Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Again... the 'embers.

Welcome, folks. Come in, come in.

We are once again at the very crisp beginning of that part of the year my niece Livy once memorably coined 'The Embers'. 

Sure, October's an 'ober and not really an 'ember, but the spirit and the passion work so well we can ignore that little technicality.

But aahhhhh... September.

An Autumn Ozarks Vista

September. For some, a bittersweet end of Summer's party.

For others -- us -- the beginning of a season of magic and deep meaning.

Accordingly, I've removed some of the Summer staples from the jukebox, and added some new September songs.


First up (after the obligatory, constant, and official theme song of the S&P, Vince Guaraldi's The Great Pumpkin Waltz), we have September Song, a cut from Ella Fitzgerald's remarkable 1960 album, The Intimate Ella. Paul Smith plays piano, and the frisson is just perfect.

Next, an apropos mid-'60s track from The Four Seasons -- See You In September. Sure, it's really about the beginning of Summer and not the end of it, and sure, The Tempos did it first in '59, and The Happenings in '66, and others later, but I like this one best.

Then, I couldn't resist. This ol' pub needs some funk every so often. In 1978, the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire released September, and if you don't "re-mem-bah", the problem is yours -- how can you not love this song? Besides, any song that has 'yeeeoOWww!' in it is good in my book.

For the next selection, I err on the side of short and sweet, even if it's pretty obscure. In 1984, the beautiful Karen Allen starred in a romantic little film called Until September, and the score (by the inimitable John Barry) made a very big impact on my teen mind. This motif is called 'Not Again' which might seem like a negative thing but I think it's the prettiest piece of the entire score.

And lastly, an even more obscure tune, and I hope you'll indulge and forgive me. See... if I had another 'blog, another pub dedicated solely to my musical history and passions (such a pub might be coming soon, I'll keep you posted), much of it would be about the main passion, the main creative and rewarding musical partnership of my life -- a little SoCal vocal harmony/acoustic group of two (and various thirds) called Letters Home. I won't get into all of it here, now, but I will say this song, conveniently titled September, was written/recorded in the late '80s by a teenaged me and my teenaged friend Mike Murphy, and is sung by Murf, with our friend Linda and I on harmonies. I play the guitar tracks. It's an old demo-ish recording, and I will always love it. I hope you like it too.

I've kept the David Lutesinger The Trees Weep Leaves, and as always, the jukebox closes with the official incidental music of the S&P, Pumpkintime from the Darol Anger - Barbara Higbie Quintet.

Also, while loading the jukebox, I heard some whistling, crackling static from the ol' Hallowe'enith console radio, and now I find that there's a new set of shows.

It seems in 1975, the iconic Leonard Nimoy recorded some of Ray Bradbury's short stories and one of them is really fitting for the Skull & Pumpkin, and our Hallowe'en theme for this year.

The story, originally published in the '50s, is called Usher II. In it, Bradbury lashes out at censorship, prudery, conservative brutishness, liberal cowardice, and the ease with which we can lose our most basic pleasurable freedoms when good people do nothing to stop evil people from imposing their beliefs.

It is told, appropriately enough, in terms of Poe's creations and legacy, and if I tell you any more, you won't bother to listen to the two-part (about 35 min. altogether) delight.

Just devote some time to it. It will reward you, I promise.

Thanks for reading this nearly pictureless post. I try not to do that too often.

Please enjoy!


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