It Was Fifty Years Ago Today…

Sgt. Pepper Alternate

An alternate take from the Sgt. Pepper album cover photo shoot [Photo by Robert Fraser]

Traditionally, the articles for the Ad-lib To Fade section have been short and sweet. But how often does one of the most famous rock albums turn fifty? On June 1, 1967, after spending months in the studio, The Beatles released its landmark album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Fifty years later, this album still generates lots of ink, as music journalists strive to say why it is or isn’t important. While there’s no need for me to add anything to that debate, I’m still inclined to add a personal note to the proceedings to celebrate the occasion, especially since I’m only a few months away from the same milestone birthday.

But for me, my Sgt. Pepper moment wasn’t fifty years ago, it was thirty-five. In 1982, I was a fifteen-year music fan living in Jamaica with only a rudimentary knowledge of The Beatles, who had fallen apart before I’d turned three. But I can literally remember the exact moment when I became a Beatle fan. I was over at a friend’s house playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time, when he put on the Sgt. Pepper LP. I had heard the first side of the album before, at my brother’s college apartment in Canada, but my dad made me take it off when we got to George’s Indian-music track “Within You, Without You.” So we bailed out before I got to hear the album’s magnificent coda, “A Day In The Life”,  and it was another couple years before I got to hear that thrilling, chaotic orchestral bridge, which, to this day, still doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve ever heard. And still manages to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

So thank you, “Chippy” McGregor, for changing my life by playing a phenomenal four-minute song. And thank you, Beatles, for being so damn creative…

Check out what I wrote about Sgt. Pepper for its fortieth anniversary, in the June 2007 issue of Type M…

 

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Sunfest 2017 Overview

Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley performing on Day 3 of Sunfest 2017

While you await the publication of the 2017 edition of Sheldon’s Sunfest Diary, feel free to get an overview of the festival from an article published on our blog, The Music Type.

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Why We Write [Intro, Inaugral Issue]

Just what the Internet needs, another music news website, right? So why should you, the busy music fan stop to read the articles here over say, those in Rolling Stone and Q? Well, thankfully the music biz is big enough for all of us, so you can think of this as my humble attempt to shed some light on a few remote corners of the galaxy that the Imperial forces don’t usually getto. So while I won’t limit this site to coverage of Florida bands, I also won’t waste a lot of bytes on stories being covered to death elsewhere — unless I feel like it, of course, since I am master of my own domain, after all…

Type M wasn’t my first choice for a name — this being the Internet, all the good addresses are taken — but in retrospect it seems like the right one. Just as Type A personalities tends towards perfectionism, and Type T personalities are thrill-seekers, Type M is my self-coined label to describe my innate need to be involved in music on multiple levels. In other words, music is in my blood, and lately my my work in the service of other editors has done little to satisfy my cravings. So hopefully I can do a good enough job in my self-appointed new role to make you want to come back and check out future editions of this site. And since Time Magazine just named You 2006 Person of the Year  for making the Web into a group effort, I look forward to getting your feedback on the articles you read here. Even if we disagree on matters of taste, I believe we can start with a mutual love of music and take things from there. So in the immortal words of Ric Ocasek, “let’s go”…

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Why We Write — Again [Intro, Summer 2012 Issue]

 

Does the fact that this is a music-oriented magazine make it okay for me to toot my own horn? Earlier this year, I had the pleasure on two separate occasions to run into local musicians who then introduced me to their friends as both a fellow musician and a “really good writer”. I must admit I was really touched by those compliments, particularly since at the time I hadn’t done any music journalism in a while. The previous incarnation of this magazine hadn’t been published since 2009, and its companion blog, The Music Type, had only been updated twice in 2010. So to me the kudos were strengthened by the fact that the passage of time hadn’t diminished both musicians’ impressions of my writing.

But I relay these unexpected compliments not to give myself a big head, but to explain why I’m reviving an online magazine that only had a modest readership in the best of times. Unlike the performance of music, writing is a solitary craft. I liken it to the late-night deejays of old, spinning records after midnight, all the time wondering “Is there anybody out there?” So receiving unexpected praise for this thing I do, mainly in my living room, all by myself, feels like reason enough to keep on doing it.

But that’s not to say that the wider potential audience  from having Type M join the The Music Type on the WordPress site didn’t also factor into its revival. Shortly after TMT’s 2008 debut, its visitor totals soon surpassed that of its parent magazine, so I’ve been thinking of this move for a while now. Add to that the numerous choices for look-and-feel, and a re-hosting on WordPress seemed like a no-brainer.

So I believe this move would have happened sooner or later, but those unexpected compliments certainly helped pave the way. And I’m not so modest that I wouldn’t mind a few more of those, either, so feel free to check out the writing here and let me know what you think…

S.I.R., Sept. 2012, Boynton Beach, Florida

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Sheldon’s Sunfest Diary 2012

Sign display of the Sunfest map. Photo by Empress K of Reggae Reflections

This year’s annual roundup of West Palm Beach’s downtown music-and-arts festival benefits tremendously from photo passes courtesy of my partnership with Empress K, editor and principal photographer of the website Reggae Reflections.

Day 1: Counting Crows

Even though this wasn’t one of the days for which I had a  photo pass, I did manage to take a few notes and post a review of festival opener Counting Crows to the Type M blog, The Music Type.

Day 2: Wiz Khalifa, Herbie Hancock, Snoop Dogg

The second night of the festival was about rap performers young and old, and a jazz legend.

Day 3: Sunfest 5K (mostly)

Didn’t see much of the music this evening as I was too busy sweating my way through a beautiful road course along the Intracoastal, Hey Sunfest, I know you’re looking for the dramatic ending, where the runners finish the race by entering the festival in early-evening full swing. But having a 5K race in South Florida in May start at 5:00 p.m. is just brutal. Especially when you had such few water stations along the way. So between running the race (slower than normal) and recovering from it (including showering at a Clematis St. gym), I didn’t get much time to take in the music acts. Other than a couple of songs by Creed, who didn’t do it for either Empress K or myself. So that was basically an early Sunfest evening.

Day 4: SOJA, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Third Eye Blind

Started Sunfest Saturday mid-afternoon for the  reggae double-header of SOJA from D.C. and Michael Franti & Spearhead from San Francisco.  Then after a couple hours respite in Clematis and CityPlace, it was back into the festival for classic rockers Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, followed by pop-rock headliner Third Eye Blind.

Day 5: Pitbull, Foreigner, Matisyahu, The Fray

On the final day of the festival, Empress K and I took in a little bit of everything. Another mid-afternoon start, this time for the Latin hip-hop of Miami native Pitbull. After a few hours escape to newly-opened casual seafood eatery Tinfish, we went back in for a sampling of the classic-rock of Foreigner, followed by the peaceful reggae of Hebrew artist Matisyahu and the piano-driven rock of The Fray.

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