Independence Day

I had today off from work, my son had spent the night at a friend’s house, and my wife had to work the morning shift. I had the perfect opportunity for uninterrupted writing. So I played Morrowind most of the morning, then played guitar in the afternoon. Well, it’s not writing, but I do need to work on the songs for Better Than Nothing in case they invite me to join the group. Even the Morrowind stuff was pretty creative; I’m really getting into the meat of the main quest now, and some of the tasks on that quest are getting tougher, so accomplishing them requires some creativity.

In the evening, we went to CU’s Folsom Field for their annual concert and fireworks display. Because of the Colorado wildfire situation and the drought conditions, the City of Boulder made the responsible decision to cancel the fireworks display this year, and the promoters chose to present a laser light show instead. Usually the event features a high-profile local band, Chris Daniels and the Kings, but this year they had the Colorado Music Festival orchestra. The orchestra played well, but making the sound from a small orchestra fill a college football stadium is a challenge, and the amplified sound of the orchestra was unavoidably tinny. The laser show was good, though short. Considering the fact that they only had a couple of weeks to put the whole thing together after the fireworks ban, I’d say they did a very good job.

If they ever do this again, though, I won’t sit in the same spot. We were directly below the stadium scoreboard in the upper bleachers. This is the ideal place to view a fireworks display, because you don’t have to crane your neck as much. However, with lasers shooting over the crowd from the other end of the stadium, and with us directly across from the emanation point, we got quite a bit of laser amplification when the lines crossed. The lasers weren’t dangerous to our eyes, but the constant flashing made more than a few guests in our area leave shortly after the beginning of the show.

When we got home, I finished reading Zen Guitar. I hope to post a review of that on this site tomorrow and also send a review of last week’s Dan Fogelberg concert to the Living Legacy website.

Fogelberg and Inspiration

Gee, where should I start? Today felt very creative, primarily because of the Dan Fogelberg concert that I attended at Red Rocks. The weather was perfect, the seats were great, the talent was mindblowing. (Those sentences were weak.) I took nearly 500 words of Graffiti notes on my Handspring Visor, using the backlight after the sun went down. The lady next to me finally leaned over and asked me what I was doing. I explained that I was taking notes about the concert and the set list so I could post a review on the Living Legacy website. “Good,” she said. “I was hoping that you weren’t trying to conduct business in between songs.” I smiled, and for some reason I felt like a real writer. I hope to have the concert review written by the end of the weekend, and I will probably post a version of it on this site, as well.

I made it a point not to play guitar when I got home from the concert. I have learned something about attending inspirational events; it’s important for me not to go home after a concert or reading and immediately try to write, even though I may feel inspired to. When I do, the stuff I write or play pales in comparison, and I dive from an emotional high to a depressed, inadequate feeling. The poem “Inspirational Inadequacy” came from my experience after attending the 2000 World Horror Convention here in Denver. Rather than trying to capitalize on that inspirational energy right away, I’m working on saving that energy up and drawing upon it later. I think this relates to Wordsworth’s “spontaneous overflow” quote again:

“I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of re-action, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind.”

— Wordsworth, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” 

No Resemblance Whatsoever

No Resemblance Whatsoever

By: Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg

Type: Light Jazz/Rock

Hot Tracks:

  • Forever Jung
  • Todos Santos
  • The Face of Love
  • Windward

It’s been twenty years since Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg blurred the boundaries of rock and jazz with Twin Sons of Different Mothers, proving that an artist need not be bound to one form of music. Since that time, light jazz/rock has become a complete radio format all its own, and this album should find a happy home there. That is where Fogelberg gets most of his airplay these days, and although his catalog covers everything from electric rock to jazz to bluegrass, he seems to have accepted his niche happily.

The supporting members of the band are solid, featuring strong studio musicians Neil Stubenhaus (bass), Michael Landau (electric guitar), Larry Cohn (keys) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums). Fogelberg demonstrates his musical acumen on a variety of instruments, as usual, and seems to have been influenced vocally by Aaron Neville recently. (If you don’t find this to be appealing, you may want to avoid this version of “Sunlight.”)

Weisberg, though not very much in the spotlight recently, has lost none of his smooth, fluid flute skill. His style still complements Fogelberg’s compositions well, and more than makes up for the Neville-style vocals on “Sunlight.”

This album doesn’t feature any songs as energetic as “Power of Gold,” from Twin Sons, but that is not surprising. Fogelberg’s current audience seems to be composed mainly of light rock listeners, so harder songs might not have the appeal that they might have once had for him. I’m sure both musicians are still capable of rocking out on occasion, but that was not the intent of this album.

It is good to see that whatever legal or personality conflicts existed between these two virtuosos has passed. Any conflict that robs people of the product of these two talents is to be avoided at all costs.

This album is excellent to play by firelight, in romantic situations or any time that you just wish to unwind and relax. Sit back, close your eyes, and let the strains of Tim Weisberg’s flute carry your troubles away on the air.

Rating (out of a possible five):