Tag Archives: Tuneage

Musical palate cleanser, the lady plays edition

I confess to knowing little about Beverly Watkins, which is a shame.

Beverly Watkins, a rare woman among blues guitarists, who cleaned homes when music did not pay her enough and did not record her first solo album until she was 60, died on Oct. 1 in Atlanta. She was 80.

Her son and only immediate survivor, Stanley Watkins, said the cause was a heart attack that had been preceded by a stroke.

Ms. Watkins called her music lowdown, stomping blues and complemented it with crowd-pleasing antics into her 70s — playing her electric guitar on her back and behind her head, sliding across the stage. When she sang, it was often with a growl.

“She’d been doing all that since the late 1950s, but she wasn’t a star because she’d been a sideman most of her career, playing with bands that didn’t have hits,” Brett J. Bonner, editor of Living Blues magazine, said by phone. “She was a fabulous guitar player.”

Judging by this clip, she sure was.

You gotta love it.  RIP, Ms. Watkins.



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Musical palate cleanser, in the end edition

This past week turned out to be Reissue Christmas (Hanukkah?) for me.  Today, you get a little taste of Giles Martin’s rework of Abbey Road.

It’s on a level with his other Beatles reissue work.  Ringo benefits the most from it (and to think there are folks who don’t appreciate his virtuosity), but there is noticeably more air around all of the instruments, particularly acoustic guitar.

There are also plenty of outtakes to feast on.  I’ll be honest and admit I could have lived with one or two less examples of “Sun King”, but you ought to hear a five-minute version of “The End” where the band just rocks out with guitar exchanges.

In other words, if you love this album, highly recommended.


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Musical palate cleanser, another one gone edition

Mortality blows.

Ric Ocasek, the songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the Cars, was found dead on Sunday afternoon at his townhouse in Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department. No cause of death was available on Sunday night.

It is unclear what age Mr. Ocasek (pronounced oh-CASS-ek) was. According to some public records and previous articles, he was 70, other reporting suggests that he may have been 75.

From 1978 to 1988, Ocasek and the Cars merged a vision of romance, danger and nocturnal intrigue and the concision of new wave with the sonic depth and ingenuity of radio-friendly rock. The Cars managed to please both punk-rock fans and a far broader pop audience, reaching into rock history while devising fresh, lush extensions of it.

Always liked these guys.  My favorite:


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Musical palate cleanser, obvious edition

I have no idea why I’ve never devoted a Cleanser to a college band before, so let’s fix that oversight with this:


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Musical palate cleaner, can I hear you say yeah edition

Having trouble getting going this morning?  Southside Johnny is here to help.

Yeah, that’s the E Street Band rhythm section working it there…


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Your 9.4.19 Playpen

With the first home game coming up (Welcome to Dooley Field!), I thought this was an appropriate time to address a topic someone requested a week or so ago, namely, how to build a better tailgate music experience.

Now, to each his own on musical tastes, so I’m not gonna spend time here giving you specific advice about which songs work and which don’t (although don’t let me stop some of you from doing that in the comments), but rather, I’ll share some general advice about making your tuneage work for you.  (Those of you who still tailgate on North Campus can disregard the rest of this post, sadly.)

First of all, as a multi-year tailgate veteran in charge of bringing the noise, I can tell you that it all starts with the delivery system.  Don’t kid yourself — making the greatest mix tape/playlist in the history of Georgia football means little if your group can’t hear it.  If you’re surrounded by other tailgaters, odds are that’s going to be an issue.

It’s taken some trial and error, but for me, as I’ve posted before, this baby is flat out the bomb.

Screenshot_2019-09-04 SOUNDBOKS Webshop

It’s also $899, so I get it if you don’t get it.  In any event, find something everyone can hear and that has enough battery power to last several hours.  There’s nothing worse than a boombox that dies halfway through your Cocktail Party tailgate.

Next, regardless of how you source your material, make sure you can present it in a way that involves a minimal amount of fiddling.  You don’t want to be a slave to the music, constantly having to pick out songs, instead of… well, tailgating.  I’m old school, relatively speaking, so I’ve still got my trusty 160GB iPod Classic as my music source.  I’ve got several gameday playlists organized on it in time segments I can mix and match, depending on the length of a given tailgate.  (I’ve also got a 90-minute playlist for the drive up and another for the drive back, but that’s for another day.)

If you’ve go the Bluetooth route through your phone to supply songs, there are options like Spotify that should work.  (Again, those of you who do it that way, share your tips in the comments.)

As for what goes into a successful mix, consider your audience.  By that, I mean your tailgating group.  (And if I may digress for a moment, there is nothing ruder than that person who brings a ginormous PA system capable of blanketing an entire parking lot with ear-splitting music and proceeds to prove it; for some reason, that person also tends to have shit for musical taste.  Don’t be that person, please.)

I’m lucky in that I’ve been tailgating with the same bunch for decades now.  I know what my folks like, so I build my lists in their direction.  There are also songs that, for better or worse, are associated by us with certain times and events we recollect.  It’s not so much that I’m trying to create a party on the dance floor as much as contribute to a mood; after all, we’re there getting ready to go see the Dawgs play.  Our mood is generally fueled by James Brown and The Rolling Stones, with the occasional Munson clip tossed in.  Your mileage will no doubt vary from that, but as long as it takes you where you want to go, your work will be done, my son.

Anyway, that’s about the sum total of my general wisdom on the subject.  If you’ve got specific questions, ask away.  If you’ve got your own set of suggestions, share ’em with us in the comments.


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Easily my favorite contract guarantee provision of 2019:

Florida A&M at Central Florida, Aug. 29: Florida A&M’s guarantee will be reduced by $20,000 to $350,000 if FAMU’s band doesn’t attend and play at halftime, weather permitting. UCF has agreed to provide parking near the stadium for up to six buses and an equipment truck for the band.

Hells yeah!  And why not?


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major