Jim Morrison once waxed on wax about how “the future is uncertain and the end is always near.” Well if that’s the true-be-all-end-all-whatsit statement folks, then it’s a good thing that music is always near to help with the confusion. No matter what the mood or attitude of the homosapien: mad, glad, depressed, morose, lively, ebullient, ragtag, etc., music is always a welcome addition regardless of what’s going on or what’s going down. This year’s crop of sonic comestibles should take care of anyone feeling hi-fi or lo-hi; either way, all of them are welcome additions under the tree or near the menorah or whatever your late year holiday preference may be. Human beings have so many choices to choose from these days, and here’s some more below.
So this is the “new normal?” Or is it a return to the “old normal?” Either way, regardless of how you spent this past year, regardless of your thoughts on the world, politics, and economics of the world, furrowing your eyebrows at this or that or embracing all the necessary and arguably unnecessary changes in the world, one needs a constant personal and universal soundtrack to keep going, to keep sane, to keep grounded and inspired. As the newest round of the holiday season gets ready to dawn upon us, music not only acts as the perfect and always obvious choices for even the most discriminating of tastes, but also something that brings much-needed relief and communion to end another challenging year and brace everyone for what lies ahead in 2022. So as always, here’s my picks for some of the sonic highlights released this year, spanning all genres and tastes.
Here are just some of the offerings released this year which will satisfy any music aficionado, young or old, regardless of personal music taste. Music forever remains in perpetuity as not only a great go-to gift, but one that is long lasting and forever. Check out our 2019 Holiday Geek Gift Guide for Music“¦
Bassist Jack Bruce, best remembered for his stint in Cream, the 1960s English power trio which took the sounds of the blues and electrified them to the hilt, ultimately unconsciously coining the term “supergroup,” died today at his home in Suffolk. He was 71.
The news was confirmed by Bruce’s publicist, who also mentioned that the musician’s family was by his side in his final moments. The news was also posted to Bruce’s official Facebook page this morning. No cause of death has been revealed at this time, though it was reported that he had suffered from liver disease.
Today is the birthday of one of music’s more original voices, the one and only late great Frank Zappa, a musical maverick who spanned 3 decades, who created a sonic jambalaya of genres, which he drew and quartered, sifted through a meat grinder, reconstructed, deconstructed it, and threw it up in the air and let the musical notes fall where they may; a producer, record company mogul, and progenitor who gave genesis to ions upon ions of musicians who followed in his footsteps directly or indirectly; and on top of all this, the cherry on his layer cake was enhanced by the fact that he was one downright kick ass guitar player, arguably one of the finest of all time and of all genres, the incomparable crazy, mad genius about town, about globe, and about universe.
The catalog and work of Frank Zappa is impossible to break down here in a short tribute such as this; there really isn’t, save for an immensely scant couple of singles and radio songs, much accessible or friendly to the casual listener or layman. For the most part, to them, Frank Zappa remains a total and unequivocal enigma, misunderstood with the music he parlayed, leaving listeners completely perplexed and turned off, quickly dismissing his work as noisy, jumbled arrangements which have no rhyme or reason to them, sung in a droning, bored vocal style via Zappa himself. In short, it was primarily a black eye on more “high brow” classical music, which they firmly believe that Zappa was simply parodying with dripping contempt and sarcasm. These examples couldn’t be further from the truth.