Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Parade of Lights, wall of sound.

Harbor Parade of Lights

There are only ten more days until Christmas Eve and only six until Hanukah starts. Kwanza begins December 26th and so does Boxing Day… December is going fast!

I live near a harbor and a favorite holiday tradition in our town that often travels up the coastline, is the “Parade of Lights”. 

Boat owners of all types decorate their sea-going vessels and themselves with lights and Santa costumes, and circle the harbor after dark. 

It’s really beautiful and always draws a large crowd both on the shore and on the water.

There’s always a flotilla of kayakers who brave the cold and decorate their kayaks with hundreds of colored glow sticks and wear wetsuits and Santa hats.

There are fishing trawlers polished clean and covered in colored lights, tug boats, harbor patrol boats, an old-fashioned paddle wheel riverboat, sailboats, a few luxury yachts and lots of little electric boats that look like a miniature versions of the boat in the Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn classic “The African Queen”.

That’s the sort of boat my brother in law has. He loads it with LED lights so the bigger boats will see us at night and not run us over. We cruise around the harbor shouting and waving at everyone else that is shouting and waving at us. It’s always cold on the water but good food, wine and music is involved and it’s so much fun.

Of course lots of people prefer to watch the parade from the warmth of a restaurant or seaside duplex but I love being on the water. The boat is small so we all take turns. This year I got lucky and went last with my stepbrother who is an excellent songwriter and a friend who is a sound engineer.

The subject of box sets and remastered albums came up and I was in heaven. I love classic rock and wish I had a little musical talent, but I don’t. I can only listen in awe.

This Christmas if you have a rock’n rolla in your life and a little extra cash here are a few suggestions.

U2 Achtung Baby 20th anniversary box set edition. First of all, I can’t believe twenty years have past! Second this is still one of my favorite albums of all time. I recently listened to it all the way through and it’s still moody, dark and gorgeous. In my opinion its U2’s masterpiece.

Second, The Rolling Stones classic “Some Girls” is turning thirty and enjoying a box set released that includes lots of pervious unreleased material and many new takes on the songs you know. The “cover girls” on the front have been redesigned and but are still hilarious.

Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” 5 disc box set of unreleased material. Wow.

Peter Gabriel’s amazingly iconic album of the 1980’s “So” is turning 25! It too will enjoy a special re-release early in 2012.

Last but not least, this is the gossip I heard on the boat… Bob Dylan is very busy, expect more from him later this year, and a box set of The Doors LA Woman recordings and unreleased material will be available in January.

I love the Doors and I can’t wait for this one. I heard there’s a recording of Jim’s voice saying, “Why don’t we try a thunder (sound) effect at the beginning of “Riders on the Storm”? 

(Why not indeed! What a good idea Jimbo…)



  1. I hope the holidays are beautiful for all all of you!
    XXOO Kat
    PS Julia this is a rumor but Crosby, Stills and Nash might be working on a release... I hope so!

  2. The harbor boat ride sounds like so much.

    Great music suggestions. I was such a Doors fan. I love Jim's voice. Thought he was pretty sexy back in the day too. :)


  3. Santa bring me young Jim Morrison in leather pants, for one last hard rocking concert, please. lol
    XXOO Kat

  4. The Peter Gabriel "So" CD had to be replaced in my house. It's our go-to make out music!
    happy Holidays Kat!

  5. Don't you love that album?! That's my youth right there.
    We saw Peter Gabriel live last year at the Hollywood Bowl and it was a stunning show.
    XXOO Kat

  6. Wow! What fun! And what great pictures. You know I love your selection of music. :)

  7. Hi Julia! I get excited about the older music because it comes with such strong emotional memories.
    XXOO Kat


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