A is for Apple; Z is for Zune

Anyone who truly knows me knows how important music is to me. I must have it wherever I go, in every room in the house. The TV? Not so much. So tonight, I sat down to my computer to try to get four songs I’d downloaded from Apple Music/iTunes onto my computer to (1) burn to CD to listen to on my revamped sound system, and (2) transfer them to my Zunes. (Yes, plural.) Why three Zunes? WTF, Joni? Well, I have a brown one, a white one, and a pink one. Pink is my favorite color (it’s the color of my iPhone case, too). That Zune is in my bedroom, connected to an Altec-Lansing Zune speaker dock. The white Zune is in the dining room for soft jazz when entertaining or working in the kitchen (docked to a second Altec-Lansing speaker dock), and the third one, the brown one, originally bought for Roberto, is in my car. I’ve never liked iTunes. It is a hoggy program, and despite being made by Apple, the interface is decidedly not intuitive, at least not to my way of thinking. Sadly, Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iPod failed miserably. Still, like me, there are …

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Of Sound Mind

I have always loved music more than TV and movies. I used to joke with Roberto that someone could break in and steal the TV and it would be months before I’d notice. Steal my stereo, it’s gonna get ugly! I recently went to turn my stereo on in the living room because I wanted to sit and fold towels and listen to some old music on vinyl (e.g., Brian Ferry, ARC Angels, etc.). But the amp was dead as a door nail. SO I got on the computer to see what is out there currently. Well, trash mostly and I don’t want a home theater system or to pair it with my iPad or iPhone. I just want to be able to listen to all my music. So … I hopped on eBay and found a JVC amp a few generations newer than mine and in pristine condition. It has finally arrived. And boy, is it heavy. In fact, I am not able to roll around on the floor in front of my music bench like I could ten years ago to hook it up, so some neighbors are coming by later to help me with that. But here’s …

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Leighton Hamilton Playing the Blues

An old beau of mine has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe because this is the fifth anniversary of his death at the young age of 56. Or maybe as I myself grow older, nostalgia kicks in. Anyway, he spent his last years back in his hometown of Dalton, Georgia, and Tuesday nights were spent in front of the mike at The Blues Train Cafe. Here are some photos from that period.

Watermelon Man

I used to know a very talented blues musician out of Austin who played at Ski Shores there back in the mid-1990s. His name was Leighton Hamilton and he was also a blues historian and had a great collection of guitars, but his most cherished was his Style O National Steel. He passed away about a year before Robo. I had learned of a movie he had made with independent Texas filmmaker Ross Wells — Of Strange Voices and Watermelon Men. I have to say, had it not been for Leighton’s appearance in the movie, I wouldn’t have bought the DVD or sat through the thing. Not to be mean, but honestly, that was the most cheesy film I ever fast-forwarded through. And as I said, what made it tolerable at all was the music. I ripped portions of the DVD that had Leighton’s guitar work. And I share that with you now. Audio 01 L Hamilton 2007 Video And here’s the video clip:

It’s a Rap!

I recently discovered a great white rapper inadvertently while listening to a new YouTube video from one of my favorites, The Internets Celebrities (Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam). There was some catchy Latin music playing and it turns out it was none other than Action Bronson, a young Albanian rapper from Flushing, Queens. Now, I’m not too big into rap really. I can listen to Sean Combs and Ice-T and Yah-Boy and a few others, but it’s really “not mah thang.” But when I saw a picture of this guy after Googling for him, my heart stopped. And I’m going to show you why.

Action Bronson, rapper from Flushing, Queens, NY

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