February 19, 2012

The topic came up at some bar in Las Vegas about me not knowing who the singer Adele was. I guess she’s pretty hot stuff, given that her “21” CD is burning the top of the Billboard charts. To me sounds like a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Stephanie Corby, so she’s no ground-breaker – at least as far as I’m concerned. Besides, if I’m to listen to young English talent, Charlotte Church is more pleasing to these ears. Not to mention more talented.

Both The Funny Guy and Doggy Duval were giving me crap about what I listen to – I mean, Dave Navarro – are you kidding me? Yeah, I’m gonna run out and get every Jane’s Addiction CD I can find. Not! Perhaps it’s a combination of my age, lifestyle (I spend very little time in my car since I don’t commute), and the sun culture here in AZ, but when I listen to music I’m looking to relax, not looking for something hip and edgy, and that’s nothing to be ashamed about. It all comes down to taste.

Those who frequent this blog might get the idea that the only music I listen to are the Beach Boys and the Sandals, which is not true. While it’s true they’re never very far from my play list when I do listen to music, I think my tastes are fairly eclectic. If I were to list my all-time top ten favorite artists, you’d see the Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Sandals, Pink Floyd, the Ramones, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, and The Ronettes in there, but mostly I’m not as much tied to particular artists as to genres of music whenever a certain fancy strikes me: surf music old and modern for sure, Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” productions, “doo wop” music of the ’50s and early ’60s, ragtime for sure, classical (whenever October and November come around), New Orleans zydeco and Delta blues (especially live), exotica music (a modern example by Waitiki here and here), and, most recently, a wide range of what I would call “tropical breeze” music – a genre that comprises anything from soft surf to the “gulf and western” sounds of Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney to Cuban, Jamaican, Hawaiian, Caribbean, and Brazilian sounds.

To give you an example of just a few things I’ve been listening to as of late:

Any version of “Flamingo” is OK by me, but lately I’ve discovered Earl Bostic’s version and dig the bass and vibraphone backing.

On the patio with the palm trees rustling on a warm late afternoon, The Sandals’ “Tradewinds” always sounds great.

Of course, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett are must-haves for the patio song mix.

But that’s not to say sultry afternoons and late nights aren’t a good time for some Joplin rags like this and this.

Mellow surf music, both old and new.

Lately, I’m really into instrumentals by guitarists Tim Heintz and Ramon Stagnaro – both frequent commenter Jana’s kind of music.

Music featuring Stan “The Man” Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim – augmented with the great Astrud Gilberto are a great combo.

The Lazy Gators doin’ zydeco good, just like Beausoleil.

Anything by Hawaiian Style Band, like this and this are favorites.

Jimmy Cliff’s Sitting In Limbo and The Sandpipers’ Guantanamera make my soul long for a place where turquoise waters lap against the sand and palm trees sway.

Bob Marley’s Redemption Song and anything by Perez Prado.

I’ve recently checked out some really great Nat King Cole latin-flavored recordings like this and this. Definitely getting added into my “Tropical Breezes” compilation.

Anything by Texas Tornados, like this and this. Does it get any better?

These are just a few. So for those who want to complain about The Great White Shank being some kind of dinosaur, all I can do is offer up this quote from Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, responding to criticism by the punk rockers of the late ’70s who thought them passe: “you certainly don’t want the world to be overrun with dinosaurs, but it’s good to have a few of them still roaming about”.

And yes, I remember what good rock music used to sound like – you know, like this, this, and this. I can still classic rock, but excuse me if 90% of what people call “rock” and heavy metal nowadays is nothing but music spelled n-o-i-s-e. I’ve grown up and learned to find music that fits my life and the way I want to live.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:54 | Comments (5)
5 Comments »
  1. I don’t know if I will buy an Adele cd but I sure do like a bit of what I hear by her…very soulful and who doesn’t relate to breakup songs?
    My Sirius radio in the car offers me so many choices and I do listen to much of the same as you…not so crazy about ragtime and that era. Love all the great blues, zydeco, beach music of course, island music is great especially from the Bahamas and Jamaica. Love classical, ethnic…Doug check out Natalie McMaster. She is a Scottish fiddle player and lives on an island off of Nova Scotia…she is amazing. I love celtic music, African drum and South African…Have gone to concerts featuring African groups and WOW!!! I love Kentucky music and go to the KY Music weekend every year. Great mountain music with it’s roots in Elizabethan music. So, what ever a person likes and appreciates is fine with me.

    Comment by Jana — February 19, 2012 @ 6:55 am


  2. I bought a few Adele songs at the wife’s insistence. She has since grown on me considerably. I like her. Besides that thunderous voice, she has quite a sense of humor. She owned the Grammys last week.

    Comment by Rob — February 19, 2012 @ 5:22 pm


  3. See, this is why I love to do posts about music. I learn so much about what others are listening to. Thanks, Jana and Rob!

    Comment by The Great Whire Shank — February 19, 2012 @ 8:12 pm


  4. I can make copies of Natalie McMaster and Ladysmith Black Mambaso for you as well as some other music I like…OK?

    Comment by Jana — February 20, 2012 @ 5:37 am


  5. Let me check their music out first so I don’t waste your time. 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — February 20, 2012 @ 8:40 pm


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