Tuesday, July 13, 2004

BloG #18: Open Road - Part 1

  • Scroll down to see the BloG #18 Indie Artist Pick

  • This BloG is going to relate to the first in a series of one of my favorite memories of my high school and college years. As a result of my uncle's leadership involvement with a bicycling group in northern Illinois, I subsequently hooked up with them as well for 4 summers. Everyone on this ride was from the southern suberbs of Chicago - except me. I was the lone Iowan. That made for some pretty funny ribbing. LOL

    During the summers of 1978 - 1980 and 1982, I toured with a group of (primarily) Presbyterian and Methodist youth from around the southern suberbs of Chicago. At about that time, those tours became known as 'Open Road.' Average size of the tour was around 80 cyclists. We broke that number down to around 9 or 10 groups of 8 or 9 people each, spaced out several miles apart.

    1978, my first big ride started in Wilmette, IL. (Our photo was taken by the Chicago Sun Times that first morning and the pic appeared on the front page!) After the first day, we crossed Lake Michigan on a ferry called 'The Badger.' The ferry ride started at 9 pm in Milwaukee, WI and arrived in Ludington, MI at around 3:30 am. We rode the eastern Michigan coastline north to Manistee, where the waves were chilly but fantastic! I seem to remember a number of our bikers cleaning sand out of their chains and gears after some time at the beach later that evening. hehe... We continued north the next day past a beautiful field of sunflowers and onward through Traverse City (I still remember a group of us getting kicked out of someone's backyard access to the lake in T.C.), Charlevoix, Petoskey, Harbor Springs and finally Mackinaw City. That night, we sat out on the beach and looked at the lit up Mackinaw Toll Bridge in all it's glory. It was beautiful.

    At the crack of dawn, we crossed the 5 mile long bridge (world's longest suspension bridge, at the time) with a police escort. The sight of the sun rising over the island dotted horizon to the east was astounding. Once across to the other side, we then boarded a ferry to Mackinac Island. Eating at the Grand Hotel, I remember having my first chocolate mousse ever. Of course the fudge shops, a zither player on a shop's front porch and no cars anywhere on the island all left their impression on me enough to remember 26 years later.

    We then made the return trip back to Illinois via the route we had just travelled. This time, the ferry trip across Lake Michigan was by day. I was struck by the fact you could see no land, once out in the middle of the lake.

    Average riding distance for a day was typically 65 - 85 miles. We did have a day or two for an optional 'century ride' - a one hundred mile ride. The trip took 10 days and we covered roughly 800 miles.

    My memories of meeting 80 new friends instantaneously, nightly back rubs, sleeping coed nightly in churches, riding through beautiful unfamiliar country, climbing steep hills & racing down the other side, cold dewey early mornings - followed by steamy hot afternoons and the saddle discomfort all remain quite vivid. I can still remember stopping in a northern Chicago suberb where there was a small driving range & one of our riders had to hit a bucket of balls. Not far from that, a sports car had passed us & the driver was watching us so much that his car hit the concrete median rather solidly & bounced about like a pinball!

    The one memory which hit probably the hardest at the time was waking up the next morning after the trip was over, and just feeling so alone.... Most of those people I had just spent so much time & energy with, I would never see again - ever....


    JavaMusiK - Piano-Based Instrumentals from Western Slope, CO

  • A feature recently added to The JavaMusiK BloG has been to highlight an independent artist who we feel deserves our recommended attention.

  • This BloG issue's Indie Artist Pick is KMP - A Melting Pot of Musical Genres from Los Angeles, CA

  • With the recent release of You're In My Trance, KMP (a.k.a. Harout Kalandjian) has proven his extraordinary talent and diversity to the industry. His transitions from Electronica to Ambient to World Fusion are resourceful and precocious and display an undisputed amount of forbearance and aptitude.

    With online music distribution companies running rampant, KMP's affluent notoriety has him scaling a plethora of chart positions attaining irrefutable reviews from songwriters and fans alike. In such a competitive industry, KMP's stake at fame is void of ambiguity.

    KMP can only be described as a melting pot of musical Genres. Harout Kalandjian is well known for mixing it up. He is not afraid to combine styles and present it the way he hears it in his mind...

  • JavaMusiK has observed that LA based artist KMP approaches his art form in a variety of dimensions. While circumventing the impression of pidgeonholing his musical image into just one genre, several listens will reveal a signature sound clearly identifiable as belonging to the distinctive approach of the enigmatic KMP.

    First, there is the music. While Electronica and Ambient seem to be at the forefront of his stylings, we also notice traces of straight ahead Rock & Roll, Jazz, New Age & World Fusion woven throughout his vast repertoire. The inclusion of KMP's many different collaborations has indeed contributed to his expanded musical fashion.

    KMP has also recently begun employing an increased implementation of visual awareness into his image. While the package doesn't submerge or completely embrace this perception, you can often feel evidence of a translucent obscurity moving stealthily throughout his aura. Upon second glance, however, you will receive a very uplifting motif throughout his message. This is where the ambiguity settles in as a portion of the image. We have yet to fully discern the meaning of the name KMP, however there seems to be some interesting speculation going around.

  • Harout's new album will be titled PASSION... Current collaborations includes several Ambient tracks featuring The One And Only LISA / Hip Hop to feature JUSTAMAN and NICKI NOVA / New Age to feature A Haunting Siren For The Modern Age QUEENIE / Pop tracks featuring New Jersey rocker JASON DIDNER / World Fusion featuring Master Instrumentalist ED DRURY / Take this trip from Electronica to Ambient and World Fusion to New Age. A Melting Pot Of Musical Genres, KMP Style.

  • We recommend giving a listen to Abandoned - Into Better Hands (feat. Jason Didner) and 7th Sin (featuring Lisa) a thourough listen.

    Congratulations KMP!


  • KMP - A Melting Pot of Musical Genres from Los Angeles, CA


  • KMP at SoundClick

  • If you are an artist or band who would like to be listed and featured in The JavaMusiK BloG, e-mail us and we will get you listed. All Featured Artist Picks are chosen from FriendZ of JavaMusiK.
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