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My Superpower Name is: “Chameleon Woman”

As you can see, I’ve made some changes to my blog. Any change at all is a really big deal because I don’t know how to do anything. Thus, any change that I make usually brews in my feeble mind for a couple months before I actually take any action. It all started this time with a mild displeasure with my profile picture or gravatar or whatever that tiny picture next to my name is called. I liked the picture I had for a really long time, because I thought I looked kind of spunky and sardonic. Then, one day, out of the blue, I looked at that picture and “spunky and sardonic” suddenly appeared “bitchy and snooty”.

Say goodbye to our old friend, “Bitchy Pic”!

bitchy pic

So I finally decided I would update my tiny picture, and I thought I would try to take one with my puppy, Penny. I’ve seen pictures that other women have taken with pets that looked really cute and sweet and feminine, and I tried to achieve the same effect, but as you can see, mine just came out weird and distorted. Penny wouldn’t cooperate and was squirming wildly and I had to tilt my head back, so the end result is that the entire world gets a fine shot of the underside of my nose. But I’m going with it anyway, because the puppy is so darn cute.

Say hello to our new friend, “Puppy Pic”!

Puppy pic

Since I didn’t think the puppy pic really looked like me, I did another picture, this time in black and white, trying to go for an artistic effect.  I didn’t even look like the same person at all.  I tried to have a completely blank expression so that it would be an accurate representation of my face, but I looked kinda like an alien. And I don’t think my eyes are that far apart. Or are they? I just don’t know. Anyway, if you want to know what I look like, I recommend piecing the various photos together in your head, creating sort of a composite pic, because apparently I am going to continue looking like a different woman in every photo ever taken of me.

It’s really bizarre how I look different in every picture. I’m not even sure how I look exactly. I’m a chameleon, I guess. A Karma Chameleon, perhaps? I mean, I am slightly worried that I have unresolved karma issues, after all.

Instant karma’s gonna get you. Gonna look you right in the face.

Who’s that lady? Another great one from the marvelous Isley Brothers and one of my faves. The extra yummy extended version…

“But seriously, lady, who are you?”

Bean Bag2

Questions? Comments? Please Share!

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Filed under Blogging, Humor, Humour, Music, Uncategorized

One Year of Wild Surmises: Looking Into You

This week marks the one year anniversary of My Wild Surmise! I’m not sure what I’m going to do to celebrate. Dress up in my Ian Anderson outfit and dance around the living room to “Locomotive Breath”, maybe? Go cruise my old cruising strip in the Buick, windows down and rocking out to UFO? I guess not, since I’d probably get arrested for doing that now. Plus you really need Van Halen and Journey and Boston if you want to cruise the strip 1978 style, and I haven’t gotten to them yet, though they are all clamoring for my attention and will be making an appearance soon.

I thought about dragging out poor old Neil from The Young Ones again to interview me, but he made such a fool of us both at the 2013 Marie Awards that I thought it best to just let it lie. So in the end, I decided I’d just talk about my blogging journey thus far. I have already explained, somewhere along the way, that I didn’t even want to have a blog when I first set it up it a year ago. I did it because I was beginning to write fiction and was advised that I needed a blog.

So, okay, I set up a stupid blog, but I didn’t have any idea what I was supposed to do with it. I thought maybe I’d talk about writing, but that was boring as hell, and I was about to shut the thing down, and I would have done it, too, except for two things: there were a few bloggers out there who liked my first several posts, and that made me want to keep going (and you know who you are, but I can’t list any names because I’ll forget somebody, like I always do), and I had this burning desire to talk about the music of my life.

Or at least I thought it was a burning desire to talk about music, but as it turned out, it was a burning desire to talk about me and my life, and focusing on the music served as a catalyst to enable me to do that. I’m no expert on music; in fact, I’m pretty sure that everyone who reads my blog knows more than me about the artists and the music itself. I guess you could say my thing is talking about the emotional and experiential aspect of our music, and I hope that by talking about my own experiences and the music that I associate with them, I’ve helped you to re-experience the music on that level too.

During the year I’ve been blogging, I’ve also been going through major life changes, in pretty much every department and on every level. You name it, it’s changing. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s a changey thing, and you know how weird that can be. So what have I been doing with my blog? Well, I guess Mr. Browne would say I’ve been looking into a house I once lived in, and I’ve come to see where my beginnings have gone, and I’m looking in my life for the truth that is my own, and now I’m ready to fly.

