Tuesday, October 7, 2014

If It's Tuesday, I Am All Over The Place

Well first, we have this!

(Thanks to hpunch for the tip.)

Next up....

Considering the last good Jackson Browne record was released in 1977, I will leave it to you to listen to "Standing In The Breach." Please let me know if I should bother. And if you have some time, maybe explain to me how this artist could release so much below average material and still remain an icon of singer/songwriters. (Oh and, should singer/songwriters be hyphenated, two separate words or slashed?)

Moving on...


A friend was inspired to post his thoughts on Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart on his Facebook page. I'm guessing he heard something or saw some video and decided that Ann was the best female "rock" vocalist of all time. He specified "rock," and I find it hard to disagree. About 65 comments later, the thread became a number of things including a defense of Mark Farner and Grand Funk, an Annie Haslam of Renaissance appreciation exercise, and of course a forum for everyone to disagree with my friend with their own suggestions which included Joan Jett (not really a vocalist) and Jerry Lacroix of Edgar Winter's White Trash (not really female.)

My friend exhibited amazing patience and restraint, as one needs to do while playing on Facebook. But since I have neither patience nor restraint, I found myself thinking about something else completely.

The Burning Wood community has for the most part, been incredibly focused.  For almost 6 years, comments on a topic, whether it's 1 or 101 comments, are usually on the topic. And here, there is that annoying luxury of posting anonymously, giving the freedom to some bozos to be mean-spirited or, veer off into their own agenda, yet those moments are few and far between. Facebook, on the other hand, puts everyone front and center with a name and a face, and yet so often, people think nothing of ranting and raving, hijacking threads and crapping on people's thoughts and opinions.

I prefer this forum, and often wonder if a topic that is not music-related would be a welcome idea or a bad idea. Would an a occasional discussion about film or TV, sports, or any other hot topic other than politics or religion achieve the same grace in the comments section, or will it turn into a Facebook free for all? 

I'm not looking to change things and I certainly have no interest in using these pages to discuss climate change or the NFL. But if any of you do use Facebook, I wonder if you share the same frustrations as I do, like those mentioned above.

Thank you for years of respecting this page and its topics. Thanks for not using it for your own agenda, like so many do on Facebook.


Shriner said...

I use Facebook and -- maybe it's my circle of "friends" -- but I can't think of any posts that have degenerated into off-topic rants. There are the occasional *on topic* rants, sure, but ranting is few and far between (like on Burning Wood).

Maybe I'm in the minority on my Facebooking...

And I'm certainly for the occasional off-music topic where we can all discuss how exciting it is that Twin Peaks is coming back for a mini-series (for example...)

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, pleasde remain seated,

well, since you asked...Personally, I, too, like the fact that the vast majority of comments in Burning Wood strings are on point. And I say that as someone, I'm sure, who has veered off topic now and again.

I think that an occasional detour into tv, film, sports could be a nice "palate cleanser". And I think your instinct about politics is correct.

Go for it.



William Repsher said...

My advice is to write this thing like Colonel Sanders made chicken, like The Ramones played rock and roll: do one thing right. I'm here for the music. Of course, I enjoy it when you go off course and describe music in your life - I still think you haven't grasped the potential of realistically describing and fleshing out your record-store owner days.

There are many reasons why I'm not on Facebook, but I think the main one is the complete lack of sincerity on it, the complete lac of soul. It creates a false world of internet acquaintances masquerading as "friends" and thrives in people's insecurities and child-like need for attention. The ranting actually shows signs of life for me - most people get on Facebook to paint this Camelot/Knights of the Round Table portrait of their lives that everyone knows is absolute horseshit.

Re: Jackson Browne. Haven't heard the new one, but 1977 sounds about right. He's still held in high regard because all the albums he put out up to then are phenomenal. I don't know how he was writing so deeply and correctly about life in his mid to late 20s, but he was. Grasping things I wouldn't until later in life. I can listen to that music now, and it still makes perfect sense to me, probably a lot more now that I've experienced some of the harder things he wrote about.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Movies often have soundtracks made up of music. There could be possibilities for widening the field there. But stay tangential to music at least.

Sal Nunziato said...

Let me stress, I have no intention of changing things. My frustration over the workings of Facebook, the "lack of sincerity" William mentioned and the overall vibe of having 367 "friends," 5 of which actually give a shit about anything you say, made it to these pages. Just looking for some similar experiences, so I needed to rant.

