Saturday, January 07, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: A little night music

This week's edition of the Big Show is best heard on something running on vacuum tubes, in the dark.

This week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is best heard in the middle of the night, where magic dwells.

This week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth features night music --
jazz music -- the way it used to be.

Come with us to yesterday, to the night, to a faint glow in a dark room. Come with us to find where magic hides itself amid blues in the night.

I HAVE THOUGHTS on this subject, and I'm not shy about sharing. Here's an excerpt from something I wrote a while back about magic, and music, and glowing vacuum tubes in the dark. Yeah, this is what this week's show is about:
Today, an iPod will give you music. Yesterday, this old Zenith filled your house with magic.

I know. I sound like a broken record (another lost metaphor only fossils like me get). But if you ask me -- and you didn't . . . tough -- one of the tragedies of our age is the absence of magic.

Where is the magic in an iPod? Where is the magic in YouTube? Sure, YouTube is a great tool . . . and, in some cases, a forum for all manner of tools.

And sure, You Tube can offer up stuff you never could have imagined -- or perhaps imagined that you'd never see again.

But it's not magic.

Kind of like the iPod, a zillion websites, Facebook, Twitter and whatever they'll think of next. All useful. All interesting. All with the potential to while away countless hours.

But magic? No, not magic.

Magic is a multicolored dial glowing in the dark. Magic is the five tubes inside an old Zenith tombstone radio casting a backlight glow, silhouetting the angles and curves of a wood-veneer case.

Magic is the rich sound of a six-inch speaker fed by heavy metal and hot filaments.

Magic is the smell of ozone wafting through the room

Magic is sitting by yourself, listing to mellifluous voices on distinguished radio stations in distant cities, each with its own distinctive "sound." Each beaming the life of a far away place, a distinct local culture into the ionosphere and then back to earth, into a long-wire aerial, through the circuitry and out the cone speaker of a 1936 model-year Zenith radio set.

Made in the U.S.A.

Sitting in a darkened room. Singing into your ear and speaking to your soul.
IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

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