Theater of the Mind

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Theater of the Mind

Nothing is as vivid as our “theater of the mind”. Society moves at such a rapid pace that it’s almost impossible to just think. Many people could sit back and really listen to music back in the 60’s (and into the early 70’s). Many times, these recordings had a loosely-based theme that could be molded by the minds of anyone listening. It was a slower, yet still turbulent time.

Typically, today’s music is shoveled out in rigid formats that leave no place for imagination. There’s a reason for that… Populations are easier to manipulate if they’re kept ignorant and rewarded for it. There is generally the same homogenized sound on many songs, depending on the “genre”. Don’t stray! Form a marketing funnel. Play the game. Above all, don’t think!

Other Factors

Other factors exist for the the decline of critical listening. For one, the sheer speed of our lives leaves little quality time left. Popular music, for the most part, seems to be repetitious, lowest-common denominator-appealing garbage. Younger listeners many times don’t know know what they don’t know due to lack of school music curriculum.

The second is economic. People have to make a living, so with multiple jobs and families to support, many no time to research the daily news, let alone purchase and critically listen to music. I remember finding albums that sold two for the price of one back in the day. I was more apt to try one of these and found some real gems that way; future buying based on the initial choice. (Chicago comes to mind). YouTube has tons of stuff to hear, so it’s all-of-a-sudden affordable. Please support those you enjoy when you can though!

Third is the (lack of) culture. Instant gratification rules the day (for now, anyway). Loud, live, lit-up crowds provide that false sense of sophistication and belonging. But, you don’t need anyone else’s approval. You only need your own. Take the first step out of the sheeple… Listen boldly!

Critical Listening

Critical listening can take you to the theater of your mind. Remember, you are an individual, not a demographic. Since you might be socially isolating right now, think about using your powers to step outside the box and see what else (besides the mainstream slop being peddled) is out there. I guarantee rich audio rewards!

Question the origin of all you hear. Listen to it in that perspective. Make it personal.

Since you can’t go out right now, bring the real concert to you. The fancy lasers, etc. aren’t there. They’re in the theater of the mind!

Oh, I might add:

2020- The Great Awakening album by Skyypilot is out now. It’s almost two hours of theater for the mind. Wherever you get music… Thanks!

2020-The Great Awakening/Skyypilot

© 2020 J. Mark Witters Skyypilot Media

When I Was a Boy

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When I Was a Boy

When I was a boy, I grew up in a rural Illinois community where there was a strong sense of community and personal responsibility. My brother and I shared a paper route, played Little League baseball/basketball, and pickup football games. We could walk to the corner for an ice cream cone or to the nearby grade school to play basketball. We built a “fort” in our back yard with scraps provided by our carpenter neighbor right down our alley; camp out there in a tent in summer if we chose. As long as we checked in, we could ride our bicycles all over our little town of 10,000. Schools taught cursive writing. Legal immigrants from all over the world assimilated into our society. There were taught values.

Culture was rich in the 1960’s. I listened to the top 40 countdown from Chicago’s WLS radio. I spent some of my paper route money for 45 rpm singles. There were new sounds emerging as never before. Record album covers were works of art with lots of information inside and out. Often there were uplifting songs that would inspire us to go beyond our base inclinations to a promising future.Songs on those albums often were diverse from song to song- The Beatles (my favorite band) led the way.

The Beatles’ run was effectively ended when they deemed themselves independent from outside (corporate/government) influence. This made them politically and economically dangerous. Since that time, no other band could survive without touring. It keeps them too busy to cause a problem for the “machine”. They spent their time recording-real recording artists.

Times Have Changed

Indeed, times have changed. Postmodernism took over. Everything has been turned on its ear. Rationality is out. No cursive writing taught-too individualistic. Mob mentality. Hysteria. Fear-mongering. Herded like sheep. Central Bank Ponzi schemes. Lying, thieving politicians, businessmen, and media surround us. No one assumes personal responsibility. Chaos ensues because the globalist elite find us easier to control by division.

