Vinyl shockley, Fun, marsh-slogging deer and soda wisdom

February 22, 2013
Here is The Guide to a Happy Life on the wall at Surf Bagel. BY DENNIS FORNEY

People who have enjoyed the tight arrangements of music by vinyl shockley over the past several years will want to track down the group’s latest album called “vinyl covers.” The compilation includes some of the group’s favorite covers including “We Can Work It Out,” “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” “I’m Your Puppet” and several more. With a nucleus of Eddie Shockley and Kevin Walsh, the crowd of wonderful musicians did a masterful job in the studio adding extra juice to the classics that have been part of their lives for a long time.

One of the songs on the album - “You Left The Water Running” - has enough energy to power all the traffic lights on Route 1 and has long been one that I most look forward to hearing when I hear the group playing live. Google vinyl shockley to find lots of places to get “vinyl covers.” Also take a read of Eddie’s description of this new album at his site. Take some time too to look at the Marc Clery photographs of Shockley and Walsh in the blue lights of the new Indian River Inlet bridge. Marc shot the photos for the CD cover. His mastery of photography complements the mastery of the music inside the cover.

Fun and deer on the cape marsh

The first time I spent an hour or so with the “Some Nights” album by Fun came about two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon while slogging across the cape marshes. Earphones and nature.  Wonderful combo. The whole album is great. Fine melodies and lyrics, lots of harmony, complexity and counterpoint, all the good stuff. Just as I was taking a second listen to a song called “Why Am I The One,” four deer busted out of one of the marsh islands I was approaching. How about this for juxtaposition: Fun’s lead voice is singing “My life’s become as vapid as a night out in Los Angeles . . .” before he slides into a beautiful chorus that asks, “Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?” It really is a sweet song. But while he’s singing the first song I’ve ever heard with vapid in it, the four deer are high-tailing it for higher ground with showers of water roostertailing off each hoof. A nice experience.
Fun has influences of Queen (Freddie Mercury), Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and The Shins in their music which really works for my taste. Their song “We Are Young” won a Grammy recently for best song of the year. The album was also nominated for best of the year but was edged out by the newgrass work by Mumford and Sons, also very good.

Simple, pleasurable experiences

I stood in front of the soda fountain at Surf Bagel one afternoon this week. My cup filled with raspberry tea long before I moved. I like to read signs, and this one had lots of words. Wisdom. I’ve included a picture of it here. It’s probably too small to read, but if you have a magnifying glass it’s worth the effort. Titled A Guide To A Happy Life, it lays out a set of values to live by. The next-to-the last item advises: “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving & tolerant of the weak & the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these.”

Another section recommends: “Avoid zealots. They are generally humorless.” Can’t argue with that.

Just in case you’re wondering, the sign’s on the wall just to the left of the soda fountain - the fountain with raspberry tea, Dr. Pepper, root beer and Pepsi.

Simple. I told you so.

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