Archive for December, 2006

Deep Purple No No No

December 20, 2006

Jon Lord, of Deep Purple (for most of its history), is the apotheosis of a hard-rock organist. And he’s probably the greatest influence on my own Hammond style.
Sure, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman each had a better classical technique. But Emerson was much more of a Jazzer, and Wakeman was just, well, kind of effete, what with his flourishes and ornamentation. Both fantastically talented, but neither really representative of rock and roll.
Lord, on the other hand, manhandled the Hammond organ. Made it a coequal to Blackmore’s overdriven guitar and Ian Gillan’s wailing vocals.
Check out this classic video of a riff-based jam, entitled “No, No, No.” Lord’s solo kicks in at around 3:45 and the song just builds from there:


Christmas Questions

December 12, 2006

Filler for a semi-dormant blog (found via Not Exactly Rocket Science):
1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Neither. He leaves them, unwrapped, by and on the fireplace and in the stockings.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White on the tree; red-green-white on the house and down the sidewalks.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Sometimes. Rarely.
5. When do you put your decorations up? The day after Thanksgiving for the tree and house decorations; by the end of Thanksgiving weekend for the outdoor lights (I’ve done them in the rain, in the freezing cold, and this year in the 75+ degree sunlight).
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Jackie’s Chex Mix.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Any given ski trip in Colorado during Junior High and High School with my church’s youth group.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I was a gullible one – fourth or fifth grade. I learned it from an older child in the neighborhood.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not normally.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We started with a small Charlie Brown-type tree the first Christmas after we got married just buying one ornament a year for each other. Other friends and family learned and would give us ornaments, and now “Santa” gets an ornament for everyone. Aside from the star, these ornaments are the sole decoration for the tree (which at 9 feet tall is now literally covered with happy memories). My wife plans to give the kids their ornaments when they move out, so they have some “seed” ornaments for their respective trees.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it. Wish we had more of it here, where the weather’s just ridiculously warm and sunny.
12. Can you ice skate? Barely.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? This one’s a toss-up. In 1983, my parents got me Enzo Angelucci’s Fourth Edition (1983) of The Rand McNally Encyclopedia Of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. I still have it, and have made good use of it to research some of the features here on my blog. They also kindly gave me my first keyboard, Christmas 1985, a Korg DW-8000 that is still in decent working order.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Time with family listening to and singing the traditional music.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? My mom’s fudge.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Our Christmas ornament tradition described above.
17. What tops your tree? A sturdy, clear plastic (looks like crystal) star that we got from the Hecht’s in Arlington, VA in Christmas 1991, our first Christmas together.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Since I got married, and especially after having kids — giving.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Not just one. For sacred carols, it’s a toss-up between O Come, O Come Emmanuel and Carol of the Bells. For secular carols, I like Nat King Cole’s version of his Christmas Song and Ray Charles’ version of Winter Wonderland.
20. Candy canes: Bleh. I don’t like hard candy much.
21. Favorite Christmas movie? It’s A Wonderful Life.
22. What do you leave for Santa? Chocolate chip cookies or fudge and a glass of milk.
Update: On the off chance they still read here, I think I’ll tag Robbo, Ted, Buckethead, Kyle, and Lynn with this “meme.”

Heinlein Quote of the Month (December 2006)

December 4, 2006

“[T]he cheapest cardboard Christmas Creche can be sufficient symbol to evoke emotions in the human heart so strong that many have died for them and many more live for them. So the craftmanship and artistic judgment with which such a symbol is wrought are largely irrelevant.”

– Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land.