Chris Schmid said...

If someone asks me about Jackson Browne I will usually respond that I like his music quite a bit. Actually, I really love three records: Late For The Sky, The Pretender, and Running on Empty. I like parts of what came before and after, but if I am going to put on a record it will be one of those three. In fact I would say they are perfect examples of what the whole singer-songwriter (hyphen) thing was about in the 70's.

I find myself drawn more and more to that era as I get older. William hit it on the head...the songwriting was so mature for such a young (at the time) guy. Just great music.

I don't know if everyone is a fan of his solo work, but Gregg Allman's Laid Back kind of fits the same vibe for me. Different type of songwriting, but a similar feeling. It's hard to understand how these guys wrote songs in their 20's that still speak to me in my 50's.

Facebook is what it is. I have music friends, teacher friends and family on my limited friends list. The problems I have run into occur when the groups collide on a post. Some folks you least expect to turn nasty can rant up a storm on some topics.

Troy said...

The new Jackson Browne album is ok, not great, but not as bad as he has been for some time. I do respect that it is 10 songs, and not overloaded with crappy filler just because he can put more on a CD. IMO, it has 2-3 really good songs, 2-3 decent/serviceable songs, and 2-3 duds. And honestly, isn't that the track record for almost every formerly 'iconic' artist at the latter stages of their career? So going in with diminished expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by the album. Damning with faint praise, I know...

As for other topics, I hope you stay away from politics, but other entertainment related topics would be ok. I do like the concentrated focus on music here. Thanks.

Ken D said...

I'll take these in order...

• Wow, can't wait for the Thompson family project. They practically have an All-Star team in one family.
(In a similar vein was 1998's "The McGarrigle Hour." Primarily a Kate & Anna record but featuring the entire extended McGarrigle/Wainwright clan. Excellent record even though Rufus's voice makes me cringe...
• Jackson Browne record: No opinion, no interest.
• Re "singer [-,/,+, ] songwriter": Both book style guides, "Chicago Manual of Style" and "Words Into Type" say hyphen. Individual magazine's styles might differ on this.
• Facebook: No opinion; I'm another nonparticipant holdout
• Re BW branching out to occasional nonmusical topics: I say give it a try. There's no doubt you have some pretty smart people contributing here. But I suggest that, if necessary, "comment moderation" not just be "enabled" but strictly enforced. You don't owe trolls or screamers or idiots or completely-off-topic-wanderers a platform. But given the track record over 6 years it doesn't look like they know we're here...

A walk in the woods said...

Great question. But to me, music is my only big passion amongst the areas you mentioned - no interest in chatting about sports, TV, movies, food. At least not in this forum.

Music only, please!

Regarding Jackson Browne, the new record sounds pretty good to me. The arrangements are a bit too "tasteful" and old-guy-oriented, but not bad! The hard part for him is to avoid devolving into hopelessness and bleakness at his age. I like happy music overall, so I was worried about this here. But this sounds decently upbeat.

Robin said...

All for movies, television and (even books) especially if they can be somehow related to music. Soundtracks or how the music is used- Scorcese's love of the Stones or on TV- "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood", "Mad Men" all used or use music extremely intuitively. That's a rich, deep and rewarding well. You can also write about music on TV, it seemed there was more of it when I was a kid? The best TV music moments of our lives?

It's your blog, if you're inspired then the post will be inspired, that's how I see it. There are books about music, or that feature music, Nick Hornby comes to mind, High Fidelity. Rob Sheffield's sweet, heartbreaking, "Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss One Song at a Time." My favorite is actually Gary Gidden's book about Bing Crosby (A Pocketful of Dreams) (not the usual discussion here, but worth mentioning since there's no Sinatra w/o Crosby, everyone was once a Crosby back then!).

There have been marvelous books written about Elvis, The Beatles. I know lots of folks hate Dave Marsh- for good reason, although when he talks about something he loves, he can be sublime (Bruce, The Beatles, soul). "The Beatles Second Album" by Marsh, sums up everything I love about The Beatles on some levels, that I could never quite articulate.

Sports and music are quite connected too. I can't ever hear "Enter Sandman" now and not think of Mariano Rivera (and choke up a bit, I'm like that with sports). Some of my favorite musical memories from childhood are the montages that the sports programs used to put together about the great players.