Well I looked into the sky for my anthem
And the words and the music came through
But words and music can never touch the beauty that I’ve seen
Looking into you — and that’s true.

It is a dance we do in silence
Far below this morning sun
You in your life, me in mine
We have begun
Here we stand and without speaking
Draw the water from the well
And stare beyond the plains
To where the mountains lie so still

But it’s a long way that I have come
Across the sand to find you here
Among these people in the sun…

Love and peace to my friends and followers; thanks for reading.

 Questions? Comments? As always, please share…

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Welcome to the 2013 Marie Awards!

awards

This is the voice of Neil from The Young Ones, welcoming you to the Marie Awards, where we will be counting down the highs, the lows, the slight achievements, and the major fails of My Wild Surmise for the year 2013.  Since its inception in May, My Wild Surmise has been wildly surmising about all manner of things related to music based on shakey facts from Wikipedia and various YouTube videos.  Now let’s go to our co-host and creator of all this ridiculosity, Marie, for our first offering in today’s embarrassing outpouring of self-congratulatory alternating with self-derisive malarkey. Marie, take it away…

Marie: Well, Neil, first I’d like to thank you for lending your voice to my imaginary co-host. Let’s kick off this major event in the life of my blog by looking at what other people have done, specifically, the YouTube geniuses that have made my extreme YouTube addiction such a fun, entertaining monkey to have on my back.

In the category of mind-blowing video art that makes you think you’ve accidentally dropped some acid when in fact you’ve only taken your blood pressure pill and some Tums, the award goes to fellow blogger MetalGuruMessiah for Kansas’ “Portrait (He Knew)”.  I love this song, and Mr. Messiah certainly does it justice with his outstanding video…

Neil: Wow, far out, man. I mean Marie. I mean, it was no “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, but still pretty cool.

Marie: Cool indeed, Neil. And so is the recipient of our next award, “YouTube Covermeister of 2013”, Larry L.!  Give it up for Larry L., everyone!  A former wedding band musician, Larry L. is keeping the music alive for all us YouTube junkies in his home, week after week.  Many thanks to Mr. L. for his dedication!  Larry L, as I’ve told you before, you’re my kind of guy.  I could sit on that couch in the background and listen to you all night.  Here’s a song that exemplifies everything I love about Larry L. – honest, simple, humble, and expertly done.  Enjoy the beautiful “Reflections of My Life”, originally by the Marmalade.

Neil: But, Marie, he’s an old guy – I thought we weren’t supposed to trust anyone over thirty.  He’s gotta be a bread head, man.

Marie: Neil, maybe you haven’t noticed, but you’re an old guy too. You’re only young in my head…but wait…I saw you on that episode of Midsomer Murders and that spoiled that delusion. The fact is, we’re pretty much all old guys here, including myself…the female version, I mean.  Screw youth.  Just get over it.

Now that we’ve looked at the achievements of others, let’s go ahead and present my biggest fail.  A great musician that deserves far more than I’ve given him, which is a partially read biography and a never written post – it can only be Jeff Beck.  Here’s the great Mr. Beck with one of the ass kickingest songs in the history of rock ‘n roll…”Going Down”…

Neil: Reminds me a lot of “Hurdy Gurdy Man”, except faster.  And completely different styles, course.

Marie.  ……  silence …..  Moving 0n to our next category, most paranoia inducing song and post, there can only be one contender, and that would be the post titled, “A Friday Song for the Land of the Free” with its accompanying song.  Umm…excuse me a minute…Dear Big Brother, I know that posting that song probably put me on some kind of top-secret pothead radar or something, but let me reiterate…I JUST LIKE THE SONG!  It does not reflect the personal views or lifestyle of this blogger.  Now light up or leave me alone.  Sorry, Big Brother!  That was just another song from another band (cough, cough TRAFFIC cough, cough) that’ll probably be in a future post.  Again, just liking the song, no reflecting of views, etc.

Okay, the award for “Most Paranoia Inducing Song” goes to “Shanty”!  (And the crowd smiles wanly and stares at me with red eyes.) Jonathan Edwards, live this time, with his lovely daughter, Grace.

