Blowing Things Up

I commented a few days ago that my cousins and I liked explosives when we were children, and  used homemade beer can cannons and fireworks to lob things at younger relatives.  (We were thoughtful, though, and  gave them helmets to wear.) July 4 was a big holiday in my family. Most of my cousins are boys, and they started to collect firecrackers and other fireworks as soon as they could, saving their money for the purpose for months. It was handy that we were so close to the South Dakota border and had easy access to firework stands.  I still really love fireworks, but I don’t shoot them at people any more.

I don’t  know what has got into me, but for the past few weeks one of the first things I do when I get home from work it to put a recording of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture on really loud, and wait with gleeful anticipation for the cannons at the end of the piece.  I love those cannons.  I wish I could be the person in the orchestra to set them off.  My recording is by the Kirov Orchestra conducted by  Valery Gergiev.  The liner notes say that members of the Royal Dutch Marine Band also performed, and I assume they shot off the cannons and artillery.  What a great job to have!

What music would best reflect the state of your life right now? What music helps you cope?


72 thoughts on “Blowing Things Up”

  1. I rarely commit to a single type of music for long. I’m too fond of variety. I’ve recently fallen in love with the music Stevie Nicks was doing in the 1980s. But each day I listen to the current sound of Lake Street Dive and the Waifs. And I never go long without enjoying the guitar artistry of John Fahey and Leo Kottke.

    But if you focus on the issue of what music helps me cope, something I keep returning to is modern performances of the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland . . . what is marketed as “Celtic.” For me, the most moving recordings ever made of that music was a BBC series called The Highland Sessions. The only available record of that series is on YouTube.

    Here is a small sample:

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have a selection of music as a playlist on Itunes: two Paul Winter Grand Canyon albums, three different Native American flute albums (especially R. Carlos Nakai, a Navaho), Benedectine chant album, Phil Coulter, two Loreena McKennitt albums. Listened to it last night. Or two albums of partitas from Bach.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can understand how the soothing music you listen to would be somewhat hypnotic and perhaps slightly helpful for pain.


  3. I stream classical MPR when I do paperwork or score tests. I wish I could have it playing when I dictate reports but my transciptionist would find it distracting. The music keeps me focused and my brain clicking. Husband needs it quiet. We suspect he has ADHD, so he is easily distracted.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Just listened to Kathy’s Song. Always sung by Art but written by Paul. I know of no ballad that better rewards with the last verse. “As I watch the drops of rain, weave their weary paths and die, I know that I am like the rain. There but for the grace of you go I.”

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Sam Robson and/or Eva Cassidy always do it for me. Pretty much anything orchestral works at times. I never got into New Age music like the Paul Winter Consort or similar, but I always listen to MPR Classical in the morning during breakfast so I assure myself of a gradual, mellow, pleasant start to the day with high-quality music–and NO COMMERCIALS.

    OT–Just saw my first robin of the year, which was quickly followed by what seems like several dozens more! We usually have one or two that nest in our backyard but I’m sensing I might have a turf war on my hands with 10-20 mamas fighting over prime nesting spots in our big trees. Not to mention the other bird regulars we have all the time–sparrows, finches, blackbirds, bluejays, cardinals. Could be an interesting couple of weeks.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

      1. In the years I daily walked my dog in the Minnehaha park, a sturdy flock of robins survived the winters down there. The only reason for them to be there, it seemed to me, was there was open water from Clearwater Creek bubbling up out of the ground. Maybe the steep bluffs offered shelter from winds. Of course, it helped that the park robins all had earlapper insulated caps and Sorel boots.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t play favorites when it comes to music — just listen to whatever is playing on MPR. Occasionally, I will pull out one of my Keepers CD’s if I can find them.
    I’m looking forward to The Rose Ensemble concert on Friday night with the free tickets I won from MPR.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I am sitting in AZ having allergic reactions to all that is blooming and that is a lot of stuff. Sadly, nothing, including music is helping me cope. Maybe the Minnesota state song, whatever that is, will help me cope when we return in 2 weeks and cross the state line.

    Other people here talk about the people who come to AZ and react to all spring time pollens and how awful it is. This is an experience I was not hoping to have.


  8. Song that would reflect the state of my life right now: Tomorrow is a Long Time. I like Odetta singing this.

    Music that helps me cope: I always go back to Gordon Bok (I do listen to other music, but when I need to cope GB never fails me). I like this song:

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Delius is soothing. Bartok string quartets help me be analytical. The Carnegie Hall recording of Bennie Goodman and the boys doing Sing ,Sing, Sing is joyful.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am going to write a song called I Cannot Even Open a Bag of Coffee.
    Sandy has to be on a strong antibiotic, which requires close watching and it conflicts with her colitis, but she has to be on it. because of her lupus. I bought myself an expensive bag of coffee, Caribou’s Columbia, but I could not open it at the top where they glue the thing shut.
    Too wound up.


