Most men lead lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau1
Recommendation To Start Your Day
While instrumentals are not my forte (the first tune I invariably associate with “instrumentals” is Wipe Out – the original 1962 version by The Surfaris, not the covers by The Ventures or The Beach Boys), I have a recommendation from that genre that I found helpful this morning in dealing with that feeling of quiet desperation.
And, if you are in a similar mood or if you just want to start your Saturday with something soothing but not sedating, something contemplative, something to evoke a cherished memory or two, this may be just the thing.
Carlos Vamos and Thanks For The Dance
Carlos Vamos is a Spanish guitarist who has garnered some notoriety for his guitar tapping skills, has put out a few CDs, and does some session work. He spends most of his professional time on tour, busking (as in the bottom photo) in Europe and playing in festivals.
He recently emailed me, via this blog, that there was a video of his performance of “Thanks For The Dance” from Anjani’s Blue Alert on YouTube. Well, I’ve been busy lately and, in any case, instrumentals are not a high priority on my playlists so I had not clicked on the YouTube link to this presentation until today.
When I played the piece this morning, however, I found it especially gratifying and comforting.
Listening to Vamos’s rendition this morning did seem to ease my current stresses, but it’s not just a matter of simply distracting me from my worries.2 And, no doubt my admitted bias for anything associated with the Blue Alert album influenced my appraisal, but I see that as an appropriate response to a good match between a song selection and a performer’s style.
Carlos Vamos: More Information
Carlos Vamos has a website at Carlos Vamos Gate and other videos on YouTube. There is also an interesting interview with him at Bridge Guitar Reviews: Carlos Vamos & Tappenade, my favorite exchange from which follows:
Q: Do you sleep with your guitar and what would life be without music, your guitar…?
A: I don’t sleep with my guitar anymore because my health insurance doesn’t pay for anti conception pills.
As far as I can determine, Carlos, regrettably, does not include “Wipe Out” in his otherwise extensive repertoire.
Anjani and Anjani Thomas: An Aside On Names
Anjani and Anjani Thomas are, for the purposes of the Heck of a Guy blog, synonymous names, both of which refer to the exotically lovely, dulcet-voiced singer best known for her Blue Alert CD and her long-term relationship with Leonard Cohen. I include this clarification on posts about Anjani-Anjani Thomas in part for the purpose of what the folks at Wikipedia call disambiguation (i.e., to positively identify for the reader and remove any doubts the reader might have about which Anjani of all the possible Anjanis is being discussed) and in part to aid and abet the search engines. While a rose is, famously, a rose is a rose, a “tea rose,” for example, is not exactly the same as a “rose” – especially to a search engine. Searches that include “Anjani” as part of the search terms may not produce the same results as the same search terms other with “Anjani Thomas” substituted for “Anjani.” Should any other Anjani, say one who has not produced a CD called “Blue Alert” or one who has not been associated with Leonard Cohen for the decade, I promise to do my best to make that identification clear as well.
- This is an unsourced version of Thoreau’s famous quote from Walden), “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” This variation is better suited to my purposes. [↩]
- I am incredibly proficient at the kind of multitasking that allows me to read, watch TV, write a post, etc. and simultaneously worry intensively about an unrelated issue [↩]