Not many arcade players noticed, but in December of 1984, the sound of video games changed for the better, forever.
I certainly noticed. I pumped quarter after quarter into that Marble Madness machine, not just because I enjoyed the (admittedly very challenging) game, but because I had to hear that music, one more time. Continue reading →
I came to love and appreciate Steely Dan over the course of my twenties. I did not enjoy them while I was growing up in New Jersey. I lacked the wisdom and experience required to truly absorb their music. I was like Jonathan Richman when asked to cover a Steely Dan song for the awful Me Myself & Irene soundtrack; I never could figure out what them fellas was singin’ about.
As I grew older, Steely Dan lyrics became clearer. The words were honest poetry, sometimes inscrutable, each syllable chosen for its sound and rhythm as well as its meaning. The music was simply too complex for me to grok as a teenage punk. I had to experience the proper amount of loss, beauty and hardship before I really “got” it.
I didn’t know what a “squonk” was, but I knew that somehow, the most incredible song ever written and performed used to play on the radio. You could hear this masterpiece for free.
George Benson is an American musician, guitarist and singer-songwriter. He began his professional career at twenty-one, as a jazz guitarist. Benson uses a rest-stroke picking technique similar to that of gypsy jazz players such as Django Reinhardt. [Wikipedia]
I’ve always been impressed when a musician can sing and play an instrument simultaneously. It’s a difficult skill, and it typically has to be learned young. I can’t do it myself, and despite his godly skill on guitar, neither could Frank Zappa.
On occasion, a guitarist involuntarily vocalizes as they play. The great Albert Collins did, and I’ve heard that Carlos Santana does too. It’s not a bad thing, in fact, in talented hands, it’s great. So it is with George Benson.
Hey, you know when depicting any female consort in a comic strip is a good idea? Never. You know who wants to read comics about you and your spouse (if you have one), past or present? No one. Other than yourself, do you know who thinks comics about your relationships are funny? Nobody. (Now, putting buddies in strips? Gold. Who doesn’t love that?) Continue reading →