Tag Archives: Electric Light Orchestra

Thanks, Pink!

Last Saturday, we made our way up to Duluth, Minnesota, where I skated in the NorthShore Inline Marathon for the 11th time.

I’ve skated on sunny mornings, on chilly mornings, on rainy mornings and on windy mornings. But until Saturday, never on a foggy morning.

At roughly 14 miles into the race from Two Harbors to Duluth, the fog rolled in off Lake Superior, accompanied by a light mist. The fog got thicker as we neared the city, with visibility perhaps a quarter-mile.

The mist covered my glasses, occasionally obscuring my view of the road ahead. We watch the road closely. We don’t want to get caught in cracks in the pavement, or by tar snakes — the soft tar they use to patch those cracks — nor do we wish to skate over anything in the road.

So I just followed Pink’s line. She skated just ahead of me for most of the first 23 miles. The pink top she wore was hard to miss.

Then I caught up with Illinois. She’d traveled to Duluth by herself and was skating the marathon for the first time. Illinois wore a black T-shirt that also was hard to miss, and I followed her line the rest of the way.

Despite the fog and the mist, it turned out to be a pretty fast day for everyone in the field, even me.

So thank you, ladies. Here’s a song for you.

“I’m comin’ up (to Duluth) so you better get this party started … I can go for (26.2) miles if you know what I mean … Don’t bring me down (because skaters don’t like to wipe out).”

“Don’t Start Me Down,” Booty Von Dralle, 2005. It’s a classic mashup of Pink — who else? — and Electric Light Orchestra.

About the photo: The marathon ended as it started, under overcast skies. By early afternoon, it was pouring. Shortly before sunset, though, we were rewarded with this rainbow over Lake Superior.

Is there pink in a rainbow?

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Filed under September 2008, Sounds

20/20/20 vision, Part V

Here’s the last installment in our supposedly brief series, 20 Songs from 20 Albums for $20.

There are tunes off the albums I found under the tents in the back yard of one of our local used record dealers last month. We’ve taken so long to finish the series that there’s another tent sale this weekend.

Today’s batch is a bit of a mixed bag, if only because we’ve come to the end.

“Dead End Street,” Lou Rawls, 1967, from “The Best of Lou Rawls,” 1968. Reissued in 1979 but out of print regardless. Available on “The Legendary Lou Rawls,” a 1992 CD release.

Though the album jacket is falling apart, the grooves on the record have held up pretty well. Most of Lou Rawls’ early tunes produced by David Axelrod have held up pretty well. This cut is preceded by one of Rawls’ classic spoken monologues. He, too, is a godfather of hip-hop.

“Get Ready,” the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band,” from “Together,” 1968. The album link is to a 2007 CD release by Rhino UK. The remastered LP features eight bonus tracks.

This mostly instrumental version of the familiar tune came after it was a hit for the Temptations in 1966 but before it became an even bigger hit for Rare Earth in 1970. Charles Wright and the band crank up a driving, jazzy, funky take on the tune written by Smokey Robinson.

“Sweet Sticky Thing,” Ohio Players, from “Honey,” 1975.

You know the big hit off this album. This is the other hit, one you may not have heard or simply may not remember, having long been overshadowed by the enduring popularity of “Love Rollercoaster.” It’s a sweet slice of classic ’70s soul/jazz.

“Roll Over Beethoven,” Electric Light Orchestra, from “ELO II,” 1973. The album link is to a 2006 CD release. The remastered LP features four bonus tracks.

I confess. I bought this album only to get a decent rip on this tune. If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen it posted here before. No apologies, though. I like it that much.

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Filed under June 2008, Sounds

Good story, then and now

They handed out the Pulitzer Prizes today, honoring the year’s best work in journalism.

You may be familiar with the Pulitzer-winning feature story. I wrote about it a year ago. It’s worth revisiting:

(The April 4, 2007) Washington Post Magazine had this remarkable story: They got concert violinist Joshua Bell to be a street musician at a Washington, D.C., subway station so they could gauge the reaction of passersby.

I hadn’t heard of Joshua Bell, but he’s one of the world’s top violinists, and has a little rock star in him. He was up for the challenge. He played six pieces in 43 minutes at the L’Enfant Plaza station. He played a violin made by Antonio Stradivari almost 300 years ago.

Of the 1,097 people who walked past that Friday morning in January, seven stopped. Passersby dropped $32.17 into Bell’s violin case.

Of one gent who walked right past, Gene Weingarten wrote:

“There’s nothing wrong with (the man’s) hearing. He had buds in his ear. He was listening to his iPod.

“For many of us, the explosion in technology has perversely limited, not expanded, our exposure to new experiences. Increasingly, we get our news from sources that think as we already do. And with iPods, we hear what we already know; we program our own playlists.”

Amen, brother.

That is why I so enjoy the music blogs, and why I started this one. How can we learn about new music (or new-to-us music) if you don’t share it with me, or if I don’t share it with you?

I’m not putting down iPods or the people who love them. Both are here to stay.

But there is something to be said for blasting tunes so that all can hear. You might hear something you dig. You might meet someone cool. You might make a lifelong friend. You might have a revelation.

John Picarello did. He stopped to listen to Joshua Bell that morning in the subway station. He stopped and listened, astonished, for nine minutes.

I had that same feeling when I first heard the strings on today’s song. I stopped and listened, astonished, at Wilfrid Gibson on violin and Mike Edwards and Colin Walker on cello.

“Roll Over Beethoven,” Electric Light Orchestra, from “ELO II,” 1973.

I liked it when I heard it … wow, 35 years ago already? I liked it again today. Turn it up. I intend to. Someone else — perhaps our 13-year-old son — might hear it for the first time and dig it.


Filed under April 2008, Sounds