Tag: music

Sing Her a Lullaby

 

My three-year-old niece Vichara would sometimes demand that my mother sing her a lullaby for her afternoon nap. Vichara’s older siblings and cousin all grew up with their grandmother’s lullabies.

I recall reading an article about how millennial parents are less likely to sing lullabies to their children than those over the age of 45. None of my Gen X friends sing nursery rhymes or lullabies. A handful could recall a tune or two. My siblings and their spouses can barely hum. It’s unfortunate because lullabies are a source of comfort and a soothing emotional connection between a parent and child. Lullabies and nursery rhymes have also been clinically demonstrated to help children develop their linguistic and cognitive skills.

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It’s rare that I find something for my Dad that he’s never heard of, but this 1971 album by Blue Effect that combines psychedelic rock with big band jazz caught him completely off guard.  It’s a favorite of mine as well. For your listening pleasure, and by special request of @drbastiat : Preview Open

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Tom Russell, who I think is one of the best singer-songwriters working today, lived on the US-Mexico border at one point and has written quite a few songs with the border as a setting.  Here are some that I like, categorized loosely by theme: Love and Loss: Preview Open

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Quote of the Day: Son of a Son of a Sailor

 

Jimmy Buffett passed away on September 1 from an aggressive form of skin cancer. I was not a huge fan; I only knew his big hits. But at the time of his passing, I decided I owed the man a deep dive into his life and music. I think The Guardian captured his obituary well.

Jimmy Buffett, who has died aged 76, was an American singer-songwriter whose country-tinged soft rock celebrated the laid-back culture of the Florida Keys on the Caribbean coast of the US. Sometimes known as the “tropical troubadour”, his songs often featured the voices of characters who appreciated the aimless pleasures of beach life: smoking weed, drinking rum and eating boiled shrimps, messing around in boats and generally watching the world go by.

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I just came back from a road trip with my brother.  As we are wont to do, we selected a musical theme to pass the time.  The topic this time was great songs  featuring one really bad lyric.  Not bad lyrics in general, just one line that grates on the ear or just seems out […]

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There are a lot of great songs, once well-kn0wn, that aren’t performed or listened to much anymore. Here are some that I especially like. Thine Alone.  The beautiful song sounds like it might be a hymn, but it’s actually a love song, from the 1917 operetta Eileen. I only know it because it’s on a […]

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I was a kid when Elvis died, but I knew it was pretty significant for my Dad, who was always more of an Elvis guy, even though The Beatles were his contemporaries. Elvis 8-tracks were the soundtrack at our house. Cool Elvis, gospel Elvis, or later, mixed-up E., it didn’t matter. Dad and Mom liked […]

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Long time ago I read somewhere that the consonant arrangement of musical notes is finite so eventually music must seem to repeat phrases.  I’m not musically inclined so I don’t really know the right words or if it is even true. Hence the two questions of the subject- and you can thank Mr. Lileks because […]

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It sounds a lot like “Lola” because it’s from the same album. In “Apeman,” Ray gently cocks an eyebrow at the Whole Earth Catalog crowd, the devolutionist hippies eager to reconnect with their simian brothers, and their overconfidence in its simplicity. Preview Open

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Nation Is Transfixed As Intransigent Transgenders Seek To Transmogrify Everything

 

“Trans Visibility Day.”  “March for Queer and Trans Youth Autonomy.”  “Trans Day of Vengeance.”  “Trans rights, or else.”  Trans in your schools, trans in your government, trans in the corporations, trans in the military, trans in sports, trans in commercials, trans in the church, trans in the streets, trans taking over state capitols, trans in your face.  Trans, trans, trans! 

Had enough? 

This week on The Learning Curve, Cara and Gerard talk with Rachel Silber Devlin about her memoir, Snapshots of My Father, John Silber, which captures the wide-ranging and remarkable life of the late philosopher, teacher, and president of Boston University. Devlin discusses how her father became known as a vigorous proponent of a traditional liberal arts education, improved the prestige and endowment at B.U., and became a national leader in K-12 education reform. She offers listeners a unique, personal look at a man and an educational leader who had a deep commitment to academic quality, music, and the arts, and capped his career by authoring books on the absurdity of modern architectural fads and the ethics of Immanuel Kant.

Stories of the Week

An Angel in the Shape of My Mom

 

Christmas will be very different this year.  My mother passed away at the beginning of this month.  She struggled for almost 20 years with various forms of cancer, neurodegenerative nerve disease, complications from her cancer treatments, and an increasing host of health difficulties that by themselves would be considered challenging for a patient and family.  As her oncologist frequently noted, the cancer had difficulty with my mom.  She was a force to reckoned with to anyone at any time.

Even when she became severely ill, she did not go gently into the night.  Mom was a being of passion for others.  She fought everyone and everything if she felt it needed to happen.  With no regard of how it would destroy herself, she constantly stood up for what she felt was right.  It took many, many years to teach her to have even an ounce of reluctance to speak her mind.  At the end, she was more circumspect, but no less full of fire.

Halloween Recommendations II: Music Edition

 

Since my last list was such a hit, it’s only right it get a sequel. This time we’ll focus on those auditory oddities to darken your day, those musical maladies to frighten your friends (or should we say fiends?). Listen up, we’ve got a slew of tunes that will make you the death of the party.

Corb Lund – “Dig Gravedigger Dig”

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I have always hated “Monster Mash.” It’s a terrible song. It’s not even the actual “Monster Mash.” It’s a song about a guy who claims to have once witnessed a Monster Mash. Literally every Halloween song is better than “Monster Mash.” Here’s 13 of them in no particular order. Some of you may have heard […]

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Alo-ha!

 

Yes, Southwest Airlines may have pursued this adventure of giving their passengers free ukuleles and the instrument covers for the publicity it would garner. Guitar Center provided the ukuleles and a free lesson, too. And yes, there were people annoyed with the disturbance of their precious time on the jet.

But in a world where people take themselves far too seriously and have lost their ability to be playful, I think it was just the right strategy.

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The other day, I posted Rick Beato’s list of best one hit wonders from the 1980’s. Naturally, it provoked a little bit of discussion, mainly, “WTH was he thinking?” And it inspired others to remark on their alternate lists of decent music from the era of Big Hair, cocaine, and Reaganomics.  (Much preferable the the […]

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