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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Jethro Tull was the inventor of the steam-powered seed drill.

It's also the name of one of the longest-enduring progressive rock and roll dinosaurs, one hell of a band.

Driving home from work, I heard Jethro Tull's "Another Christmas Song" (scroll down for lyrics--off of Rock Island)on the radio.

I've never heard that on the radio before. Of course, it was just rereleased on the Christmas Album. But still. I do so love that song. Tull is one of those rare bands that has just gotten better as the years have gone by, improving, adapting, and growing. (After a somewhat ugly oversynthesized period in the early '80's--but hey, everyone was doing it, right?)

And you can't beat these guys for moral complexity. The more grown up I get, the more I appreciate Ian Anderson's lyrics. (not to mention the sensual-yet-aggressive blend of folk, blues, classical, jazz, and rock and roll influences that is their trademark) That's saying something.

How many wars you’re fighting out there, this winter’s morning? / Maybe it’s always time for another christmas song.


I hear that every year on the classic rock station up here. It's one of my favorite Xmas songs.
I'm jealous of your classic rock station.
Weirdly, I was listening to that Xmas album yesterday.
Obviously, you have excellent taste.
Oh, man, you need to check their tour dates on the website.

They're doing just *fine* in England, Asia, and Europe. World Tour city--not bad for a bunch of guys who insist they're semiretired. They usually play the House of Blues when they're out here in Vegas, and in New England I usually saw them at The Meadows or that big outdoor venue in Massachusetts, the name of which eludes me at the moment.

And Anderson, at least, does a lot of charity work these days.

I have a copy of a poster somewhere where they're billed over the Rolling Stones, in type three times larger. And I have to say, they've held up better, musically.
There's also the sheep farmer subsidizing, and the salmon canneries to provide jobs in economically depressed areas, and the benefit and rescue efforts for both endangered and domestic cats--

--I'm also extremely proud of him for taking a stand against Tax Exile when everybody else in rock and roll was doing it.

He's one of my personal heroes, actually. Amazing guy.
small venues are indeed magical. Ian Anderson sweated on me!

All Tull...

...all the time.
Well, perhaps not. Always glad to hear of another person who appreciates Ian and company, though. "A Christmas Song" is actually even harsher than "Another Christmas Song," which is kind of sweet, for Ian, anyway.

Re: All Tull...

*nod* It is harsher, but I think there's more subtlety in "Another Christmas Song."

Actually, judging by the comments piling up here, there are an awful lot of closet Tull fans out there....

Re: All Tull...

Not closeted, just not noisy. Now, my friend k.-the-vet is a HUGE fan. She has every single one of their albums.

Re: All Tull...


So do I. Including the various box sets and import-only albums.

Except the Christmas one, and the newest Anderson solo album.

I don't have them all on CD, though. I do have some pride. *g*

Re: All Tull...

Yep, you and K.-the-vet would get along just fine...

I am sad to say I don't own that much Tull. But I did see them live once, from a really good seat.

Re: All Tull...

Me, too, not closeted. I was talking about "Songs from the Wood" in my webjournal just the other day.

I'm glad you said which album "Another Christmas Song" is on, though, Bear, because I needed something to listen to while editing novel and making gingerbread. I don't have all of them, but I have Rock Island. (And most of the ones I don't have, my dad does. Though Momma didn't want him playing Tull for me until I was out of grade school. Flute-player-girls should get to hear it, though, and not have to be all nicey-nice twittery flute all the time.)

Re: All Tull...

Oh, if you play flute, you need "Roots to Branches."

Apparently Ian's teenaged daughter came home from her flute lessons and explained to dad that his fingerings were all wrong (he's self-taught.)

So he learned how to do it properly, and oh my God. He's gone from 'wow' to 'jaw-dropping.'

Re: All Tull...

Yeah, RtoB is one of the ones Dad has and I covet. And now I'm going to go around singing: "Me and the dog and the ghost of Harry will make this world turn right...."

I always thought that was a Callahan-y song, so when I got Dad his first Spider Robinson, I said, "This is a book about 'Another Harry's Bar.'" He looked at the copyright date and said, "Nuh-uh." I said, "Yuh-huh, read it."

The hardest thing about being a flutist who listens to Tull is the double-tones, where he's singing or howling into his flute. Maybe I'd be better at them now, but when I was 12 or 14, I had the very devil of a time not laughing at what horrible noises I was making, and that only made them worse.

I was disappointed in J-Tull.Com after RtoB, I'm afraid.

Re: All Tull...

You know, J-Tull has some of my favourite Tull songs, and some of my least favourite. Which I guess is a testament oeb its being experimental and different, right?

I *love* Wicked Windows, for example. And Gift of Roses.

Re: All Tull...

I'll have to go back and relisten to those two specifically.

Re: All Tull...

Let me know what you think!
One of the few concerts I've ever been to, was a Jethro Tull concert.

And especially now, in Minnesota, the words "Do you remember the December's foggy freeze" take on all new meaning for me!

I've seen them five or six times, and every concert has been good. Even the one where poor Ian was recovering from DVT and a shredded knee and was up there in sweat pants and a knee brace, and had almost no voice left.

The last one I saw--the J-Tull Dot Com tour--was really nice.

I know what you mean

Last few times I saw them, about 2 years ago here (San Diego area), I'm afraid it was clear Ian's voice is pretty much gone, never to return. But the band was as fabulously tight and brilliant as ever, and they came out and played IN THE RAIN last time I saw them. Talk about professionals. And the way that man flouts. Er ... flutes. That double-toning thing, I think, he said was accidental, the result of incorrect embouchure. But of course it became their signature sound. I agree, Elizabeth (if I, a stranger, may call you that *g*), that his playing has gotten even better. Divinations is a pleasure to listen to, due to his playing rather than necessarily the stellar quality of the tunes, when one needs music of a more backgroundesque nature than Tull stuff.

Re: I know what you mean

Please, call me 'Bear.' I'm less likely to look around wondering who you're talking to. *g*

He sounded much better when I heard him in 1999 than when I heard him in 1993 or so--there was a while where it was almost an instrumental show.

And I do love Divinities as well. Such good stuff.