Thursday, May 26, 2016

Spring Blahs

So I haven't posted in more than a month. Some of it is because I've been working a lot (which I guess is a good thing). But mostly, I've just been uncharacteristically lethargic about music lately. It's not like I'm bored in general -- I've been enjoying movies (especially the new Captain America film, and even the much-maligned Batman/Superman film). I just haven't found any music lately to get me excited.

I've started listening to some stuff from 2016, but while I've heard some OK stuff, nothing is really lighting my fire. I was looking forward to the Gumption CD from the young woman who bills herself as Your Friend. But it turns out her music sounds like Beach House on ludes, meaning if she were any more laid back, she'd be dead. (I love Beach House, but they're about as low key as I can take it.)

I've really been jonesing for some good live music, but the upcoming music schedule just isn't getting it done. I wouldn't have minded seeing Strawbs a few weeks ago at the Boulton Center. But I couldn't find anyone to go with me (they're not Denise's taste), and I wound up working late that night anyway.

I was eyeing a Yes show at the Westbury Music Fair (I refuse to call it by any other name). Originally, their North American tour was going to focus around two albums, Drama, which I've always loved, and their most recent studio album, Heaven & Earth, which almost no one has heard of, but it's just a beautiful CD. And it has the advantage that the band who recorded it is still their current lineup (except, of course, for the late lamented Chris Squire), so it's exciting for them to play-- it's their own music. But I guess they weren't selling enough tickets to the tour, 'cause somewhere along the way, they switched the concert content to all of the Drama album, plus two sides of their rambling 1973 double album Tales of Topographic Oceans. 

Sorry boys, but that's a deal breaker for me. I know there are Yes fans who live for that album, but it's always been my least favorite album from the classic Yes lineup.

In the meantime, Yes has split in two again like they did in '80s, with Steve Howe and Alan White staying in the band that owns the name of Yes, but Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman forming their own supergroup, Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman. The new band will be playing The Paramount in October, but while I'll definitely check out their new CD when they put it out later this year, I was never a big fan of Yes's Rabin days. If I like the new album, maybe I'll check them out, but for now I'm going to pass on the show.

One of the problems is when I do find something that's a little interesting, the ticket prices these days are ridiculous.  While most of the Jones Beach schedule this year leaves me cold, I'd happily get tickets for Sting and Peter Gabriel if I wouldn't have to take out a second mortgage to do it. Denise and I have seen Sting a number of times (and she'd dump me for him in a minute if he asked her too), but neither of us have ever seen Peter Gabriel. And at those prices, I guess we never will.

I checked out the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center schedule for this summer. They're doing a Year of the Woman kind if thing this summer. I noticed one of their shows featured Sarah McLachlan. Denise and I saw here a couple of times in her early years, and although I don't think her music has been half as good since she put together The Lilith Fair, but for the right price, I might have gone for it. Forget it. The cheap seats are $200 bucks a pop.

So for right now, we've got some tickets to see Squeeze at The Paramount in October. I didn't love their most recent album, but last time we saw them, they put on a great show. And I'm toying with the idea of getting tickets for the Mets-Padres game on August 13, and hanging for the Styx concert afterwards. I know, they're basically a Styx tribute band these days, but what the hell. I've never actually seen Styx live, which is a plus. And they're one classic rock band my kids might enjoy. They'll be horrified by the ballads like "Lady" and "Babe", but they're familiar with "Come Sail Away" (at least with the Eric Cartman version), and they actually like "Mr. Roboto".

As for more current bands, I'd love to take my daughter to see the Warped Tour this year (or any year, really). Tonight Alive and Against the Current are playing, and there are some other interesting looking bands, plus my daughter is a big fan of Falling in Reverse. But the shape I'm in these days, the only way I could do it and live would be to rent a wheelchair for the day, and have my daughter wheel me around all day. And I'm still a little too proud to do that (although I've used a wheelchair, by necessity, on the rare occasions when I use an airport). Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind.

So mostly, I've been living on concert DVDs these days. The best ones I've seen recently were The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, which, in addition to having some excellent performances, is a nice little slice of rock history; and Remember That Night, a David Gilmour concert DVD featuring Gilmour doing some of his best solo stuff, plus a bunch of great classic Floyd stuff. David Crosby and Graham Nash back him up on many of the vocals, and there's a special surprise appearance near the end of the show by David Bowie, who joins Gilmour in singing "Comfortably Numb".

Anyway, that's what I've been up to musically. Knowing me, there will probably be some new music to come along sometime soon that will get me excited again. Until then, I'll keep treading water, and find my musical pleasure where I can.