Tag: music

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On October 5, Patrick Huntrods, aka Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher passed away suddenly. Only a couple days before he appeared onstage for a concert to announce to the audience he was feeling unwell and would reschedule to show the following week. Little has been noted about his health, other than he claimed sleep […]

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I wrote a month ago about gentle desert rains. Today, we got a spectacular light and sound show mid-morning. The storm arrived with a massive, staccato clap, calling attention out the windows to a sudden downpour and wild light show. No, I did not abandon good sense and dash outside to get photographic or video […]

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And now we’re stuck with him: Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, and The Jazzy Soul of Rock and Roll

 

Even for a band that has suffered more ups and downs than ten others combined in its 59 years, this has been an exceptionally difficult few days for The Rolling Stones, maybe the most difficult. On Tuesday, their drummer, Charlie Watts, passed away at the age of 80. There has been an outpouring of tributes for him, and support for his bandmates and family, and doubtless, there will continue to be scads of well-deserved writing dedicated to his abilities, offbeat personality, and place in music history. I’d like to do something a little different here. One of the rarest and most precious things in music is an enduring partnership, particularly one where the participants like each other as much as the notes they play five or fifty years on. Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, two men who couldn’t appear more opposite, had that, and made the world a better, more swinging place with it. 

About A Day in the Life

 

I see that Clifford opened up this month’s topic with music for the monthly theme:  a day in the life.  Number one, of course, is the Beatle’s A Day in the Life, the last song on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.  Not one of my favorite songs in the Beatles’ canon.  I had already decided on writing about my recent experience in watching a Monarch butterfly hatch on my deck, when the events of the last week transpired.  All that kept running through my head was “I read the news today, oh boy” because the news just got worse and worse.  The universe spoke in a big way and so my Monarch story will wait for another theme.

Your Favorite Band Sucks

 

There. I said it. All you classic rock types can fight me. The following bands are overrated and are hereby banned from their never-ending song rotations on the radio:

Rush. Canada’s greatest export? Sure. But still not good.

The Eagles. Prolific, yes. Good? Maybe in the beginning. Still good after all this time? Nope. They’re old and Hotel California is probably still the most overplayed song ever.

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Anyone ever play the game, “Unnecessary Censor”?  It’s where you [bleep] things in phrases or songs that don’t need it.  The mind goes wild with possibilities, particularly if you don’t know it, but for everyone else, it’s just comedy. I won’t add examples here; I’m sure people will glorify the comments or send links for […]

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Ayaan speaks with Winston Marshall soon after he left the band, Mumford & Sons. They discuss his work helping Hong Kongers integrate into the UK, his interest in speaking up for the Uighurs in China, and much more.

This episode was recorded on June 28th, 2021.

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For Independence Day, on the Fourth of July, I offer a list of posts this weekend on topic. Some posts may be about celebrations and observances. Some may be about history. There will surely be food and drink posts, music posts, and hopefully fireworks! How about a favorite recital of the Declaration of Independence? What […]

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Canceled for Opposing Arson

 

I ran across a couple of news articles about the composer Daniel Elder this week. Perhaps you’ve seen them. Elder is (or was) an up-and-coming choral composer living in Nashville.

Listening to Elder’s work, it’s clear that he is a fine composer with much to offer. I have not heard enough of his music to offer generalizations about his style, but I’m willing to bet you will find Ballade to the Moon worthy of repeated listenings.

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I’d like to say that it’s rare, but sometimes songs are performed by the wrong people.  The “treatment” and production fails the song entirely.  Sometimes it’s good!  Sometimes, it’s even great…until you hear someone else perform it.  Professional or amateur, sometimes …the cover was better than the original. Preview Open

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A Recommendation for Music Lovers

 

If you are into music—particularly rock, a friend of mine turned me on to Rick Beato.  He’s a music expert as well as a musician and music producer, and has a YouTube channel where he takes a song and breaks the music down to explain what makes it great.  In fact, his series is titled, What Makes This Song Great?  Here is his take on “More Than a Feeling” by Boston:

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To set the tone for June’s group writing theme, “Journeys,” here is a short playlist of songs about journeys. I look forward to Ricochet members’ additions to the list in the comments below. Whatever your journey or travel plans, do stop by and sign up now for June’s theme: “Journeys.” Let’s start off upbeat, with […]

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Take Five, Buddy: Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, A Match Made in Heaven (and Hell, and Everywhere in Between)

 

Jazz is often a cooperative enterprise. But that doesn’t mean that jazz musicians are always good at cooperating. Far from it, as, for example, Charles Mingus learned when Duke Ellington demanded that he resign from the Ellington Orchestra for having chopped Juan Tizol’s chair in two with a fire ax in the middle of a performance after the trombonist pulled a knife on him. 

Probability says that Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond should have gotten along about as well as Tizol and Mingus. An amphetamine-dependent, chain-smoking womanizer certainly doesn’t seem like the ideal partner for an (eventually) deeply Catholic, even-tempered family man. But to understand such an extraordinarily improbable 33-year partnership, we’d better go back to the beginning. 

A Country Serenade

 

While people may argue about their tastes in music, it is hard to argue that Country music does not rule the current roost when it comes to story-telling.  While pop music may attempt to be clever, country is up-front and brash. Increasingly produced and polished, country fans all look for heart-wrenching lyrics; even the menfolk.  Even the upbeat songs often have a melancholy core.  It is a beautiful trait of country music that goes way back when it moved away from folk.

We pay homage to the greats: Dolly, Johnny, Willie.  Different varieties of country, but the greats stand together in their times.  Patsy. Hank. Reba. Loretta…. the litany is long and a tribute to our common American experience.

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I’m not musical, not by any stretch. I enjoy music like I enjoy poetry: simple ballads, clear lyrics, obvious hooks. My favorite book of poetry is a collection of early 20th century popular poems from American newspapers: I devoured it as a kid, and can still recite any number of simple, sometimes moving but often […]

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Holy Thou Art

 

What does it mean for something to be holy? I think it means that a thing or person directs us to God or expresses His presence. Holiness is connected with pious awe. 

What artistic works seem holy to you? Which are the most peculiarly holy — holy in some unusual and perhaps less obvious sense? Is there some work of sculpture or architecture, painting or music, oration or literature that draws you closer to God in a way your associates don’t fully share? 

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There is not a clear line between them.  Novels are often considered more intellectually challenging than movies. But many readers prefer what I call “junk fiction” which, though respectable, offers thrills and little else. It’s mind candy to be enjoyed and quickly forgotten. Films can similarly offer shallow but pleasing content, of course.  Preview Open

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Allow me to be the first to wish a happy birthday to the greatest composer of all time. I suppose I should offer up something like my favorite Bach composition.  Well, that’s not possible, because 10 minutes from now something else would come to mind.  And 10 minutes later . . . you get it.  […]

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