Open Doors

The Doors are one of my all time favorite bands. The dark, acid-tripping, psychedelic nature of the music is mesmerizing. Unfortunately, The Doors only came out with only six studio albums (compared to The Beatles twelve). Since Jim Morrison’s untimely death in 1971, The Doors franchise has gone berserk.

“Light my fire” with a Jim Morrison lighter on a Jim Morrison Candle. Pretend to be Jim Morrison with a Jim Morrison Action Figure. Relive his arrest, with a Jim Morrison mug shot poster. Be the cool kid at school with a Jim Morrison lunch box, Jim Morrison earrings, or heck, go all out by wearing a Jim Morrison Wig. Show your patriotism, with Jim Morrison on an American Flag. Mail a letter with a Morrison Postage Stamp. Show your devotion to Morrison with this depiction of Jim Morrison with a crown of thorns or how about Morrison as a Hindu god? Relive his death with a poster of his grave. Wait a second, maybe he (like Elvis) is not actually dead?!? Watch a documentary about Jim’s ghost. There is even a video of some guy who claims to be Jim Morrison- alive and living as a cowboy!

If you don’t feel completely ill at the thought of some “new” music by Jim Morrison and The Doors, you should check out remixes (links connect to the official Doors website) by Paul Oakenfield, Crystal Method, BT Vs. The Doors, and even Snoop Dogg!

The only really intriguing thing I could find about Jim Morrison on the web is this video which has a young Jim Morrison playing the roll of a student who was rejected from Florida State University. The reason I like it so much is because Jim is so clean cut in it (no leather pants, no mugging for the camera, no sunglasses, short hair!) and because it humanizes him rather than deifies him like in most other instances.

Related Tags: The Doors, Jim Morrison, Snoop Dogg, , Paul Oakenfield, Crystal Method

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Sweet Analog Goodness

I recently came across some sweet galleries of cassette tapes [via]. Both pages are fun and bring back memories of making mix tapes. If you don’t mind going analog, you can get some great deals at thrift stores and assorted mainstream stores that still have a small selection of cassettes.

Cassette Jam is a sensory overload gallery of cassettes in an all-you-can eat fashion. This web-page gets straight to the point, but is not much for the cassette aficionado.

If you prefer your tapes in an orderly fashion so you can enjoy each logo, scratch, ridge, and paste-it-yourself label (along with wine and caviar, of course), you will enjoy TapeDeck.org. It has tape galleries divided by brand, playing time, and tape quality. Be sure to click on the cassettes. They each zoom into a larger image. This zoom feature is high tech!

Enough of that analog stuff. Back to the blogosphere…

Related Tags: cassette, tape deck, analog, mix tape

Howl at the Moon

Peter Rowan has had many touches with greatness as a member of:

*Bill Monroe‘s Bluegrass boys
*David Grisman‘s group Earth Opera (They opened for The Doors numerous times)
*Old & In The Way (with Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Vassar Clements)

However, Rowan remains widely unknown. Though, he did pen the fantastic song Midnight Moonlight. I checked out some of Rowan’s other material on his album The Rowans. The album has a nice feel to it but the real gem on it is the version of Midnight Moonlight. Here is a full version of Midnight Moonlight played by the Dark Star Orchestra (who are quite good. even though they are cover band). By The Way, I’d love a copy of Old & In The Way‘s self titled album however, it is out of print and Crazy Expensive. And yes, that’s on CD…

Have another favorite Rowan song? Do share.

Related Tags: Peter Rowan, Bill Monroe, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, The Doors, Midnight Moonlight, Dark Star Orchestra, DSO, Vassar Clements

Can I get an Amen?

What is 5.2 seconds long, consists of 16 beats, and is sampled in more songs than anything else? It’s the Amen, Break! Well, you might be saying- heck, that’s not a lost melody! I’ve heard it a million times! True, but have you ever heard the complete original version of the song: Amen, Brother played by the funk group The Winstons? It’s the B-side of a 1969 single, hardly a well known piece (besides the 5.2 seconds). Want to learn how this almost lost melody became integral to hip-hop culture? Check out this amazing documentary about the beat, it’s staying power, and history. Have a nice weekend.

Related Tags: Winstons, Amen Brother, Amen Break, funk,

Going Postal

So, I was recently over my friends place and he started playing an acoustic version of the Postal Service song Such Great Heights on his guitar. I was blown away by the sounds of this song done with finger picking. Only after finishing playing did he say “oh, that’s how Iron and Wine plays that song.” This song isn’t exactly a lost melody, but hey, it sounds like it is. This version is timeless, beautiful, and dare I say- may even be better than the original (which I do think is fantastic). Don’t hate it just because it was featured in an M&M commercial. Which version of the song do you prefer?

Related Tags: Postal Service, Such Great Heights, M&M commercial, Iron and Wine, music

Runnin’ all ‘Round my Brain

There are two great songs, both by the name of Cocaine Blues. The better known version is probably the one that Johnny Cash made famous and whose lyrics state:

Early one mornin’ while makin’ the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed
I stuck that lovin’ 44 beneath my head

The other version is a traditional tune that Dave Van Ronk made famous in the 1960s whose lyrics include:

Hey baby, you better come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Cocaine’s for horses and it’s not for men
Doctor said it kill you, but he don’t say when.
Cocaine all around my brain.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find Van Ronk’s definitive version of Cocaine Blues anywhere besides this clip. The only other recordings of Van Ronk I could find were from a 1985 public radio interview. If you skip to 32:45 into the interview, you can hear some live recording of Van Ronk’s legendary finger picking. If you are able to find more Dave Van Ronk material online, let me know!

Dylan used to sing the traditional version of Cocaine Blues as well, though I was not able to find it on any of his official albums. I found a weird neo-psychodelic version of the tune here by some guy who goes by name Entrance. Additionally, here is a nice version of the song sung by Jackson Browne. Enjoy 🙂

Related Tags: cocaine blues, Dave Van Ronk, Johnny Cash, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, music