Music: August 2005 Archives

We're coming up on the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attack on America. As a way of remembering those whose lives were lost on that day, and those who, on behalf of our freedom and security, have paid the ultimate price since then, Tulsa will mark the date with a service of remembrance, featuring the performance of Mozart's Requiem. This solemn and moving setting of prayers for the dead, Mozart's last composition, will be performed at Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati, downtown Tulsa, on Sunday, September 11, 2005, beginning at 8:46 a.m., the time when the attacks began.

This continues a tradition that began in 2002, when Tulsa was part of the Rolling Requiem -- performances of Mozart's Requiem in every time zone around the world, each beginning at 8:46 a.m. local time. In 2003 and 2004, Tulsa continued the observance on its own with Faure's beautiful Requiem.

Admission is free, and while you may miss Sunday school at your own church, the performance will be over in time for you to make your 10:30 service. It's important to remember, and I hope you'll be in attendance.

This is happening awfully close to my next birthday and my dad's next birthday. Hint, hint.

(More here.)

Did you know "Steel Guitar Rag" has lyrics? And in German, no less.

(When I get around to renovating this blog, I'm adding a linkblog sidebar for just this sort of find.)

UPDATE: This is Leon, if you didn't know. And if you didn't know, I hope you don't claim to be an Okie!

I've been playing around with the Live365 online music service. In exchange for free registration, you get access to hundreds of individually programmed stations. There are some stations available only to paying premium customers. I've sampled traditional country, '80s New Wave (the soundtrack of my high school and college years), '60s oldies, among others.

Live365 now offers a weekly podcast, spotlighting an independent music label. This week's "SPOTcast" consists of three tracks from artists on Digital Musicworks International. The first single is "Better Watch Out," lead track from Tulsa power-pop artist Dwight Twilley's new album, 47 Moons. I wrote last week about Twilley's two free concerts in Tulsa, this coming Friday and Saturday. If you want to get a sense of the Twilley sound, you can download this "rockabilly-fueled romp," plus songs by DMI artists Redlightmusic and Headrush, via this link (15MB MP3 file).

There's a bit on the podcast, about 10 minutes in, about what makes DMI special: They don't manufacture and ship CDs. All their sales are through online music stores. The customer saves money -- an album costs $10 instead of $16 or more -- and the artist gets paid more than in a normal record deal.

More on Moog


Thanks to reader Don Hellwege for sending along a link to a interview with Bob Moog on NPR's Fresh Air, recorded in 2000. The program includes a medley of music using the synthesizer and a demonstration by Bob Moog of how various modulations and transformations are applied to a tone to produce the sound of a plucked string. Moog talks about how he got started working with electronics and about working with dad in the basement workshop. Moog also plays the theremin and describes how it's played. I enjoyed listening to it.

Unsynthesized appreciation


Bob Moog, inventor of the synthesizer, died on Sunday at the age of 71.
Charles G. Hill marks his passing with a couple of comments from those who recorded with the instrument in the 1960s.

At some point in my late pre-adolescence, I talked my parents into doing a Columbia Record Club 12-albums-for-a-penny deal. Two of the selections I chose were Switched-On Bach by Walter (as she then was) Carlos and Everything You Always Wanted to Hear on the Moog. ("Semi-conducted by Andrew Kazdin and Thomas Z. Shepherd.") The latter album included three Spanish-themed pieces by French composers ("España" by Chabrier, "Malagueña" by Lecuona, and "March of the Toreadors," from Carmen by Bizet) on one side, and Ravel's "Bolero" on the flip side, complete with synthesized applause at the end. For a good part of one school year, I drove my parents nuts by playing "España" -- every morning, all six glorious minutes of it -- as my wake-up music on my little JCPenney turntable. Scoff if you will, but it was my introduction to classical music. (This page has links to MP3s of "España" and "Malagueña".)

The instrument was still in its infancy when that album was recorded, in 1973. Every note had to be laid down separately and none of the instruments sounded quite like the analog instruments they sought to imitate. But that was part of the charm.

In the four decades since the first synthesizer made its debut, synthesizers have gone from analog to digital and come ever closer to perfectly imitating the sounds of vibrating brass and catgut. Families who would never have the space or room for a piano can buy an inexpensive keyboard that produces excellent sound. Bob Moog, who started out building theremins, returned in his later years to designing analog electronic instruments, including a new theremin and a new version of his Minimoog. The strange new sounds that were produced in pursuit of reproducing old sounds have proven to be interesting in their own right, and no doubt you can buy a digital synthesizer capable of almost perfectly imitating a Moog analog synth.

