Tag Archive | Mumford & Sons

Does anybody really know what time it is?

When Chicago posed their musical question in 1969, they referred to something much bigger, but at our house, when John or anyone else asks, “Does anybody really know what time it is,” it’s meant literally. A few years back (I couldn’t tell you when because time blends together), I started setting our clocks to be fast – and some of them fast by different amounts.

It's 2:43 or 2:45ish p.m. Or is it?

It’s 2:43 or 2:45ish p.m. Or is it?

It was the only thing I could think of to help with our chronic lateness, and it works, for the most part, partly because every time our power goes out, which is pretty frequently (our power sources in this old neighborhood must be historic, too), I reset the clocks a different number of minutes ahead. They usually range between 3 and 8 minutes fast.

That, of course, has its own inherent danger, if you think you have 7 more minutes but really have 4. So we’ve got to take it at face value. For real time, our Comcast box and sleeping iMac, John’s MacBook and our cell phones are the only sources in the house. Even my MacBook clock runs fast – without me setting it forward. Go figure.

My crazy system works pretty well, but today I’ve been a bit disoriented from falling back to sleep this morning and sleeping in until 8:25, something I haven’t done in eons. I needed it desperately, because zombies have been keeping me up late at night for a week now.

WWZAfter seeing the movie, I had to read Max Brooks’ World War Z. The movie’s good, but the book’s a whole different creature. I’ll be through soon. People are waiting in line to borrow it.

The book that kept me awake nights before WWZ is Second Sight by Judith Orloff. Some friends – whom I won’t name to protect their reputations, should they choose to remain anonymous – and I decided to read it for a loose book club. We met Thursday night for our first discussion and mainly got sidetracked by visiting and discussing dreams and other things. 2ndSight

The book is about that and more – developing intuition, interpreting dreams – things that are probably too “wacko” for many people but secretly intrigue many others.

We’ll try to stick to the book more next time.

One last thing for today: Alice Cooper, you need to chill out, dude. You’re the guy who sang “Eighteen” about the joys of being young, so why are you lambasting Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers? This isn’t 1971 and things change. That’s how life works. Some of us old folks love them – and you’re sounding like a cranky old “get off my damn lawn” guy.

Take some advice from your contemporaries in Pink Floyd and leave those kids alone.

The world needs all the joy it can get.

That’s all.

Bittersweet me(mories)

It’s taken me a few days to work up to writing about the breakup of REM. Wednesday morning, as I was doing an early morning weights workout, the scroll across the bottom of the screen silently announced the news.

“Oh, NO!”

I startled John, who was engrossed in the news on his computer in the dining room. REM was one of my bucket-list bands. I don’t mean to see before I die – I have a few bands left that, after seeing them, I could conceivably never go to another concert.  (Conceivable? Probably not. But maybe.) Concerts bucket list.

Now I can never see them live. But I’m actually OK with it. It’s not that I’m losing my REM religion – but sometime’s it’s wiser to heed Buddy Holly’s advice than to turn into still-touring relics. Rolling Stones, I love you, but a 50-year tour? That’s getting kind of creepy.

I’ll always have the finest worksong to play for the finest of hours. And REM kept me from chewing my leg off when I needed out of a miserable marriage. And helped me have the courage to go for it.

So I’ll settle for my REM collection and knowing that “Automatic for the People” will always be on my 10-desert-island-albums list. 

I’ll always miss you and be grateful for your assistance through some rough spots in life.   RIP, REM.




Speaking of Top 10s (the desert-island list), how do you choose from a lifetime (a looonnnggg lifetime) of music?

“The Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East” is a no-brainer. Has been since I was 16. 

So is Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.” Goes without saying. 

Automatic for the People.” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” “Z.Z. Top’s First Album” (they used to kick ass, trust me).

Crap, halfway there with old stuff. And haven’t even addressed Led Zeppelin. OK, “Houses of the Holy.” What the hell. They’re all good. And there’s that confounded bridge that always makes Liz and me smile.

But any Top 10 list of mine would be heavy on Tom Petty – he is my husband in a parallel universe. (It’s OK, it’s OK. John digs him too.) And my baby boy, Ben, used to beg me to play TP. So he’s got to be there. He could be all 10, actually.

But I guess I could settle for “The Waiting,” if I had to, and “The Traveling Wilburys, Vol.1,” but it would almost kill me to choose. 

Please notice I’m being authentic and true and not copping out with greatest hits or boxed sets. You try it – waaayyyy harder.

