Michaelwclark.com

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Reelin’ in the Years – 1966

The Monkees, 1966 via Wikipedia

Boy oh boy. There are so many good tunes for the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1966 that I really had to scratch my head over choosing just one. I am now four years old and remembering more songs as I grow older.

We had the Monkees 33.3 record with “Last Train to Clarksville.” My last name is Clark so as a kid that got my attention.

Even as a child, though, I sensed that the Monkees weren’t really the best of bands. A made-for-TV copy of the Beatles. We had oodles of Beatles 33s and 45s kicking around. So I had a good basis for comparison.

The Monkees were catchy. But they weren’t the Beatles.

Most cars in the mid-60s only had an AM radio. 8-track, FM, and cassette were soon to follow. In Canada, the speedometer still used MPH. We took a turn to KM (and Celcius) in the 70s. I remember reading in the paper that metric was more “international.” – Image via Wikipedia

Later in life, I came to appreciate and really adore Frank Sinatra. But in ’66 he was more of a middle-aged act than a young person’s thing. Frank was going out of style. “Strangers in the Night” did chart and won a Grammy for Record of the Year. But it didn’t fly with the teeny-bop crowd. Rock and Roll was “here to stay” as Neil Young would sing.

Mind you, that swanky era wasn’t totally gone. My parents’ generation still bought records like that. Funnily enough, I don’t remember seeing any Sinatra records in my parents’ collection. My love for Frank just came naturally later in life as I enjoy most types of music, especially the greats.

Sinatra, pictured here with Eleanor Roosevelt ...

Sinatra, pictured here with Eleanor Roosevelt in 1960, was an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party until 1968. – Image via Wikipedia

For the 1966 best song, however, I chose The Mamas & The Papas’ “Monday Monday” because, like “Downtown” (1965), it was one of those songs that stayed with you, even when you weren’t near the radio.

Notice the pre-hippy fashion in this video. Elvish colors and collars. Pinstripe pants. Hair getting a bit longer and shaggier. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s, The Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed, Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy and Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow were just around the corner. And that, my friends, was a whole new ballgame.

To me, the opening vocals in this tune are like a tulip coming out in April. Something so new, so fresh, so positive. Even though the song is about a sad Monday, it’s still upbeat, uplifting.

That’s flower power, man!

You can just see Sinatra and his fellow crooners burying their heads in their hands, heading for Vegas where they can still squeeze out a few bucks for booze, cigarettes and who knows what else.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Rita Ora, Grace Jones, and English National Opera to headline Henley Festival 2018 (telegraph.co.uk)

 An Interview With Quincy Jones Is Like A Box Of Chocolates. You Never Know Who He Met … And What He Did (allaccess.com)

 Jay-Z opens up about why he boycotted the Grammys in 1999 (bostonherald.com)

 Music icon Quincy Jones says Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen can play guitar ‘just like’ Jimi Hendrix (businessinsider.com)

 Why the UK Just Appointed a Minister of Loneliness (livescience.com)

 Prince Honored By Justin Timberlake In NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show [Social Media Reactions] (business2community.com)

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When it’s so good, they think it’s fixed…

I’m fascinated by digital music making. Especially the production side. So when I listened to the first video posted in this article (above) , I thought it was fake. But then when she sings alone… well, you be the judge.

Could the whole thing have been faked/staged? Possibly. But how could she have lip sinked so well with no cues (beat, background music)?

A beautiful woman and voice.


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Water under the bridge

Had a sublime moment today in the local park (Serena Gundy). Just last summer I realized a secret entrance that I’d never known about. Also, I used to go away for summers when I was a kid. These days, I improvise.


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Ice Cream Screen Recorder – Freeware Demo

This program also handles sound but I didn’t feel like talking today. It’s been a busy week so far, including about 10 hours of driving in one day, which takes a day or two to fully recover from. 🙂


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Go with the flow

Some kid left their beach ball on the beach. Video zooms in after a few secs…

Last night about 100 miles East of Toronto, Lake Ontario. I might go into YouTube and rename this Go With the Flow. After all, wind isn’t really caused by gravity but by atmospheric pressure. 🙂


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My summer cyber travels – Moscow and St. Petersburg

I actually watched two videos about Russia last night. But I found this one the most captivating.

This second video is also worthwhile. But, on the whole, I find Russian aesthetics to be a bit clunky for my liking. It’s like they never really get it “quite right.” Totally subjective, I know. But that’s how I usually see it.

There are exceptions, of course, like the still image for this video. Also, the Russian subways are pretty impressive. However, I couldn’t help but wonder how many Russian peasants suffered – maybe starved to death – so the Gov. could afford such splendor.


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Watch Married to the Mob and other golden greats… free!

Image via dollskill.com

I’ve been restoring old computers and learning more about the ins and outs of software and especially hardware. I’ve always enjoyed software but never used to be a hardware person at all. And I thought I never would be. So the only “operation” I did with old computers was remove the HD before tossing them into the electronic recycle bin (we do that in Canada).

I regret that now. Recently a CR-ROM went on the fritz with one of my old computers. And I have thrown out 2 CD-ROMs in the past. One of them might have worked. But they’re gone… because I was stupid and didn’t foresee that I would become interested in hardware too.

I did, however, successfully upgrade some RAM from one computer to another. I was very pleased that I could do that, and it actually worked.

My hardware knowledge is limited, though. So most of my free computing time is spent trying to figure out new ways to get stuff for free, legally. Recently I discovered a Firefox add-on that enables you to do just that. It’s an add-on to watch older or second and third-rate streaming movies. It must be legal because the site that offers these streaming movies hasn’t been taken down.

Anyhow, I tested it out and found an old 80s flick that I never watched: Married to the Mob with Michelle Pfeiffer, who was one of the hottest stars of the 80s. I clicked on the film – via the add-on – and sure enough, it started streaming. Credits over railroad tracks, if I remember right. I wasn’t in the mood to watch the whole thing so clicked if off after a few seconds. But hey, if anyone is interested…

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search/?q=free+movies&appver=46.0&platform=windows