In the middle of the holiday season.
Gifts assessed and disposed of.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The last of the seasonal indulgences.
And then the winter, unadorned.
January 2 to Feb 13.
Why end the count on the 13th?
I’ve mentioned an idiosyncrasy of mine that gives me the feeling that after the 14th of February psychological winter, of endless fame, is past.
The days are noticeably longer, the extended sunlight lifting our spirits.
Three more weeks of wintry weather.
We can handle three weeks of it.
So create a 42 day calendar and begin your check-off.
NB: We' in Boston have had no snow yet.
No snow before January 2 augurs well for a short winter.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
My 259th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Thursday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 34* and wind not a major factor.
Like yesterday and so many days this December.
I don’t see a threat of snow into Jan 1, by my definition a short winter season.
Dinner is left over roast goose.
Did I mention it’s one of the best meats I’ve ever had from my kitchen.
Question of the Day:
Who is Freddy Mercury?
Hint: He sings.
Answer to Question:
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer-songwriter and record producer, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen.
He is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music, and was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.
Mercury was born in Zanzibar to Parsi parents from India.
After growing up in Zanzibar and then India, his family moved to Middlesex, England, in his late teens. He formed Queen in 1970 with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.
He also led a solo career while performing with Queen, and occasionally served as a producer and guest musician for other artists.
Mercury died in 1991 at age 45 due to complications from AIDS, having confirmed the day before his death that he had contracted the disease.
As a member of Queen, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 1992, a year after his death, Mercury was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and a tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium, London. In 2002, he was placed number 58 in the BBC's 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
Mercury was voted best male singer of all time in a 2005 poll organized by Blender and MTV2.
Mercury was also ranked at 18 on the 2008 Rolling Stone list of the 100 greatest singers ever; and ranked the second best lead singer in a 2011 Rolling Stone readers' pick.
Mercury was described by AllMusic as "one of rock's greatest all-time entertainers," with "one of the greatest voices in all of music."
Upon its release in November 2018, the biographical film about Mercury and Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, became the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all time.
Although Mercury's speaking voice naturally fell in the baritone range, he delivered most songs in the tenor range.
His known vocal range extended from bass low F (F2) to soprano high F (F6).
He could belt up to tenor high F (F5).
Biographer David Bret described his voice as "escalating within a few bars from a deep, throaty rock-growl to tender, vibrant tenor, then on to a high-pitched, perfect coloratura, pure and crystalline in the upper reaches."
Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, with whom Mercury recorded an album, expressed her opinion that "the difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice".
She adds: his technique was astonishing.
No problem of tempo, he sang with an incisive sense of rhythm, his vocal placement was very good and he was able to glide effortlessly from a register to another. He also had a great musicality.
His phrasing was subtle, delicate and sweet or energetic and slamming.
He was able to find the right coloring or expressive nuance for each word.
Mercury wrote 10 of the 17 songs on Queen's Greatest Hits album: "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Seven Seas of Rhye", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy", "We Are the Champions", "Bicycle Race", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "Play the Game"
In 2003 Mercury was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2005 he was posthumously awarded an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
The most notable aspect of his songwriting involved the wide range of genres that he used, which included, among other styles, rockabilly, progressive rock, heavy metal, gospel, and disco.
As he explained in a 1986 interview, "I hate doing the same thing again and again and again. I like to see what's happening now in music, film and theatre and incorporate all of those things."
Compared to many popular songwriters, Mercury also tended to write musically complex material.
For example, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is non-cyclical in structure and comprises dozens of chords.
He also wrote six songs from Queen II which deal with multiple key changes and complex material. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", on the other hand, contains only a few chords.
Despite the fact that Mercury often wrote very intricate harmonies, he also claimed that he could barely read music.
He wrote most of his songs on the piano and used a wide variety of key signatures.
Mercury was noted for his live performances, which were often delivered to stadium audiences around the world. He displayed a highly theatrical style that often evoked a great deal of participation from the crowd. A writer for The Spectator described him as "a performer out to tease, shock and ultimately charm his audience with various extravagant versions of himself."
David Bowie, who performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and recorded the song "Under Pressure" with Queen, praised Mercury's performance style, saying: "Of all the more theatrical rock performers, Freddie took it further than the rest... he took it over the edge.
And of course, I always admired a man who wears tights.
I only saw him in concert once and as they say, he was definitely a man who could hold an audience in the palm of his hand."
Queen guitarist Brian May wrote that Mercury could make "the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected".
Mercury's main prop on stage was a broken microphone stand, which after accidentally snapping off the heavy base during an early performance, he realized could be used in endless ways.
Over the course of his career, Mercury performed an estimated 700 concerts in countries around the world with Queen.
Mercury's final live performance with Queen took place on 9 August 1986 at Knebworth Park in England and drew an attendance estimated as high as 160,000.
With the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" playing at the end of the concert, Mercury's final act on stage saw him draped in a robe, holding a golden crown aloft, bidding farewell to the crowd.
As a young boy in India, Mercury received formal piano training up to the age of nine.
Later on, while living in London, he learned guitar.
Much of the music he liked was guitar-oriented: his favorite artists at the time were the Who, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin.
He was often self-deprecating about his skills on both instruments and from the early 1980s began extensively using guest keyboardists.
Most notably, he enlisted Fred Mandel (a Canadian musician who also worked for Pink Floyd, Elton John, and Supertramp) for his first solo project.
From 1982 Mercury collaborated with Morgan Fisher (performed with Queen in concert during the Hot Space leg),mand from 1985 onward Mercury collaborated with Mike Moran (in the studio) and Spike Edney (in concert).
Mercury played the piano in many of Queen's most popular songs, including "Killer Queen", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy", "We Are the Champions", "Somebody To Love", and "Don't Stop Me Now".
He used concert grand pianos and, occasionally, other keyboard instruments such as the harpsichord. From 1980 onward, he also made frequent use of synthesizers in the studio.
Queen guitarist Brian May claims that Mercury was unimpressed with his own abilities at the piano and used the instrument less over time because he wanted to walk around onstage and entertain the audience.
Although he wrote many lines for the guitar, Mercury possessed only rudimentary skills on the instrument. Songs like "Ogre Battle" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" were composed on the guitar; the latter featured Mercury playing rhythm guitar on stage and in the studio.
Good morning on this Thursday, December 27
We prepared ourselves to face the winter season with optimism and in control.
And we indulged in Freddie Mercury.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.