Interview Narrative with Olympia, WA musician and friend, Joe Cason

Joe, 64, lives in Olympia, Washington with his partner, Mary Jane. He is an keyboardist with the band, The Quartet. Over the years, he has learned how to say no, so now he only plays gigs that he feels right about.

As a youth, Joe’s first defining exposure to music started with piano lessons. With a couple years of practice, he became a fairly good piano player. Joe was also a very active organized sports player too. So when he was in the sixth grade his father gave him a choice. Either he could continue piano lessons or play baseball, so Joe choose baseball.

In the eighth grade while in the cafeteria at his junior high school, Joe was again struck by the music bug as he heard a band practicing on a stage behind a curtain. Along with this, there were other things also influenced him to get back into music such hearing what live electric guitar music in 1965 sound like, the Beatles, and the band, Bennie and the bad guys. Finally he really care about the music. He started to play piano again as there was a piano in the house. He also began using his ears to recreate songs a technique he still uses today when he rehearses with his band.

In 1973, Joe and other musicians, formed the band the No Toy Boys. The No Toy Boys were a Greatful Dead cover band. As Joe likes to say, “A museum for the cover band.” For six years, he was working musician traveling to California, Oregon, Washington and Western Canada. His band, The No Toy Boys, were famous for playing the music that LSD partakers like grooved too. Even partaking in a bit themselves while playing. Eventually The No Toy Boys stopped playing full time and became fairly well known in the Olympia, Bellingham, and Seattle area.

In addition to playing music, Joe is also a music composer and writer. Joe’s process for writing music comes from a place of desperation. He finds that when he is in a situation that he is feeling stress the music comes to him clearly and these feelings allows him to take the things he needs to say and put them down as content for a song.

When  Joe is not working as a Hazardous Waste Inspector for Washington State Department of Ecology, he is composing an album called,”Notes from Sea Level” with his close friend. Bob. The idea for this album came about in 2011-2012. During this time, Joe thought he was not going to be around for very much longer due to  cirrhosis of the liver, so he began this project as an artifact. With passing time, the album is becoming more elaborate. When the album is complete, Joe plans to make two hundred copies of the album and hand them to out to close friends and college radio stations.

Image- The movie poster from the movie, Explorers

Thexplorers-alien-movie-posteris image is a movie poster from the 1986 movie, Explorers. In this movie, three boys to build a spaceship out of junkyard parts. They fly the spaceship beyond our planet and come in contact with an alien race. The boys are amazed to find out that the aliens can speak English and have been exposed to our pop culture and language due to our radio waves traveling through space.

I chose this image because it reminded me of the concept of the Golden Record project.  In the image, you can see the smaller alien holding something that appears to be a microphone and the larger alien is to father of the smaller alien. The image in the poster symbolizes an exaggerated scenario compared to if aliens actually obtained the Golden Record located on Voyager.

Images- Suge and Celie at a Juke Joint in the movie, The Color Purple

suge This image is from the 1986 movie, The Color Purple. The image shows singer, Suge, singing to the seated woman, Celie. The woman, Celie, is an abused, overworked housewife raising two kids that are not her own. Suge, the singer, is a boarder at Celie’s house. At Celie’s house, Suge sees firsthand the abuses that Celie has to go through at the hands of her husband and stepchildren. Because of things that she has seen, Suge decided to write a song for Celie to inspire her and encourage her to keep going.

I picked this image because when I look at the image I see two women encouraging each other. I see the singer attempting to show Celie that she matters to someone and that she has at least one friend in this world.

Images-The Lift Scene in the movie, Dirty Dancing

In this image from the movie, dirty dancing you see the character Johnny played by Patrick Swayze and the character Baby played by Jennifer Grey dance. This image of JohDirtyDancingnny lifting Baby is one of the most iconic dance scenes of the 1980s. The lift in the photo has been parody and re-made quite a few times. Some of those re-makes were for comedy relief and some were to pay homage to a great dancing scene.

I chose this image because this scene in Dirty Dancing is one of my favorites and I never get tired of this part of the movie. This scene in the movie symbolizes that the character baby has finally reached womanhood and adulthood. Seeing this image as a youth just made me want to rush into adulthood faster so I could experience some of the freedom that can be seen in this one image.

News-‘Star Wars’ Doesn’t Belong to George Lucas. It Belongs to the Fans.

‘Star Wars’ Doesn’t Belong to George Lucas. It Belongs to the Fans.

This is a New York Times article discussing the relationship between George Lucas’s Star Wars and its fans. The article attempts to say that the legacy of Star Wars has eclipsed the creator, George Lucas and entered an arena of fandom that says that the films are ‘property’ of the die-heart loyal Star Wars film goers as any criticisms that they make to the films influences the how the stories are perceived to a general audience.

I found this article interesting as this relationship between Star Wars and its fans has similarities to some of the readings we have discussed in class such as classic rock and roll and the inspiration that Tibetan refugees find in in it.

I can understand that spiritually the Stars Wars fan have a connection to the work, but I think that the ‘fanboy’ criticism goes too far in that it affects the content that the writers of the Star War franchise turn into movies.

Also, because George Lucas has sold the rights of Star Wars to Disney. Due to Disney being the new holders of the Star Wars franchise, the merchandising is fashioned in a way that is dictated by the fans also. It is understandable that a huge business like Disney would cater to the fans of the franchise as this will in sure that the company makes money.

Personally, I think there is a fine line between catering to fans and producing material that has integrity. I think catering to the fans when it comes to merchandising toys, video games, and fashion is fine, but when it comes to the writing movies deviating from ‘fanboy’ inspired storylines will make for more compelling, exciting cinema.

Journal- Jammin’ in JC Blues and BBQ Festival 2015

On September 26, Saturday, my husband and I went to Jammin’ in JC blues and barbecue festival. The festival was held in downtown Junction city. The entire section of Heritage Park was closed and reserved for the event.

We stayed to listen to some of the bands. I thought that one of the more interesting bands that we were able to catch were the Pina brothers. It was interesting because the brothers seem to be in their midteens but were playing music from such bands as ZZ Top, Eric Clapton and AC/DC. It was also interesting because I did know if it was to show their age but they seem to be into the music with more guitar solos. Perhaps it could be that audiences normally prefer music that is complex and good for foot stomping. I also felt that the music seemed almost robotic but I could be biased because I expected there to be an old 80-year-old black man on stage holding a guitar named Lucille.

Aside from the music, they also had a BBQ competition. Junction City hosted teams from as far as Nebraska. We tried some of the barbecue and it was really good. The brisket went really well with an ear full of mid-Western blues.

News-Deluge Contaminates And Destroys Ballet School

Deluge Contaminates And Destroys Ballet School

This is an NPR article about the Columbia Classical Ballet company in Columbia, South Carolina  Because the building has been destroyed and will have to be gutted, this company has no space  for rehearsals and classes. The company also has lost all of the costumes and music and anything that’s in school to then performing shows. The difficulty of rebuilding the company lies in the fact that the insurance company will cover fifty percent of the building cost. Because of this, alumni of the Columbia Classical Ballet Company has stepped up in a fundraising for the rebuilding and resupplying of the company. Amazingly enough the article also highlights that in two weeks the ballet company will be performing the show.

I chose this article because the story shows that human beings can do anything when they been together. I also chose article because in light of the flooding in South Carolina there hasn’t been as much exposure as the flood in New Orleans and the hurricane in New Jersey. From this article is clear that South Carolina has received great damage from the flood and performing arts organizations such as the Columbia Classical ballet company are still reeling from the damage.