Tag: music

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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I am a fan of Rick Beato. Rick Beato taught me about music theory much in the same way Mike Stoklosa taught me about film-making with his Mr. Plinkett videos. Before I found Rick Beato’s YouTube channel, I was just a consumer of music. Now, I understand the theory behind, at least a little bit. […]

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William Christopher Handy did not have an easy time getting into the music business. His father was a pastor, and considered all musical instruments to be tools of the devil. W.C. conspired to buy a guitar on the sly. When his father found it, a terrible row erupted. Somehow in the peace negotiations, in addition […]

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A Tribute to Those Who Deeply Love this Country

 

This particular Independence Day weekend, I feel especially moved by all those people who celebrate our heroes, to those who have fought or died to keep us free and by my own gratitude for living in this fine country. Although some people are not as moved by this song as I am, and by the people who sing it, I hope for just a couple of minutes you will put aside those thoughts and let yourselves simply immerse yourself in the words and music. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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I don’t know how “woke” I am, or as the Merriam Webster Dictionary puts it, “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” But I do try to be informed, and educate myself regarding new subjects (and old). Woke culture has made me less trusting and […]

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We have a 24/7 classical music station, via public broadcasting, and on late Sunday afternoons, a wonderful program comes on.  It highlights young classical musicians from all walks of life.  They sheepishly talk about their influences, inspiration for the piece they are presenting (sometimes written by themselves), while sharing their culture and challenges. The host […]

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“Political Beats” host Scot Bertram is in for Jim today.  Scot and Greg cheer Iowa voters for ousting four Republican lawmakers who opposed legislation to give parents more options on how to educate their children. They also hammer Democrats and the media for greatly downplaying the arrest of a man attempting to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh not far from Kavanaugh’s home. And they groan as the Grammys try to attract more viewers by adding new awards, including one for “Best Song for Social Change.”

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“Dream On” is a very difficult song to sing, this maybe why it hasn’t got a lot of big acts covering it yet. I was recently discussing my musical tastes with a new colleague I said “I like famous songs, sung by people who are not.” A few years ago I had discovered YouTube Cover […]

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All Eyes on Me: The Parody, The Original, and the Cover

 

This is Bo Burnham.

Bo Burnham is a comedian/social commentator.  He looks like a slightly dorky, good-looking guy you met in your classes in college.  He was probably going into some science field or programming.  Either way, he never looked at you strangely if you mentioned you played D&D; he’d probably even tell you about his own character.  He did just fine in his classes and was always ready with a fun quip.  He made everyone feel good and was actually quite insightful about the relationships of others around you.  He was just a good guy and everyone liked him, even if not everyone got his dorky and sometimes dark sense of humor.

In real life, Bo Burnham is around 30 years old now.  He’s been doing the comedy, parody-song-thing for the last 10 years or so.  He’s done remarkably well at it, all told, and has been all over the country.  He has a niche following.

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Question came up last night on Musker. “What’s your favorite purely predatory/aggressive song – something you’d play while sacking a city? I’m trying to put together a collection to motivate a quiet buddy at the gym.” Personally, if I were laying waste to a city and killing without remorse, (perhaps from within some kind of […]

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