of Pleasure – Xenophobia

Sarah McLachlan – Vox

AC/DC – Thunderstruck

Teenage Head – Tornado

Blur – Song 2

Diesel – Sausalito Summer Nights

Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Trooper – Raise A Little Hell

Garbage – Only Happy When It Rains

The Tragically Hip – My Music At Work

The Butthole Surfers – Pepper

Eels – Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues

Rob Zombie – More Human Than Human

Rollins Band – Illumination

Lily Allen – Fuck You

The Grateful Dead – The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)

Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning

Faith No More – A Small Victory

Transvision Vamp – Evolution Evie

Phish – Bouncing Around The Room