    1. I’m pretty sure that in about 10 years or so, I won’t be able to open any packaged goods from the store. I think “they” are making the packages more and more difficult to open. (Or else I’m getting weaker and weaker – but it couldn’t be that. Ha.) And that’s me without the pain and other issues that you have, so it must be very difficult for you. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I try to see humor and challenge in this. If I can open a bottle of V8 with just my hands, I carry my head high for the rest of the day. When I am unable to break the packaging of something I’ve bought I could consider it a sign from the universe that my body has exceeded its userdate and I should move on to the next planet. But I prefer to view it as a joke on me.

        The funniest time ever was when I finally got my rheumatologist to authorize a really potent painkiller. It arrived in my home late one afternoon. By that time, I’d lived with the pain and futility of arthritis for two years with no relief. When I opened the package, however, I found my painkiller had been sent to me in a childproof pill tube. And it was really, really good at its job! I laughed and wept alternately for two or three hours as I tried to break into that pill container. No tool in the house was any good. I finally realized I could call a neighbor to come over, but by that time I was enjoying the joke on me so much I refused to do the logical thing. After hours of desperate effort I broke the seal. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Reminds me of another “senior” moment at my house a few days ago.
          I had pulled out my modest sewing kit to repair a few items of clothing. It took me fifteen minutes, I’m not exaggerating, to thread the damn needle. To save myself the trouble of doing that more than once, I cut the thread a little longer than I normally would, all the while thinking of my favorite uncle, Børge, who was a tailor. That brought to mind an old Danish adage that says “Doven skræder syr med lang tråd,” a lazy tailor sews with a long thread.

          Lost in my reverie, I got the thread all tangled up and I dropped the needle, and, of course, thread came out of the eye. Aargh!!!! So I spent another fifteen minutes trying to poke the thread through that tiny eye. Damn good thing I’m retired and have plenty of time on my hands.

          Never mind me, just carry on, baboons.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. I was at the doc yesterday for trigger thumb. When I asked about the ache on the back of my thumb he said it wasn’t from the trigger thumb but might be arthritis starting. Dang.


  11. I turn on classical or pipe in Radio Heartland, and if not something I like, I often end up putting on something from my Pentangle/John Renborn CDs. (Thanks, Bill.) Also some Dave Moore (thanks, Steve) when I’m in the car and don’t want to hear the news.

    I also find the Nakai flute music soothing – discovered it when working at Birchbark Books in Mpls.And Renaissance music, all those acoustic instruments, and choral madrigals.


  12. First off, in my younger, formative years, my older brothers and brothers-in-law, had the fireworks from South Dakota and used them in many unintended ways. Plus, they weren’t afraid to tape a model rocket engine onto a Tonka toy car just to see what it would do.
    I learned a lot from them. Things we still joke about.

    Music! So much good music!
    I stream Radio Heartland most of the day. In the car I have Sirius XM radio and I mostly listen to the ’40’s station. And the classic rock stations.
    When it’s show time at the college, I’ve said before, I have the complete audio track of the movie ‘All That Jazz’. Gets me in the mood.
    At home doing bookwork it can be any random playlist.
    In the tractors, classical music seems to work best for fieldwork.

    Township elections today! If you’re a rural resident in a township, try and get out and vote today!

    (I’m not up for election this year, just working as a judge. We have two races, both unopposed. I predict 28 voters.)

    Liked by 3 people

  13. One of the issues at play here is how each of us marries our personal psychology to audio technology to enjoy music.

    I used to buy CDs, feeling that was the most ethical and convenient way to access the music I love. But then I would not play the a new CD because I didn’t want to use up my excitement about the music by hearing it too often. At some point I realized it was stupid to buy CDs that I almost never played. I copied my music collection on my computer hard drive and gave away the actual disks.

    I now rely on radio for most of my music needs. The WiFi radio broadcasts of Folk Alley are the closest match I’ve found to the music of TLGMS. I listen to a LOT of Folk Alley. I love the unpredictability of a radio broadcast, especially those of this site.

    Meanwhile, I’ve discovered a rich source of music videos on YouTube. I have a tendency to fall in love with certain music videos, in which case I play the YouTube of them as needed . . . like six times a day for something I’m really loving.

    Analogizing to alcohol, I’ve become an odd sort of drinker. I sip moderately from Folk Alley every day, but from time to time I binge like a stumbling drunk on YouTube. And it’s all free. Weird, but it works for me now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There must have been an awful lot of CDs you didn’t give away; I purchased a whole big grocery sack full of them (and could have had more if I had wanted it) for $5.00 on the last day of your estate sale.


  14. I nominate this entry by tim as the supreme evidence that the denizens of the trail have a certain mutual understanding: “drab it with a knofe.” I bet every single baboon knew what that meant. Perhaps this should be our motto?

    I also submit Northshorer ‘s response as evidence, that many of us are old geezers, but we haven’t lost our sense of humor: “all mai knovez r in the dashwacker and I give up drabbing for leant.”

    Aches and pains may plague us, but we’ll not be defeated by typos or autocorrect. Where else would you find such delightful exchanges?

    Thanks tim and Northshorer for contributing to a great day on the trail.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. i accidentally discovered missippi john hurt atr age 16 at the wax museum and have enjoyed ever since. didnt know it would turn out to be so special


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.