Playing “Switched-Off Bach” a while ago (interesting history on the releases of Switched-On and -Off in 1968) when a melancholy passage comes in. Miles looks at me and says, “Daddy, this music makes me sad.” Walked into his room and pulled the blankets over his head. Later pegged a less-than-upbeat Toots and the Maytals track as also being “sad.” Can now identify four or five genres. When asked, usually says his favorite kind of music is “weggae.” This evening, driving home listening to Breakfast in America, M pipes up from the back seat. “Daddy, this music isn’t sad like that weggae song, this music is happy!” Typically unable to help myself from supplying info he isn’t ready to process, I pounce on the opportunity to tell him all about Supertramp. “Now I know a lot of kinds of music. Cwassico, Chazz, Blues Clues, Weggae, and Supatamp!” Decided not to go into the messy terrain of subgenres like Ork. Maybe when he turns three.

Music: Pete Brown & his Battered Ornaments :: Then I must go

3 Replies to “Supatamp”

  1. Wendy Carlos, is still very much involved with Electronic Music. I’ve been fortunate enough to converse with her recently as she’s been helping us with testing of Peak 5 (and directly suggested at least one of it’s new features).

  2. I got my nephew and neice a set of “feeling elves” cards from a disability bookstore online recently. Sam is not much older than Miles and recently had an operation after about a year sick.

    So I wanted something to help him better address the range of emotions that are part of the human experience and to better express a variety of moods and got some other books to help emphasize that people are different and overcome many obstacles in life. He’s not disabled, but the bookstore was the best place I could find books that really focused on some of the developmental issues I don’t see covered in most kids books. I think kids (and many people) need to realize that sad, happy, angry or whatever we feel is part of the normal range of human emotions. It’s also maybe a good time to start raising the concept that external influences like music and TV can make us feel certain ways. I remember Frank Zappa described explaining to his kids that the whole point of everything on the TV was to get money out of your pocket and to be aware of how the TV is manipulating you with that intent. Though Miles is probably a bit young to cognatively understand this and much of what you explain to him at this age.

    Anyway, Supertramp always touches a mildly raw nerve for me because that song was the wake up call for me about payola in radio as a young teen. I called a radio station to request a song I loved and they asked me if I wanted to be on the radio. Sure, I say. But they want me ot pretend I’m calling asking for Breakfast in Amaerica, a song already overplayed and not one I was that fond of. But I get suckered into it so I can hear my voice on the radio. I could tell I didn’t manage to show the enthusiasm the DJ wanted as he had me say it three times or so. And I waited. And heard some other kid asking for the song I didn’t want to hear anyway. And of course my request (Jackie Blue by Ozark Mountain Daredevils) was already long out of rotation and never goot played.

    To me that was the bubble bursting with disillusionment of pop radio. That and teh time I was caller 15 and heard “You’re a winner!” then a dial tone. Only years later did I read about the scandals in payola in radio promotions since the 50’s – how Pink Floyd bucked the system with Wish You Were Here and could only get one station in L.A. playing the new album despite a week of stadium concerts booked there – all because they flipped off a big finger to the “independent radio promoters” one still had to pay to get records played on the radio.

    And here we are, almost two decades later, with similar scandals breaking yet again.

  3. In an earlier life, I was studying broadcasting, intending to get an AA in communications, and was doing the college radio DJ thing. As I got closer to completing the degree, I started to see more and more about the industry that I didn’t like, until in the end I abandoned it completely. It just started to look smarmy and gross to me. I had this romantic and naive notion that I’d be able to play great music and make a living. Once I realized it would almost certainly never be about making musical choices, I backed away and never looked back.

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