Leon Russell's in town

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I was looking at a listing of music acts performing in Tulsa in the next few months and discovered that the legendary Leon Russell is performing at this weekend's Full Moon Biker Rally at Eagle's Nest near Keystone Lake.

As I mentioned earlier, another Tulsan and legend of '70s rock, Dwight Twilley, is performing two free concerts in Tulsa this weekend. Twilley's first album was recorded for Russell's Shelter Records and Russell produced and played on several of Twilley's singles. The event poster mentions "special guests." You don't suppose Mr. Russell might drop in, since he's in the neighborhood?

Free Twilley!

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I have a bit of strange serendipity to report. This is going to seem like a pointless ramble, but it's going somewhere.

I was having a look yesterday at this amazing multimedia blog called Bedazzled, which features rarities from '60s and '70s pop music and pop culture -- outtakes, demo discs, and an early form of music video called Scopitones. The latest entry has four MP3s of the Bacharach/David tune "The Look of Love" -- an instrumental by Burt Bacharach, and vocal performances by Dusty Springfield, Isaac Hayes, and the Zombies. Be warned that you'll come across vulgar language -- particularly in the blog entries about the TV reality show "Big Brother" -- but there are some amazing finds, like this Rice Krispies commercial from 40 years or so ago. And how can you not like a blog that calls attention to its email link with a photo of Ernie Kovacs as Percy Dovetonsils?

So anyway, I'm scrolling through Bedazzled and find an entry with a demo by the Dwight Twilley Band, which was "[r]ecorded on 4 Track above Bill Pitcock's dad's Electrical shop."

I read this and wondered why the reference, without introduction or explanation, to Bill Pitcock, news co-anchor, with Clayton Vaughn, for Tulsa's KOTV Channel 6 in the '70s. (Tulsa TV Memories has a couple of photos of him here.) After some further web research I determined that Bill Pitcock IV played lead guitar with the Dwight Twilley Band and that the electrical shop where they recorded the demo belonged to his granddad, Bill Pitcock II. I concluded that TV anchor Bill Pitcock must have been III. The Bedazzled entry was evidently referring to Bill IV.

I remembered some years ago coming across Pitcock Electric, on Evanston Ave. just north of 15th Street, marvelling to see a commercial building in the midst of single-family homes and wondering about if there were any connection to the news anchor. So between appointments and events, I drove by to see if the building was still there. The shop appears to be gone, although there is still a large two-story garage/shop standing at the back of the lot. The sign is still there, but painted over, although you can still make out some of the letters through the white paint.

I drove a couple of blocks west to the Pie Hole Pizzeria to buy a slice of pepperoni and check my e-mail (they have free Wi-Fi). As I entered I saw a poster advertising a couple of free concerts later this month by... Dwight Twilley.

Now, I should admit at this point that until a few months ago, I had no idea who Dwight Twilley was. An aficionado of the power pop genre who was coming to visit Tulsa asked me if Dwight Twilley still lived here. My first thought was, I wonder if he's related to Howard Twilley, the all-star receiver for the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane and the Miami Dolphins. I am and have been woefully ignorant of the local pop music scene, both past and present. Once in college, when I booked a round trip ticket back to Tulsa, the travel agent enthused about guitarist and songwriter J. J. Cale; I returned a blank look.

You can get caught up, as I did, on Dwight Twilley's career with this detailed bio on his website. The band (Twilley, Phil Seymour, and Bill Pitcock IV) had a top 40 hit with their first single, "I'm on Fire," released in 1975.

Dwight Twilley will be performing in Tulsa on August 26th and 27th at The Venue, 18th Street and Boston Avenue -- doors open at 9 p.m. The concert is free but donations to the Children's Rights Council will be gratefully received. The poster bills the concert as "a Filmed and Recorded Retrospective Event," with "All the Hits" and "Special Guests." For fans of Twilley, power pop, or the Tulsa music scene of the '70s, it sounds like it will be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event.

Some Bob Wills links

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It's fun sometimes to try out the searches that lead people here and see where else they lead. A search for "Bob Wills music clips" led me to a Google directory page for the King of Western Swing, and that led me to:

You'll find more Bob Wills links in this entry from the 100th anniversary of his birth.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Music category from August 2005.

Music: July 2005 is the previous archive.

Music: September 2005 is the next archive.

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