Look, I’m going to be straight with you: So far, 2017 hasn’t been much better than 2016 was.
There have been a number of decisions made by the executive branch of the U.S. government that are troublesome. And the job I had lined up has been slow in getting me details on starting. Socially, politically and fiscally, 2017 has already been a challenge. That can certainly color one’s perspective, right?
I don’t mean to complain. Many folks have it far, far worse. And I think about those poor souls, too. We have many challenges coming our way. There will be a lot of bumps, bruises and tears coming. Many sleepless nights. We can hope for the best, but it’d be wise to follow the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.
Preparation can mean vigilance. It can mean protest. It can mean education. It can mean … well, anything. Preparation can vary from person to person, interest to interest, cause to cause.
It also can mean looking for bright sides. It can mean finding the things in life that make the struggles worthwhile.
I’m not always the world’s biggest birthdays guy. I don’t get too excited about my own, and most of my family members (even in the extended orbits) are well into their adult years. This kind of dims the enthusiasm for birthdays and general holidays (you love watching kids tear into gifts, right? But adults exchanging greeting cards or going out for dinner is NICE, but it isn’t exactly Norman Rockwell territory).
But there are a few birthdays I like to honor. My brother’s birthday, my wife’s birthday and the birthdays of my parents. I’m not exactly rolling in cash, so these tend to be phone calls and greeting cards, but the sentiments are true and heart felt.
And here we are, with my dad’s birthday coming right up. His birthday is Jan. 27, which is tomorrow as I type this. As music is my major passion and my dad influenced a lot of my music tastes, it seems fitting to talk about him a bit here.
Sorry for the lack of recent posts. I’ve been working (yay!), so I haven’t had much time for writing.
I’m afraid this will be a relatively short post, but maybe it’ll be something fun for you.
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook (as well as some tweets on Twitter) about influential albums. You know, like, which albums were the most influential for you during your teens? Or, during your pre-teens? Which albums made a big impact on you during high school. That kind of stuff.
I gave it some thought, and I decided to try to make these lists myself.
I removed the majority of the music on my iPhone a few months back. I did this mostly for the sake of clearing up space, and also because I use Spotify to stream a lot of my favorite music.
But as I don’t want to eat up a ton of data and risk paying overages for exceeding my data plan, I usually keep some music on my phone so I can use it like an iPod when it is convenient.
(Bob Dylan’s “Series of Dreams” always captures my imagination, and it definitely made the cut to be added to my iPhone.)
I was adding some Bob Dylan materials to my phone the other night, and that can be tricky. What do you add? What do you leave off? A lot of the man’s recorded output is worthy of appreciation and study. But I don’t have unlimited space, so I was doing a lot of picking and choosing. Darn few albums were included in their entirety (and among those was “Love and Theft,” the 2001 release that may just be my favorite Dylan album of all his works).
Sometimes it was pretty difficult to filter out songs. But for one era of Dylan’s recording, I made the effort to include lots and lots of material. That era involves The Band, and the collected works fall under the banner of “The Basement Tapes.”