Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deep Dental Disturbances

Went to the dentist yesterday.  Sometimes things just go through your head while sitting in the chair waiting for their exploration.  I was hungry.  I got up late, brushed my teeth and casually considered having something to eat on the way there.  So, I had to ask the dentist:

"What percentage of your patients didn't brush after eating prior to their appointment?"

I mean, it was on my mind.  You don't really have to speak out what is in your head but for some reason, I had to.  She didn't take long to think about it and said 65%.  Which is a bigger number than I thought.  She then said, "The early appointments have less as most brush right after breakfast.  After lunchtime is another story."

My lesson for the day was that most people figure that a dentist is already going in looking for decay... might as well surprise them with something freshly chewed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yes - Fly From Here

Yes have returned with their first new studio album in a decade, Fly From Here.  The release also marks the debut of new vocalist Benoit David as well as the return of former keyboardist Geoff Downes and producer Trevor Horn.  Yes' sound is unmistakable and trace it back to vocal harmonies, arrangements, instrumentation or what many just call mysticism.  Many of their albums can be seen as growing things... let's go with the multiple limbs trees with a solid base.

Fly From Here is no different.  It is also the title of the 6-part trunk supporting a stand-out track like "We Can Fly" which branches off and reaches onward and upward for a bit more sun.  A direct extension of that melodic limb is the breathtaking "Sad Night At The Airfield."  I get chills from that one.  "Bumpy Ride" is frenzied and exactly as advertised -- taxiing you back to the "We Can Fly (Reprise)."  "The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be" is a solid song that someone could build a treehouse on.  "Hour Of Need" just fills the room and is quite a distinct path from the other tracks.  You could even call it a meandering branch.  "Solitaire" is a stunning little instrumental leading to the full-throttle "Into The Storm."

You may notice that I didn't cite specific stand-out performances by the band members.  I have to say that I just can't here.  This is such a cohesive Yes release with each piece so vital that I wouldn't want to pull anything apart and hear it as less than the whole.  No parachute nor Dramamine needed for this flight.  Fly From Here is a steady ride that soars!

4 out of 5

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Future Will Be Visualized

I have to say that the time I've had since ending Talking 80s Music has really given me a chance to step back and look at things.  The OCD spiral of news writing and hosting the show had to come to an end.  It was either going to be clean or messy.  One of the things that I've concluded is that my future with podcasts may be minimal.

I remember sitting in a conference room listening to a great keynote speech by Gary Vaynerchuk a few years back.  Of the many nuggets I got from him was in the form of a question, "Why aren't you doing video?"  If you are honest, personable and have a working knowledge of your subject, people would like to see you.  That thought sat in the back of my mind for years.

Recently, I started thinking about the future of 'the show' and know that it will never be back in that same form.  It was an amazing time and an unforgettable journey.  Yet, if CNN or USAToday ran a poll asking people what a 'podcast' was... it'd stump 80% of the readers.  Of the 20%, not all of them are regular listeners and many focus on niche markets.  Even as I type this, the word 'podcast' is showing up in my spellcheck as an error.  Heck, the word has been around for 7 years... get with it people.

So, I ask myself, why try to push into an area that is self-limiting.  Sure, changing the terminology from podcast to talkcast or blogcast can affect the numbers but we are innately visual beings.  During the last few months, I've been tinkering with video projects and in the future... it very well could be the path for a new show.  I can see it clearly but I have another goal in sight and I expect to talk about it next month.  Back to work for me.