Sheep No More

The good news is WE ARE SHEEP NO MORE. People are waking up to the lies that are being fed to us by the fake media. We see how dishonest these politicians are by the impeachment spectacle perpetrated on America by those who clearly chose their power over any concern for problems their very policies have caused. Many actors, writers, academics, business people, musicians, artists, etc. provide aid and comfort to the true enemy-deception.

Peter Schweizer’s Profiles In Corruption details only part of this decades-old orchestrated scheme of theft and betrayal. We will soon learn of things that will boggle your mind. The boomerang turns. Stay tuned…

An Introduction to Q



Get your popcorn. Enjoy the show!

© 2020 J. Mark Witters Skyypilot Media

Comfort Music

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Sometimes it can be good to recharge your batteries with what I call “comfort music”. A rainy Saturday can spell new music adventures, well-worn paths, or both. The result is always rewarding, and opens up new avenues to explore, especially when starting my own compositions.

Starting Off

Starting off the day’s listening was Procul Harum’s 2003 “The Well’s on Fire”. Gary Brooker (Vocalist/Piano) is only remaining original member. The group was founded in London April, 1967. Their breakthrough hit, “Whiter Shade of Pale”, came out the next month to critical acclaim. It is an amazing song that holds up over fifty years since its release.

“Whiter Shade of Pale”- Procul Harum

Procul Harum often utilized classical music infused into rock, featuring both piano and Hammond organ. Their 1972 album Procul Harum Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is a masterpiece featuring the song “Conquistador”.

I saw one of their concerts in 1973 and can say Procul Harum was the finest ensemble I’ve witnessed. B.J. Wilson commanded drums like no one I’ve ever seen. They are a singular symphonic rock group that sounds strong to this day.

Next Up

Next up on the listening list came the late, great Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher. Rory formed the band Taste in Cork, Ireland, 1966. They were an excellent three piece blues-rock group that broke up shortly after the huge 1970 Isle of Wight Festival .

Rory then formed his own band that featured his virtuosity on acoustic/electric guitar, slide, finger-picking, blistering leads; even mandolin! His performances were always first-rate and high energy. Additionally, he wrote some great songs (see “A Million Miles Away”).

“A Million Miles Away” live-Rory Gallagher

Alas, we lost Rory Gallagher in March 1995 at only 47 years old from MRSA complications. His boundless enthusiasm lives on, however.

Comfort Music at its Finest

Just what is comfort music at its finest? For me it’s Percy Sledge. I listened to a ultimate greatest hits album that is a real soul-soother. What a voice!

From a humble hospital orderly who traveled with the Esquires Combo on weekends, he went on to sell millions of records- his first, a grand slam- “When a Man Loves a Woman” in 1966.

“When a Man Loves a Woman”- Percy Sledge

In 1965, Percy Sledge had just been laid off his construction job and his girlfriend left him to pursue a modeling career. He then wrote “When a Man Loves a Woman”-the first song he recorded! His organist and bassist helped him on the song, and the humble man gave them all of the songwriting credits!

Percy Sledge sang many great songs. I love them all. His voice was smooth as silk; and I’m convinced it has healing properties. He passed in 2015 at 74.

Last, But Not Least

Last, but not least, blues legend born McKinley Morganfield, but known world-wide as Muddy Waters. He grew up near Clarksdale, Mississippi and was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress there in 1941. He moved to Chicago in 1943 where he formed his own band. His first recordings were made in 1946.

Over the years, Muddy Waters recorded such classics as “I Just Want To Make Love To You”, “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “I’m Ready”, and many, many more classic blues songs. He had a deep, rich commanding voice that was instantly recognizable.

In 1977, Muddy teamed up with another blues rock legend for his “Hard Again” album. Johnny Winter (another great guitarist) produced this album. A couple of months later that same year, they would take the album’s band on tour in its support. A compilation of three live dates was released as Breakin’ It Up, Breakin’ It Down. Along with Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter were James Cotton – harmonica, vocals Bob Margolin – guitar, vocals Pinetop Perkins – piano, vocals Willie “Big Eyes” Smith – drums Charles Calmese – bass -masters all.

James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters- “9 Below Zero”- Live

What a great album to wrap up this listening tutorial for now…

Comfort music, indeed!

© 2019 J. Mark Witters Skyypilot Media