Neil: Marie, that was heavy, man, but you’re probably going to get a bunch of breadheads after you for that.  Better stick with something safe like “Hurdy Gurdy Man”.  Just sayin’.

Marie: Neil!  I mean, I appreciate you lending your voice and all, but this self-promotion is out of hand!  It is you..YOU!  That has become the breadhead! Now sit over there and eat your lentils and let me announce the next award, which is for best new (to me) music.

Neil

I’m generally really hesitant to even bother listening to music from this century – I usually close-mindedly assume that it’s just going to be more of this crappy crap substitute for music that’s foisted on to us at every given opportunity, but when ultra-cool fellow blogger Matt Syverson over at Paperback Rocker posted some songs by Ryan Adams, I decided to give them a listen because I trust and respect his judgment. It turns out I was right to do so.  This kid has made some of the best new music I’ve heard in years.  This song is the first one of his I heard, and it is a favorite.  Here’s “Magnolia Mountain”.

Neil: ……  silence …..

Marie: Neil? You there?

Neil: …. yeah ….if you still want me.

Marie: Of course I do, Neil!  You know you’re my man. We go way back, baby.  Remember I used to read aloud from your book to entertain my friends and all?

Neil: well, all right.  I’ll let it go this time, but you’ve changed.  You’re such a straight these days.  What a drag.

Marie: Of course I am, Neil. I had to grow up.  I had to get a job and raise a kid.  But the old me lives on too.  Why else would I listen over and over to songs from my not so draggish days?  Like this next one.  This song wins the award for most played YouTube video of the year.  I watched this clip so many times this year, it really was embarrassing. It got so bad that I would exit the screen when someone walked by as if it was internet porn for fear of being the target of ugly terms like “obsessive-compulsive behavior” and “whack job”.  Here’s Roxy Music with my beloved “Mother of Pearl”; a fantastic performance.

Neil: That was all right, I guess.  But I can’t help but notice that there’s no Donovan or Steve Hillage on the list of awards.  Both do a great version of the best song in the history of rock.

Marie: I have nothing against Donovan or Steve Hillage, Neil, but I can’t include everyone here.  In fact, this post is already getting way too long and there’s probably no one listening to our awards show anymore as it is.  Let’s just do one more and wrap it up.

This award is for the most important song (to me) that I’ve talked about this year.  This is the song that opened my doors of perception, at a very early age, to a new kind of music; the kind they played on the FM dial on my little blue radio I got as a kid. Specifically, it created in me a love for the electric guitar – its many moods and expressions – that has lasted all my life, influencing me in the choices I made, causing me to spend my small resources on albums and concerts; and inclining me forever toward dating and hanging out with musicians. This is the long, heavy-duty, extra delicious version; you really need to listen to it on vinyl and at high volume, as mega-cool Bruce at vinyl connection can tell you, but if you’re like me and ditched all your records way back, some decent headphones will help. Here’s “Nantucket Sleighride”, by Mountain.

Neil: I gotta admit, that was pretty groovy, Marie.

Marie: Profoundly groovy, Neil.  Well, that’s it – thanks for coming!

Neil: That’s it?  REALLY? You got my voice here and you’ve not even going to play my song?  Unbelievable.  You know you like it, Marie.

Marie: Sigh.  You’re right, Neil. I can’t lie. Your version of “Hurdy Gurdy Man” is the best I’ve ever heard.  Better than Donovan.  Better than Hillage.  Better than them all.  And you know what Neil?  I owe it to you to play it.  You’ve been sort of my blog mascot. And my mascot in life, really.  So here’s Neil (Nigel Planer) and some slightly mysterious and not fully disclosed but real, serious musicians doing…that song.  Don’t make me say it again. It starts at about 1:40.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

May the Hurdy Gurdy Man bring you all the roly poly flaky pastry you can handle!

May there be peace and joy and flaky pastry buzzes galore in your shanty!

May we never have to go to another horrible New Year’s Eve party and hide between the cars in the driveway to avoid the drunken, slobbery kissing ritual again!  Or maybe that was just me.

Questions?  Shocked and Horrified Observations?  Anything?  Please Share!

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Welcome to my Slightly Less Ugly Blog!