Then I’d have to add Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More and The Avett Brothers, probably “Live, Vol. 3.

Shit, that’s it! Can I live with it forever? Maybe. Ask me tomorrow. But probably not – there’s no DMB, and when you’ve gotta hear Dave, you’ve gotta hear Dave. Or Willie. Or Leon Russell. Oh, my.

This won’t do! Ten is not enough. No desert islands for me unless I can bring my iPod Touch with unlimited battery power.

Maybe next time I’ll do an all-girls version. Or an all-Beatles. Or an all-post ’90s. Or an all-boxed-sets. You try it. It’s hard.

What IS your Top 10? I dare you.

The beat goes on …

Parade magazine, not normally my source of rock ’n’ roll news, says that 46 years ago today Sonny and Cher hit No.1 on the charts with “I Got You, Babe.” They certainly rocked my 9-year-old life – I read every word I could about Cherilyn Sarkisian Bono in my Sixteen magazines that I bought and studied religiously. (Never Tiger Beat – that was for boppers. It was Sixteen all the way for me. My walls were covered with their mini posters for years.)

If memory serves, Cher was billed as half-Cherokee/half-Armenian (maybe there was some French in there too – this is from memory). She dropped out of school for her music career. How romantic to a 9 year old. For a time, she drew my attention away from Pattie Boyd (soon-to-be Pattie Boyd Harrison, when she married – gasp – a BEATLE!), whom I considered the ultimate source for all things fashion and beauty.

She had a regular column in 16 and was a famous model in her own right before George married her then supposedly wrote “Something” about her. But that wasn’t enough – Eric Clapton wrote “Layla” about her when his love was unrequited, then “Wonderful Tonight” when they were married. She even claims “Bell-Bottom Blues” was written for her. Regardless, she was a highly influential person in my life.

I must admit to being disappointed to learn what a ditz her autobiography made her seem. Some people are better adored from afar – and when you’re in elementary school.

(Even her sister Jenny got in on the muse act; Donovan wrote “Jennifer Juniper” for her, then she was later married to Mick Fleetwood for a while.)

Getting sidetracked, as I was briefly by Cher. But mostly I dug the boy bands, the Beatles, of course, but so, so many others.

But here’s where I get to the point (about damn time, you may be thinking): Good music, contrary to what many of my baby-boomer cohorts say, did NOT end with the early ’70s. Au contraire; good music abounds.

Granted, there have been some musical-desert years. I would not have survived the late ’70s and early ’80s without my main man Tom Petty (he can do me like that, musically, anytime). That’s probably why son Ben used to beg, at about 15 months, for me to play “TP, Mama, TP” – he was my housework soundtrack in the stay-at-home mom days. Bruce Springsteen, whom Liz was determined to marry when she was a toddler, Dire Straits, Bob Seeger, then later, yes, John (briefly Cougar) Mellencamp all brought me comfort and joy.

When Tom Petty and I divorced our long-term spouses at about the same time in the mid-’90s, my kids teased me with “Now’s your chance, Mom. Your man’s free.”  Everything he does is gold. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better sound than the Travelin’ Wilburys came up with. (Hmmm, Pattie Boyd’s ex was a TW. There she is again.)

Dave Matthews has been around way too long to be considered new, but some of my boomer friends still don’t listen to DMB; some don’t even know who he is. If you’re in that category, you must learn now. Can’t let too many days go by without a fix. Maybe two. After that, the jonesing sets in (which reminds me of Counting Crows, another oldish “new” band. If you’re not in the know, check them out too.)

My kids introduced me to Jack Johnson when they were stationed in Hawaii, just before he hit it so big he became an Andy Samberg character on SNL. Even if you could possibly not love his music, you’ve got to love his big heart and green-living lifestyle. And he’s a surfer, dude.

My latest additions/addictions are The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. The Avett Bros. are southern, young and precious; Mumford & Sons are British, young and precious.

Hate to end on a downer note, but I’ve got to give the late Amy Winehouse her props. If she could’ve held out to our birthday (we were born on the same day), at least she could’ve beaten the cliche of the 27 club. Sigh. She should’ve lived long enough to catch up with her old lady voice. The child was even brave enough to tackle “Mr. Magic” – Grover Washington, Jr.’s groovy tune.

If she could only have hung on, she could’ve been a contender to be some young girl’s Cher or Pattie Boyd Harrison.