Let’s start with a simple introduction this time around. The Carousels are a band from Scotland and Sail Me Home St. Clair is their second album. Looking at the album cover, you’d expect a ton of whiskey flowing around and a bunch of sea shanties. The whiskey might have been flowing around in jugs but sea shanties are nowhere to be found. You see, The Carousels sound like one of the better 70s style country rock bands from the West Coast with all these gentle strumming guitars, pedal steels, and ever-expanding harmonies. Scottish weather is not exactly known for too many sunny, balmy days but you wouldn’t guess it by listening to this album.
Enter any record store (yes, they are still called that) these days and you’ll have the impression that the CD stalls are dwindling, hit by reserving vinyl on one, and DVDs on the other. Or, try taking a stack of CDs that are collecting dust on your home shelves to a secondhand store. Chances are that when the owner sees that you are bringing CDs, he won’t even let you through the door, let alone give you anything that will even resemble a decent price for them. Who would have thought that as we were entering the 21st century CDs were practically everywhere, still hailed as the best ever advancement in sound reproduction? These days, mirroring the dooming fate of vinyl LPs in mid-80s, it seems people are just leaving entire CD collections by the dumpster, hoping that somebody will be merciful and at least save the music recorded in those laser tracks. The official data is no less damning. According to LA Weekly, in the period from 2001 to 2014, only in the US the sales of CDs dropped by 80% and LP sales are up a staggering 800% since 2004. What did the hell happen?
It was one of those standard New Year’s resolutions that always pops up in your mind, but you never really get to it - get a full medical check-up and keep it a regular thing. After all, it was practically ten years since I got one, and I did it anyway because my then-new employer requested I get one. So, for that 17th ‘anniversary’ I finally decided to do one. And all I wanted was just a regular checkup.
Remember that great soul hit “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” done right by both Marvin Gay and Gladys Night? Well, that is how throughout the history of rock music, but particularly from the time that albums became the norm, the news of new albums started to roll out and tickle the imagination of the fans and the general public. Usually, this was done to create a buzz and benefit the musicians, with singles and musical snippets coming to the surface to even further strengthen the interest. Sometimes, though, the artists tried to keep everything in secret, not sure themselves what they are going to do with the music they made, but the news got out anyway.
H.R. McMaster, Donald Trump’s new National Security Adviser, not only has military field experience in Iraq but has done thorough research on quite a number of global regions. His study on the war in Vietnam, "Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam"was his Ph.D. thesis at UNC, but from today’s viewpoint has more of a historical value.