Friday, June 12, 2015

A Long Strange Trip With Charles Manson

Can it be that Charlie Manson is now eighty years old? Has it really been a half century since that chaotic summer when the murders he inspired shocked the nation? The calender don't lie boys and girls so the answer to both is yes. And this summer is seeing America's favorite cult leader creep back into the public eye.

Mostly thanks to a new NBC series called “Aquarius”. It stars X Files star David Duchonvy as Sam Hodiak a divorced, loner, cliche ridden LA police detective with a drinking problem. As Charlie Manson we have Gethin Anthony who plays Renly Baratheon on “Game of Thrones”.

It is a long strange trip spread out over 13 episodes and if you have Comcast on demand you can watch them all. The story takes place over a year before the infamous killings and revolves around a teenage girl that joins the Manson family. Her mother is an old flame of Hodiak who is now married to a lawyer politically connected to the California Republican party.

The story telescopes out from the Manson story and covers the social upheaval taking place. You've got everything here; Viet Nam, womens rights, gay issues, the black power movement, police corruption, drugs, sex and rock and roll. And therein lies the rub you've got this sprawling story spread out over 13 episodes but it's told in little three or four minute bites because every eight to ten minutes you get interrupted by a block of commercials.

Aquarius tries to be a cable show but fails due to the limitations of the format. It's also pretty bad like another NBC cable style series “American Odyssey” the storyline gets to be a little far fetched without the style to really bring it off. Now I like bad and far fetched but I'm not sure if this is a trip I'll be taking all the way til the end. I just finished with the fourth episode and I'm not sure I can get through another nine. I give it 2 and a half out of 5 stars.

My Manson curiosity got further tweaked when I came across this strange story on the Dangerous Minds site about a copy of the Beatles “White Album” and a bible autographed by Charlie, Tex and the gals up for sale. According to the story “The signatures were obtained by a gentleman who was at one time associated with the Manson family at the Spahn Ranch, I choose not to post his name here. He acquired them at the respective prisons where they are incarcerated in California, including Corcoran State Prison, and the California Correctional Institution for women”. Interesting sounds like Charlies trying to make some cash? For more info follow this link.

Could it be for a wedding? It seems as if the 80 year old Manson has found a hot twenty something that wants to be his bride. Although it seems as if she just wants his body. More here.

At this point I wondered if the whole bizaare Manson story could get any stranger. That's when I came across this 1971 radio broadcast on YouTube. Here's the title and a sentence from the discription and you'll see this must be the true outer limits. Mae Brussell - Charles Manson Was a Patsy - October 13,1971. “Destruction of the hippie movement is similar to the CIA's overthrow of Greece in April 1967.” 

Friday, June 5, 2015

BB King “Why I Sing The Blues” Briefcase Of Blues Pt. 2

A friend of mine recently gave me a briefcase containing 120 blues cassettes tonight we are making another excursion into it and posting about one of the tapes. Tonight we are listening to the late B.B. Kings album “Why I Sing The Blues”. This is a collection of recordings BB made for the ABC label in the late 1960's & 70's during his commercial heyday.

Now I'm not a huge BB King fan he's a legend and all but he never did much for me. So listening to this tape is as much much as I've done previously. And now I know why while there some good cuts on here like The Thrill Is Gone a lot of it is pretty average stuff and some cuts like Hummingbird suck. A lot of it is overproduced with horns and strings and BB doesn’t really put much into his delivery. Let's just say I'm not buying what he's selling.

Hey out of 120 tapes i'm not going to like all of them and it would be boring just to review the ones I like. Now I did go out and look for some live BB King videos to see if I could appreciate him more away from the studio. Blues in general is a lot better live thanin the studio Mr. King is no exception. While my overall opinion of him still stands I did find some decent live recordings. Here's a couple of clips including one where BB is sharing the stage with one of the true bluesmasters T-Bone Walker.

From 1968 "I've Got a Mind to Give Up Living"

With T-Bone Walker "Sweet Sixteen"

If you would like to take a look inside this briefcase full of blues here's a look inside.

You will find some live blues clips on our ChiTownSoundz YouTube station 

And to get the full MindsiMedia experience visit our web page.