Thursday, September 06, 2007

Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast

It has been over a month since I've written anything in this blog. It's a classic case of too much to do, and too little time. Truth be told, I've been immersed in the biggest project of my career, and it has overshadowed most everything this summer, least of all this little blog. I've dedicated my career to keeping old buildings from falling down, and these images of my 1931 public school renovation project are but a very small fraction of the work at hand. There's light at the end of the tunnel though.

I will also admit a little bit of writer's block lately, and more than a little feeling of inadequacy in the wide ol' blogosphere. There are so many great music related blogs out there that do an incredible job of staying current and publishing regularly that my ramblings often seem irrevelant. Nevertheless, the purpose of this blog is not solely to inform, but to share my thoughts and some occasional music. Every once in a while, I get a nice comment from a reader, and that's enough to keep going. I've also had some problems with Ezarchive, the low cost, and increasingly insufficent file sharing site that I use to post my music files. And what's a music blog without music? I could switch to much better sites, but these will cost me. I'm trying out hipcast, see below.

Ok, enough whining. I will attempt to get back on track in the coming weeks. One of my missions with this blog was to revisit my vinyl music collection, which I haven't touched in 20 years, and slowly begin the process of digitizing the music, sharing some along the way. Over the years I've only replaced the bare essentials in CD format. I have lot of great stuff on vinyl that was a huge a part of my life until I bought that first CD player in 1986. Well I now have the technology, a basic USB turntable and software to convert the wax to wav files and mp3s. This week, for the first time in over 20 years, I actually pulled a vinyl record out of it's sleeve and dropped a needle in the groove. There was something really pleasant about this little ceremony, looking at the gatefold cover while the music played. I rarely listen to music at home; typically it's in my car or at work, on the ipod. I'm looking forward weeding though all this vinyl and just sitting down and listening.
Of course, there's the pops, hiss and scratches. We've been conditioned to reject any and all background noise in the digital age, even if it's at the expense of fidelity and rich sound. I have a few software programs that can filter out some of crackle, but I'm not going to obsess over it. It's nostalgic, and really the crackle is only there in the dead space.

The first record I pulled out is David Gilmour's outstanding eponymous 1978 debut album. One of the best solo albums by a group member that comes to mind, it reminds me that what I love about Pink Floyd is Gilmour's extraordinary guitar playing, and smooth voice. Waters may have been the brains behind Floyd, but Gilmour's talent just soars.

The popular track from this record is There's No Way Out Here, but I've chosen So Far Away, the second track from Side 1 (yes kiddies, there are 2 sides and we really did have to get up flip the disk after 22 minutes). If you like Pink Floyd but you're unfamilar with Gilmour's solo material, you owe it to yourself to buy this record.

David Gilmour - So Far Away

More to come, I promise.

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