Sorry if I repeated anyone's comments, I wrote before I read.

Anonymous said...


Jackson Browne is an artist whose records I pretty much buy "sight/heard unseen". Yes, there's been some fall off over the years. His last really good record was probably "I'm Alive."

I do enjoy his Solo Acoustic series (more artists should do that I think) and the live travelog record he did with David Lindley had its moments. I hope he does a boxed set/archive at some point. If the record is as Troy's says, I think I'll be satisfied.

Facebook is basically high school on the Internet. I survived high school and have no need to return to the experience. I use it in small doses to keep tabs on family/friends. It is a time suck and an advertising loop so I avoid it for the most part. I think a lot of social media is a waste of time, period. I don't like marketing so a lot of Facebook/social media has no appeal to me. People who out themselves on the Internet as crazy persons are the ones I avoid the most.

I like your blog, would not want it to stray into the political sphere. An occasional interview/movie/tv show thread would be OK by me.

Michael D.

Sal Nunziato said...

Again, there is no chance that this place will touch on politics or religion. So please rest easy.

paulinca said...

Well, I streamed Jackson's latest album then checked out his Tiny Desk Concert last night. At this point, life-long fans of JB, including myself, are probably attracted to the "sound" of his classic records - that being his voice, acoustic guitar or piano and those soaring, wailing guitar parts a la David Lindley. Musically, JB lost his way starting in 1978 and lyrically, he's never been able to capture his thoughts like he did when he was in his early '20s. Still, I root for him and when he continues to give us those simple guitar melodies and beautiful voices, it's enough to remain a huge fan.

gms168 said...

JB is alright with me. I think you are getting him confused with the Stones. Time the Conqueror and Naked Ride Home are fine records.

itsok2beright said...

Hey, who you calling a bozo?

Please leave this about music, the music and recording business, the retail/wholesale/digital bastardization of the distribution of recorded music, or any other form of music related commentary. Anything more and before you know it you'll see pictures of somebody's dinner last night, or their stupid pet tricks.

Though, I might lean slightly to some movie discussions, but that's it.

As far as that fb discussion, I almost think 'your' friend posted it to actually fish for those stupid comments that followed. The funniest was when someone asked who Ann and Nancy Wilson are!

Anonymous said...

one way to turn this into a fb thread would be to bring up Daryl Hannah and Joni Mitchell. wait, was that out loud?

Jeff in Denton TX said...

I liked some of Mr. Browne's somewhat uneven post-"Empty" records, even with their too-slick 80's production and overly-earnest politicking. "The Naked Ride Home" is a fine album. Unfortunately, "Time the Conqueror" was a snoozefest--I barely listened to it. I'll give the new one a try. "Late for the Sky" is probably a top 20 all-time album for me.

As for BW: If the topic is tangentially music-related, I'm game. Movie/sports discussions work for me.

Keep up the great work, Sal!

DeepKarma said...

Any discussion involving the BW family would be welcome. Sal, I love this place due to the incredible amount of great music you have helped me discover... and that includes the links and suggestions provided in the comment section.

Bottom line, for me, is that I'm up for whatever you feel like talking about.

dogbreath said...

As I must have said before, I'm not on any social networks (because I'm anti-social) and I guess we're all here on this blog because of a love of music in all its variants. Having said that, I do enjoy reading the critiques, the rants & well argued dissertations (sometimes with logic attached!) for & against any topic under the sun. It must be a yin and yang thing (No, it's not - ed). Cruising on his reputation maybe, but I live in hope that the new JB album will measure up for what we long.

Anonymous said...


Other topics are fine with me. If I'm not interested I'll just skip that day's blog message but I'll always be back the next day.

Allan R. (Capt. Al)

Kodak Ghost said...

Having had a chance to listen to the Jackson Browne album properly I agree with Troy in the main. Interesting how some artists have been able to maintain a pretty high level of relevant output (Bruce springs to mind obviously, while others have fallen by the wayside.
Incidentally, never think that the varied selection of music you put up is not listen to assiduously. Your "Muscle Shoals" inspired collection was excellent – and I still go back to some of your earlier collections based around New Orleans music. I watched the Muscle Shoals documentary last night, and I thought it was really interesting – so obviously several unwritten/untold tales there.
And like a couple of other contributors I look forward to the Thompson family project! Imagine having that little lot around your Christmas table. Thanks again.