Peaches

I’ve been admiring the fine, professional looking blogs of my friends and colleagues in blogland, like Jamie, Matt, and Bruce for quite a while, but being a cheapskate by nature and unwilling to pay for the “premium service” or whatever it’s called, I pretty much just told myself to be happy with what I had.  But honestly, things weren’t looking too good around here – the background was an ugly, garish shade of orange, the clip art header of autumn leaves that I found in my pictures file looked hideous, and there was absolutely nothing to indicate that I was talking about music.  That was probably the worst part.

So I told myself, “Marie”, I said, “you gotta try harder.  You’re really getting into this blogging thing now, you know you are, so step up to the plate, kid”.  I didn’t really call myself kid or tell myself to step up to the plate, though.  So I thought, “what kind of header can I use to show that I’m mainly talking about music here?”  And the Peaches Record Crate thing dawned on me.  As you may recall, o ye faithful*, that’s what I used to store my approximately 450 scratched records before I loaded ’em off on a college kid back in ’96.  So I thought that was a fitting header for my blog.  It’s a little blurry maybe, but definitely fitting.

The next part was easy – I just changed the garish orange to a nice, soothing shade of blue.  But the crowning glory was the setting up of the twitter account and linking it to my blog.  I read the instructions, squinting geezer-like in my reading glasses, tried several times, and eventually, it worked!  It was thrilling!  The little blue thing you see in my twitter profile picture is my first radio, the Panasonic transistor.  Also deeply significant, as you know, o faithful ones.

Panasonic radio

So I’m going to be posting some of my old posts along with the new ones to twitter, so that our brothers and sisters in twitterworld can keep up with my silliness and maudlin musical sentimentality as well.  I thought I would mention that, because I don’t want you, my WordPress-brethren, to think I’m double dipping or something, if that’s even a thing in blogging.  I really don’t know, because I’m basically still clueless, although I’m slowly starting to understand why and how to do this, I think.

So, since this is supposed to be a music-oriented blog, what song goes along with this blogging journey and struggle for improvement of which I speak?  I can only think of one right now.  Keep fighting the good fight, fellow bloggers, and give and take the best that you can…”Fight the Good Fight” by Triumph, natch.

*I’m going to try to stop calling thee “o ye faithful” after the oldies station quits playing Christmas music, but I can guarantee nothing, o ye faithful.  Ye know by now how these phrases get stuck in mine head.

Questions?  Comments?  Think the song is cheesy as heck or fabulously inspiring?  Please share!

 

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Congratulations to MetalGuruMessiah: 200 Awesome Videos!

As you probably know if you’ve been following my blog, I’m somewhat of a YouTube addict.  Nix the “somewhat” – I obviously am addicted since I watch stuff, mainly music videos and music-related clips, on YouTube almost every day of my life.

One of the things I love about WordPress is that I often come across great videos that I might have never found just searching on YouTube by myself.  Occasionally, I come across a true gem of a video in WordPress, and that’s what happened when I found MetalGuruMessiah’s blog.

Back in mid-July, I was cruising around in my Reader, when I came across a post titled “There’s a Time…There’s a Word” with a video attached.  Well, as you may know, I’m a staunch Yes fan, so I opened the video, prepared to hear one of my favorite Yes songs, “Time and A Word”.  What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the absolutely stunning images and colors in this artistic creation.  “Video” is really too bland and utilitarian of a word to use for MetalGuruMessiah’s work.  It is art – beautiful, moving, complex, rich, colorful, art.

In addition to being a gifted video-artist, he’s a fellow blogger and classic rock fan, so let’s support his efforts, rock brethren!  He has now completed 200 of these amazing videos – that’s quite an accomplishment!  His videos are helping to keep the music alive and introducing it to new listeners, and I want to support that.  If you have a YouTube account, please consider subscribing to his channel and liking his videos.  I am going to be doing a series of posts over the next few days, each highlighting a different song and video from MetalGuruMessiah.  Y’all get ready – it’s going to be great!

I want to start with the first MetalGuruMessiah video I watched, the beautiful “Time and a Word”, by Yes.  I’ve watched it many, many times – really an embarrassingly large number of times.  I showed it to the guitar man and he said, “Well, Marie, darlin’, this video looks like it could have been made just for you’”.  And he’s right.  Because I’m all about the love, y’all.  There’s a word, and the word is Love, and it’s right for me…

Comments? Want to help congratulate MetalGuruMessiah? Please share!

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