Musings On Music

Welcome to MindPopMusic.com!

Letter From The Editor:

Greetings,

Welcome to mindpopmusic.com, thanks for tuning in. This blog is born out of a mutual interest I share with a few close friends, for whom music has been a necessary and vital part of their lives. I dare say that music has been as necessary as food, shelter, clothing and companionship for us nearly all of our lives. This is not hyperbole. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and in discussions that began last summer between myself, Keith Hobba and Jeff Thompson, we decided we should probably actually do something about it. So, today is the day. I hope to collect on these pages insights, thoughts, perceptions, notions, anecdotes and deep seated reflections on the music that has shaped our lives, your life, everyone’s life that has invited music to play an important role in their development. So we talked about it and then, that was that, we decided we certainly should do something about, that it was a good idea–we had all the know-how and certainly the passion. And then time passed and the thought sat in the shadows, like a dimly lit billboard on a rural side road of our minds. Until the other day, that is.

There were two events that made me put the thought from months ago into action. The first happened during the holidays. I’ve become a big fan of mass transportation since my Jeep decided it needed a $1000 in repairs and I find that I actually like riding the bus and walking every chance I can, because it opens up the mind a bit to slow down from life’s hectic rate and literally enforce patience on you. I found myself at a bus stop one day in late December, staring at the western sky as the new morning was consuming it’s night time friend and suddenly, a song was play in my mind. It happened to be a song that I probably haven’t listened to in fifteen years, maybe more, maybe less. It was Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s “Only Dreaming” which is a fairly obscure goth drenched early alternative number from their magnificent album Nothing’s Wrong. It played note for note, lyric for lyric, perfectly sharp and clear as the day I first heard it in my head and I wanted to run home and write all about this really obscure song time travelling through my soul as the new dawn was erasing the long night. That’s how my mind and writing works, that’s how entwined my sould is spun with the music that has been the soundtrack of my life.

The second event was that I discovered an old friend of mine and I were listening to the same album within hours of each other and once more, it was kind of an obscure choice. This was the event that nailed it home–I have a day job (well, a night job actually) and one of its luxuries is that if I so choose I can throw on headphones and listen to music every minute of every hour I am there. Something, somewhere, somehow had prompted me to pull Robert Palmer’s debut album Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley off the shelf, dust it off and give it a few good spins that night.  It’s an album that I do frequent every so often, at least once a year I’m sure. Most people think of Robert Palmer and…well, I don’t even need to talk about it do I? You’re already watching the videos in your head. Before that Robert Palmer existed, in fact it was 1974, the young Robert Palmer debuted his amazing vocal talent with a lean and hungry edge on one of the greatest underrated albums of the day. It didn’t even chart, there were no hits, but luckily there were once radio stations that played entire albums or sides of albums or in this case they would play the medley that was the first three songs on the album “Sailing Shoes/Hey Julia/Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley.” This has been one of my favorite pieces of music since I first heard it on the radio as a teenager and it always will be and once more I wanted to rush home and write all about it.

When I got home that day, I realized that’s when this blog had to be. I contacted Keith, reached out to Jeff and a few others for whom music is a vital part of their diet and decided mindpopmusic.com’s time had come. Over the years I’ve had many moments like these, where I excitedly dashed home and five to fifteen pages of bliss about a song, an album, a band, an artist or simply a memory of how music had touched me and then I’d save it to my computer and that would be that. Over the years some people have read some of these things often with comments about how I should publish them, but for the most part they reside in the equivalent of  a storage closet. While music is my food, writing is my art, it is my passion, so  it is natural these two collide frequently. While I have been writing about music nearly my entire life, I’ve only been writing about it in print for just over twenty years in newspapers and various magazines throughout the land. For the last five years I’ve been writing about the local music scene in Phoenix, Arizona, where I have been blessed to witness the birth of something amazing, beautiful and inspiring happen, like time lapse photography on a seed spit into the dirt growing into a mighty towering sunflower. I live, breathe, drink and most of all, I think, support the local music scene out a deep belief in what is happening here. You can check out the articles I put into print each month in JAVA Magazine or my blog that celebrates the magical minstrels of this wonderful town at soundsaroundtown.net. I’ve also been working with the amazing group of musicians and writers starting up the amazing echocloud.tv which has only just begun and is simply an amazing endeavor.

That being said, my mind and soul and creative juices need a vacation from time to time. I need some space where I can write a few thousand words about just how goddamned great Robert Palmer’s Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley was, is and will always be or why Spoon may be the most important American band so far in this century or how The Manic Street Preachers ended up meaning more to the world than Blur or Oasis, how the Rolling Stones last album was their best in twenty years or simply, why The Damned are so damned important or how music outside of my little desert oasis is still very much on my mind and in my soul. So this is my outlet and it is also an outlet for my friends, some who I have known most of my life and whose opinions and perceptions and passion for music I respect and understand, even though I may not always agree. This is where my mind will go on vacation to write about the fire that has fuelled it since it all began. I know it’s true of Keith and I, and I imagine it’s true for Jeff as well, but we grew up in households where music was practically sacred, where records were played all the time, where needles and turntables had to be replaced frequently and where sometimes speakers were blown. I did not grow up with religion, I grew up with rock’n'roll and music saved my mortal soul. Some of the early content I would like to share is from a book of rock essays, I’ve nearly completed, covering my writing on the subject for the last twenty years, half of it has been published in edited form, the other half has remained hidden away. I hope,  if I can get away with it, to call it, “It’s Only Rock’n'Roll (But I Like It).”

The name for the blog was purely accidental, I have a growing collection of domain names I keep around, some it seems for no reason at all and some I say to myself, I’ll use some day in some way. mindpopmusic.com happened to be one of those domains I had hanging around and since the decision to start this thing happened in a few moments and it was already there, I thought its time had come as well. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it and Keith and Jeff seemed to like it as well, I liked that it had many meanings. I tend to like anything that can be interpreted a million ways like art and music itself. So the idea of “mindpopmusic” makes me smile. Music that makes your mind pop, mind pop music, Mind! Pop! Music! Be mindful of pop music and those are only a few of the variations I’ve reeled at since remembering I bought the domain last June in a late night haze of vodka tonics. So there is where it all begins for this blog, I hope to have content up soon from Mssrs. Hobba and Thompson soon–they have always amazed me with their insight into the world of music. Keith has been my lifelong companion in music addiction and he may well be the only person on the planet that I’ve met that knows more than I do about this subject. Jeff is actually a very talented musician and also an amazing scholar who has blown my mind continually over the years. For instance, he just posted a video of  Hot Butter’s “Popcorn” from 1972 that I had to listen to three times over because I hadn’t heard it in years. His intellect also happens to be astounding.

So there you have it. This is the start of mindpopmusic.com. I hope it’s a lot of fun for everyone involved and I hope to get more individuals I’ve known throughout the years involved in this endeavor. This is definitely one of those projects where “the more, the merrier” truly applies. And expect more than words, I’m certain there will be audio and video streaming through these pages in no time, pages of links to our favorite resources, even tips on find the best deals on purchasing music whether in digital ephemeral form or the hard copy bliss of vinyl and CD. But, hey, enough of my yakkin’; whaddaya say? Let’s Boogie!

Mitchell L. Hillman
Editor/Writer/Fiend

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