Another version of “One Night in Vegas” for 50/90 2022 – this one with spoken alternatives onstage and backstage. This captures one night in Vegas at the last Elvis Festival at the Las Vegas Hilton, which was the original International Hotel.
We got a backstage tour of the stage, dressing room, and the Elvis suite in the Penthouse, along with meeting Memphis Mafia Jerry Schilling and Jose Esposito. The evening was capped off by an Elvis artist performance, complete with the Sweet Inspirations and the Stamps.
So when I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area, at one point I was freelancing as a production editor at McGraw Hill Publishers in Berkeley, who were leasing a suite from Fantasy Studios, at least they were in the same building so I’m assuming that’s how it worked.
The three things I loved about that:
Working for a publisher
The sunset views of the Golden Gate Bridge where we stopped what we were doing every night to take a breathtaking look
Fantasy Records (we would sometimes see big names arriving in limos)
Well, I hadn’t thought about any of this in quite a while until I was listening the other night to KCSM, a San Francisco Bay Area Jazz station on the internet (my favorite Jazz station), and she mentioned Fantasy Records, the home to many, many jazz artists, not to mention bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival, etc). And she mentioned one of the artists had recorded a particular song at Fantasy Records. It’s now gone, but the memories live on.
Who knew all these years later I’d be a published author and creating/producing my own music?
So I’m listening to the Elvis station on SiriusXM in the car yesterday and while “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” is playing, I’m thinking how dated the production is and how I’d love to hear it updated. Then, the next track comes on and it’s a remix version of that song by Chromeo for their “Memorial Day Remix” show. It absolutely blew me away! I love remixes!! Not only for listening but for producing.
First off, let me say I’m now on book 6 (The Woman in the Bedroom) of the Alexandra Mallory Psychological Suspense Series by Cathryn Grant. I have mixed feelings about the series. For one thing, the heroine is a serial killer, which is a bit of a turnoff for me. But I am drawn to her because I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 23 years and it really takes me back there. As fun as it was in my younger days, I’m so glad to be gone now.
Cathryn really nails much of the Silicon Valley/Bay Area culture, although misses it in subtler ways, maybe because she didn’t live it in the early days like I did. And I’m pretty sure most people there are not serial killers – lol! But now that the character has left the Bay Area, my fascination with the series may have ended… or not. This series is addicting.
Now I’m pursuing music madly in preparation for 50/90, practicing the keys. My first instrument was an electronic keyboard that I got for my 7th birthday. So I guess I’ve been an electronic musician since then. I tried the violin, guitar, and piano but my favorite was the electric keyboard. Decades passed but my love for electronic musicianship has returned, stronger than ever. And with the tools available now, it’s simply incredible.
But with that comes a lot of things to learn, to try and master. It can feel overwhelming as we wonder if we’ll ever get any of it right. I think we often hold back, fearing that we’re not good enough. But it is so important to get your music out there. That’s how you grow. And so I thought I’d post this encouraging video from Studio Live asking the question, “Does Natural Talent Matter in Music?”
Had to share the music I discovered on MixCloud. As a music lover of all genres, I have to say rock will always hold a special place in my heart. It may be just the theme I need for this upcoming road trip.
Check out this mix:
Fernando Cabral Sacadura from DJs on the Rocks, Portugal:
I told myself I really should focus on Ableton Live and Push in 2022. That I really mustn’t waste the money. That it should be considered my Christmas present, even though I got Push during 50/90. Only I was too busy writing 60 songs to do much with Push.
And so today I had a blast playing around with programming drums and bass in Push, throwing a Max Live reverb onto the vocals. It’s just a start, but at least I’m moving forward.
I was reading one of those end of year posts somewhere online and it was stating how dance music is important and how difficult it has been during this time with the clubs closed. And perhaps there were other ways we could dance.
That got me to thinking about why I love to create dance music when so many articles and documentaries talk about the importance of storytelling in song and that’s what stirs people’s emotions and that’s the number one goal in creating music.
Ouch! I started wondering why I love dance music. Am I that vapid? I had never thought of myself that way and I don’t think anyone else would either. Am I avoiding emotion? Hmmm… and then I thought about my history with dance music taking me back to my pre-teen/teen years. Like whenever I got to be in the house alone, I would crank up the family stereo and dance to my favorite music. As I got older, that meant staying home when the family went off on camping trips.
I couldn’t always have the stereo and the house to myself, so when I reached driving age, my car became my dance floor.
And by the time I was in my twenties, Disco was big and I pretty much lived at Earthquake Ethel’s. So why was that?
My dance partners thought I wanted something other than dancing. “I can tell you want me by the way you dance.” That was the furthest thing from my mind and became the inspiration for the “Don’t Touch Me” song I wrote for 50/90 this past year.
So why did I love to dance back then? No doubt music and drums run through my veins, having discovered I come from a big musical family. But it’s more than that natural love for moving to music. Off the dance floor I was the bookworm, shy, quiet, introverted, awkward in conversation, don’t look at me kind of person. On the dance floor I felt powerful, larger than life, in my element, somebody to pay attention to, comfortable in the spotlight, confident. Sexy.
So is dance music important? You bet it is. So no matter your plans for tonight, you can always find a dance floor, whether in a crowd (stay safe), home alone, or in your car.