Mrs. Claus Is Bearing a Gift for You

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Robert Lamm of Chicago Doin' Business

I pulled this song out to share as it is one of my favorites. Most Robert Lamm songs - where he is the lead vocalist - are the better songs “Chicago” has recorded or performed. I like “Chicago” - I love horn rock and Mexican music so for all the rock purists out there, horns become the icing on the cake for a lot of songs. However, I'm sharing this song because I love RL's voice and I like his message. Normally, I don't care for his left leaning politics, but I think this song captures what many a musician has experienced: business over takes making music.

 Don't get me wrong, people get into music for different reasons. Some get into music merely for fame and fortune, some make a transistion from acting to singing, some got into it for the drugs, and some got into it because they love making music. That last one is where I think Robert Lamm comes from.

One of the many difficult things to deal with in music is handling the record executives, the critics, the club owners, the agents, the travel, the finance, etc, etc and etc. Do not forget the difficulty in dealing with other band members. “Chicago” is a band that dealt and thrived with mounting tension from various members and their egos.

Here is a band, though, where RL was obviously the most gifted to be the lead front man but band tension caused the group to be "democratic". Democratic in the sense that they had to let other members contribute their own songs, sometimes at the expense of making a great album a bargain bin staple. It's no wonder many of their albums have high and LOW spots.

 Anyway, the song "Doin Business" was cut from the commercial album Chicago XIV, (or what is XII?) perhaps it was too cynical or critical of the music business. Maybe the horn guys nixed it because they were tired of Robert’s criticism, although well-founded.

Nevertheless, it is the best song on the album it was never on. It actually first appeared on a boxed compilation set on CD. That’s whe I first heard it and said to myself “What gives? How come this wasn’t on the album – surely it would have made the Top 40?”

  "Where'd they go? Tell me, where did my dreams go . . . doin' business?"
– Robert Lamm, "Doin' Business"


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Monster Movie Marathon Tips For Halloween - Revisited

I wrote this blog several years ago, and so in the spirit of Halloween, here is a replay

Monster Movie Marathon Tips for Halloween

I used to go to monster movie marathons all the time. Then they went out of fashion for a while. A worker of mine alerted me that he had been visiting similar marathans for a couple of years but the list of flicks they played were not my cup of blood (tea, that is for you squeamish types).

I thought it was high time that folks would be conducting their own home monster movie marathans. You can stop the movie if you think it stinks or gets too boring, you could fast forward to the cool scenes, you can even blend movies together or even add your own humorous comments to them.

Having this party at home allows you to be very creative, but you do need to put some serious thought into it so you can satisfy your ghoulish guests and ghosts.

Click on the above link to go to my Hub page for some sound advice on movie selection, arrangement, et al.

If you have any other suggestions, let me know. Halloween comes but once a year, but why not have a marathon twice or more per year. Keep the spirit of movie monsters alive - Dr. Frankenstein would be pleased.

Don't forget Monster Music!
For a spooky-or-funny sound, check out Circus Clowns from the Grave



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