Welcome to Introgroove. I decided to take the blogosphere plunge to create a personal outlet for expressing some of the many rambling thoughts that pop into my head about music and other topics. As I mentioned in my initial post, opportunities to talk about such things in person with like-minded buddies are dwindling as I get older. It happens. But I’ve also discovered I’m not alone on really good music forums such as: http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/. Additionally, I’m spoiled by my wife who seems to always like the albums I play or at least not object to them, except for that one time she came home after a rough day and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins just didn’t seem to hit the spot.
Some aspects of my journey in music are rather common. I’m a child of the 1970’s and the youngest of four siblings. My two elder brothers, nine and ten years older, respectively, were directly influenced by our uncle who is a decade older than them. I in turn was exposed to the music by them. Somewhere there’s a short film Uncle Chris and some high school buddies made in 1967 with a Super 8 camera. It’s their own unique promo for A Day in the Life using Cheerios to illustrate the holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. I’ll have to find it and see if he really used 4,000 Cheerios. In a way, that is the seed of this blog.
As a child, our home was relatively harmonious in terms of music tastes. Perhaps we brothers didn’t care too much for our sister’s Olivia Newton John or John Denver records, and our mother certainly wasn’t very tolerant of Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, or KISS blaring from my brothers’ speakers in the dungeon. But there was common ground: The Beatles, Wings, Elton, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Chicago, Billy Joel, and maybe even a little Neil Diamond were a few that all of us could agree upon during long summer car trips from Missouri to Virginia to visit family. And I think I can speak for my three siblings when I say we were all fortunate to have had the exposure to classical music that Mom provided. I liked some of it then, and much more of it now though I can’t claim to be very knowledgeable about the genre despite the Music Appreciation class I took in college. “Oh yeah, I know this piece, it’s Wagner’s ‘Kill the Wabbit’!”
Now I’m 40-something and my music interests are all over the place: rock, folk, jazz (including Ethiopian jazz from the late 60’s thanks to the movie Broken Flowers), Western classical, Hindustani classical, reggae, blues, classic soul, and even classic country. Occasionally I’ll even take a little side trip into Vietnamese classical and other “world music,” as long as it isn’t recorded with a lounge beat. But I always come back to my core of favorites which has grown considerably over the years to include Dylan, Neil Young, King Crimson, Yes, Big Star, Fairport Convention (with the late folk siren Sandy Denny), the Byrds, and the greatly underappreciated solo Gene Clark among many others who weren’t spun by my brothers while the likes of Frampton, Boston, Skynyrd, REO Speedwagon, Supertramp, Dan Fogelberg, Kansas, Abba, and Toto were (and I like most of them too!). I now prefer solo Harrison over Lennon and McCartney, and the Quiet One is by far my favorite Beatle. Sorry Ringo, at least you’re still my favorite Beatle drummer (except on Dear Prudence, where Paul is the best).
So pull up a chair and let’s talk about some of the best tunes ever recorded. Feel free to tell me what you like and what you dislike or disagree with, and certainly correct any factual errors on my part. Just don’t be a meanie – not even a Blue one. I wouldn’t call myself an audiophile, at least not to the extent that I can speak intelligently about recording engineering or the minutia regarding various pressings of any given album. However, I am interested in learning about such things from people who can, so bring it on! My hope is that this site will bring introspection for some, while it’s an introduction for others. May visions of vinyl grooves spin in your mind, or may you at least find the subject matter groovy. Either way, it’s Introgroove. Thanks for visiting!