Dad Stuff: Music Lucy Likes…And Doesn’t

Ask any dad and he’ll tell you that he’ll try anything to stop his kid from crying. In my case, after changing our darling daughter and bouncing her around or trying to burp her, there’s not a whole lot I can offer. The missus is still breastfeeding and not pumping quite yet, so my options are limited. With her still home, that option is obviously open and I’ll practically be a bottle feeding ninja by the time she goes back to work, but as of right now, I’m trying out different music on Lucy to try and calm her down.She likes the Beatles, but the one performer who always seems to calm her down–with some accompaniment by dear old dad–is none other than the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash. For Christmas, my inlaws gave me the Legends box set, which is on my computer, as opposed to all the other Johnny Cash records I have which are on my iPod. For whatever reason, the other day when Lucy was having one of her mini freak outs, I decided to try playing Johnny Cash’s music and guess what? She loved it. Better than loved, she was transfixed. The first track on the first record of that set is the classic “I Walk The Line.” I’m not sure if it’s the staccato guitar playing, Johnny’s deep voice or me singing along that gets her or all of the above, but that one track seems to always calm her down. Now I’ve just got to learn every other non Super Hits track on the records to be in a place where I can warble along with the master and hopefully calm the kid down.

I’ve tried some other music with differing results. I was hoping the faster aspects of The White Stripes or The Raconteurs would appeal to her delicate sensibilities, but that wasn’t the case. I also tried a little Fall Out Boy because I know all the words, but she was lukewarm to them. Finally, after somewhat successful forays into Charlie Daniels Band, The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, I hopped over to the weirdly smooth tones of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, but she wasn’t having any of that. Maybe I should start her out on something a little jazzier like A Saucerful Of Secrets. I can forgive her for that as she seems to get a little bored with the solos and just wants to hear the lyrics. She’s definitely my girl. I do my best to vocalize the solos to keep her interested. You should hear me do “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” I’ve got the violin and guitar solos down better than some of the words.

Needless to say, most of my music listening has been predicated on her moods and what I think might lead to less screaming and more sleeping. I’ve got a LOT of music on my iPod and a good deal on my laptop to try and go through. She also seems to be as big a fan of Stephen Kellogg as I am which is good because I know a good deal of the words to his songs. The only downside I’ve found is that singing some of them–like “A (With Love)”–make me a little teary eyed and she doesn’t like the interruption in my singing. I’m starting to understand why people think they’re good enough to go on American Idol, especially if their kid thinks they’re a good singer. My daughter’s only a few weeks old and I think I could fly to the moon on the slightest, possibly-from-gas smile I get as I sing along to “Ring of Fire” or “Octopus’s Garden.” It’s shocking how tightly we can get wrapped around those tiny little fingers, isn’t it?

Supergroup Showcase: The Class of ’99

THE CLASS OF ’99
THE PLAYERS: Layne Staley on vocals (Alice In Chains), Tom Morello on guitar (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Stephen Perkins on drums (Jane’s Addiction), Martin LeNoble on bass (Porno For Pyros) and Matt Serletic on keyboards (producer).
THE STORY: The band members, a veritable who’s who of 90s rock gods, came together to record Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall Part 1” and “Part 2” for the soundtrack to Robert Rodriguez’s late 90s horror flick The Faculty. Far as I can tell, they only recorded these two songs and were never seen or heard from again as a unit.

While it would take a little over 10 years for me to actually see The Faculty, a movie I wound up really liking (like pretty much every Robert Rodriguez movie I see), I do have very distinct memories from the late 90s of The Class of ’99’s cover of a Pink Floyd tune. I hated it. See, at the time, I had just started getting into Pink Floyd and I was fairly close-minded purist which meant that only Pink Floyd songs by Pink Floyd were acceptable. My buddy Chad was instrumental in getting me further into the band than just the usual Dark Side Of The Moon/The Wall phases that most teenagers interested in classic rock and roll go through (though the live version of The Wall is still one of my favorite records of all time). But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember the video with most of the band footage projected in various places throughout the The Wall movie-inspired high school.

Looking back, I really like their version of the song. It’s very 90s and really worked with the movie, but most of all, I’m filled with a wish that this spectacular assemblage of musicians could have done something more before Staley passed away in 2002, which makes them similar to The Dirty Mac in my mind. It’s kind of interesting that many of the band members would go on to be members of other supergroups. Morello would be in both Audioslave and Street Sweeper Social Club among other projects, Perkins has been in Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros with lots and lots of appearances on other records as has LeNoble. Even Staley was in Mad Season. All of these guys have crazy chops and it would be fun to see them get together again or, better yet, how cool would it be if there happened to be unheard studio tapes of the guys jamming on other songs or having fun in the studio (assuming they were even in the studio all at the same time)? Anyone know any more info about the recording of the tracks? The Wiki page is pretty sparse.

Bing Just Got Me To Give Them A Second Look

I still hate those damn commercials with people rambling facts off, but Bing just got some major points from me by making my Covering Vinyl Dark Side Of The Moon post number one when you search for Floyd in blogs!!! Earlier this week, were you to search the title of the most recent episode of Jersey Housewives (Posche Spite), you would have seen UM.com as the fifth entry! It’s gone now (jerks), but it was a fun, shiny moment. Anyway, here’s the Bing screencap for proof.Woo hoo! Super special thanks to Lita who brought this to my attention in the comments for the aforementioned Covering Vinyl post

Covering Vinyl: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon

I thought about painting this week’s Covering Vinyl selection, which, for whatever reason, sent my brain straight to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon (not my favorite Floyd record, but still an amazing piece of art in all forms). I didn’t feel like getting my painting gear all out, so instead, I went with those oil crayon things that came in my art kit. I didn’t do a lot of prep for this, just busted out the crayons, drew a quick sketch from memory (hence why I forgot the offshoot of light going to the top) and then went to town, not worrying about the usual square constraints I usually do. Here’s how it turned out.After laying down the oil crayons I think just went over everything with my fingers to give it that blurry smudged look. It’s obviously not as solid as the original as far as the colors go, but I really like how it came out. And it didn’t take a lot of time, which is great!Let’s call it impressionist or some junk. Anyone want to join in on the Covering Vinyl fun? Drop me a comment. I’m sure I can come up with a subject earlier than Thursday and we can trade linksĀ  or I can post it here on UM!