It is certainly no secret that I have gone into this millennium, kicking and screaming, with scornful distrust of any technological advancements that require the categorical replacement of scarce, tangible and often hard-sought relics with perishable reproductions or pitiful replications. Vinyl begat the eight-track, and the eight-track begat the cassette tape, and the cassette tape begat the compact disc, and the compact disc begat the MP3, and all the while the artwork shrinks, and the liner notes disappear, and the historical record all but vanishes.
That said, I believe the affordable USB turntable (mine came from Costco for a scant $79.99) to be man's greatest achievement in the first decade of the 21st century (now being referred to as the "aughts," as in, we really "aught" not to have let that spoiled idiot be our president for almost a whole damn decade).
Hyperbole aside, thanks to this simple device I can now archive and enjoy thousands of rare recordings, such as Arthur Alexander's A Shot of Rhythm and Soul (which I wouldn't even know existed had it not been saved from a rubbish heap at a thrift store). Never heard of Alexander? Well, he just so happens to be the only songwriter, ever, to have been covered by the Beatles ("Anna"), the Stones ("You Better Move On"), Elvis ("Burning Love") and Bob Dylan ("Sally Sue Brown"), making him, arguably, the single most under-credited man in the history of rock 'n roll. Alexander passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack in 1993, just days after his first "comeback" concert. Equally unexpected, he can be found online today at myspace.com/arthuralexander.
Now, I am certainly no audiophile, but the recordings capture enough of the ambience of the record as to preserve that "vinyl feel" — but with portability and the security of easy backup and not having to repeatedly handle priceless artifacts. See, the future ain't as bad as I thought it would be!
And speaking of the future, and covers, and Dylan, local singer/songwriter Jason Bennett has announced plans to compile a charity tribute to Old Man Zimmerman. For Peakin' on Dylan (a working title), Bennett, along with a team of panelists that include Sirius Radio's Michael Tearson, music historian Leland Rucker and Gazette editor and reporter Bill Reed, will select 10 to 12 tracks that best represent our region's affinity for the man Bennett lovingly refers to as "his Bobness." Submissions can be sent, on disc, to Eleven Mile Records, P.O. Box 38581, CS, CO 80937. All profits will go to a to-be-determined local charity; more info on Jason Bennett can be found at bennettfolk.com.
It's a little slow around town this week, but I do have one hot tip for all you hep cats. This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society, with concerts and festivities featuring 12 sets of music from more than 60 musicians, Friday through Sunday, at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort (3225 Broadmoor Valley Road) and Olympian Plaza Reception & Event Center (975 S. Union Blvd.).
And finally, to paraphrase a better writer than myself, the rumors of the Rocket Room's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Well, maybe not greatly, but, as of Tuesday's court date, the bar has been granted what co-owner Dave Cantrell called a "10-day stay of execution," possibly enough time to get all its ducks in a row. As of press time no specific events were booked, but I have been assured that, by the time you read this, there will be plenty of rock and/or roll on the docket. Furthermore, if your band is itching for a gig, and can pull a couple dozen of your finest, "drinkiest" friends, hit them up for a slot, myspace.com/therocketroom.
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