Archive for the 'Music' Category

Son’s Guitar Recital

October 1, 2008

Here’s what he looked like a few years ago shortly after he got his electric guitar.
Rock on.

Childhood Song

June 11, 2008

My favorite song as a young child, and one that I still sing to my 8-year-old daughter, is My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.

New (To Me) Prog

May 23, 2008

I have recently discovered (and highly recommend) Liquid Tension Experiment.

Hammond Cheese

February 19, 2008

This just defies description.
The high heels on the pedal board. The room full of like-attired women. The tambourines that come out of nowhere.
Click the video to go to the source page at YouTube and enjoy the comments.

The February Mix

February 14, 2008

Here’s my mix CD for this month:
1. Morgenspaziergang, Kraftwerk
2. Praeludium und Fuga, a moll, Georg Böhm
3. Growing Up, Peter Gabriel
4. Baker Street, Foo Fighters (covering Gerry Rafferty)
5. 2112 Overture, The Vitamin String Quartet (covering Rush)
6. Prelude and Fugue in D Major (BWV 532), J.S. Bach
7. Flesh for Fantasy, Billy Idol
8. Darkness, Peter Gabriel
9. Magic Power, Triumph
10. The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, Traffic
(Ten Songs, 1 hour, 68.5MB)
This is one of the more eclectic mixes to fall out of my music library. It makes a good driving mix. I have to say that Bach’s D Major Fugue here is one of the happiest pieces of music in the organ literature. The recording I have is Helmut Walcha’s, a nicely articulated and beautifully registered version: maybe not historically “authentic” enough for some prissy scholars, but eminently listenable.
If I weren’t such a lazy blogger, I’d provide links to Amazon or iTunes, but you can use a search engine as easily as I.
Here’s a video of a stunningly fast rendition of BWV 532:

What’s in Your iPod?

January 16, 2008

So, Fred has gotten himself an iPod. I haven’t gotten any audio books yet (I’m still attached to paper versions). But I do have several gigs of music on my hard drive.
Typically, I take luck-of-the-draw when synching my iPod, but I also like to cut a variety of mix CDs to match my mood. These are usually for car rides only (the interior of my car is hard on CDs, so I like to use disposable, homemade, CDs rather than originals).
Here’s my January 2008 mix:
1. Battleflag, Lo Fidelity All Stars
2. Pretty Pink Rose, Adrian Belew
3. The Main Monkey Business, Rush
4. Every Day is Exactly the Same, Nine Inch Nails
5. The Ecstasy of Gold, Ennio Morricone
6. Man With a Gun, Jerry Harrison
7. Ah! Leah!, Donnie Iris
8. Judith, A Perfect Circle
9. Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty
10. The Analog Kid, Rush
11. The Hand That Feeds, Nine Inch Nails
12. Malignant Narcissism, Rush
13. I Still Believe, The Call
14. Turn The Page, Rush
15. Synchronicity 2, The Police
16. Astradyne, Ultravox
A bit of this, a bit of that.

Phantom Bach Music

May 10, 2007

Robbo has an interesting bit up today about the Bach Toccata and Fugue in d minor (not the far-superior Dorian one, mind you).
First, I have to disagree with Rob’s reflexive dismissal of the Bach:Led Zeppelin analogy that Camille Paglia makes in the article he’s initially discussing. I know it’s a matter of taste, but I at least have experienced emotions inspired by the “heaviness” (“darkness”?) of the organ literature that are very similar to emotions prompted by hard rock and electric blues in the Zeppelin tradition. And I know plenty of rock musicians and metal fans who also like heavy baroque music.
Second, I share Rob’s dislike for the Stokowski version of the T&F in d.
Finally, unlike Rob, for the reasons laid out in another article he cites (and which I cited about a year ago), I still believe that the T&F in d was not authored by Bach, at least not as an organ work. I had the privilege of attending a master class with Peter Williams back in 1999, and he delivered quite a persuasive argument that it was not a Bach organ work. Even when compared with other “youthful” Bach organ works, it just sticks out like a sore thumb. Williams then presented his compelling case that the T&F in d was most likely a transcription from a piece for solo violin.
For further reading, this article expands on Williams’ core idea, but explains how the T&F can be “suspiciously” easy to re-transcribe for play on a 5-string cello.

Therapeutic Rush

February 26, 2007

Greetings faithful readers. Sorry for the thin gruel served up around here recently.
When you don’t have original material, what do you do? Borrow!
Here’s a Rush lyric that has some significance to me these days:

Open Secrets
It went right by me
At the time it went over my head
I was looking out the window
I should have looked
At your face instead.
It went right by me
Just another wall
There should have been a moment
When we let our barriers fall
I never meant what you’re thinking
That is not what I meant at all.
Well I guess we all have these feelings
We can’t leave unreconciled
Some of them burned on our ceilings
Some of them learned as a child
The things that we’re concealing
Will never let us grow
Time will do its healing, You’ve got to let it go.
Closed for my protection
Opened to your scorn
Between these two directions
My heart is sometimes torn.
I lie awake with my secrets
Spinning around my head
Something that somehow escaped me
Something you shouldn’t have said
I was looking out the window
I should have looked at your face instead.
Well I guess we all have these feelings
We can’t leave unreconciled
Some of them burned on our ceilings
Some of them learned as a child
The things that we’re concealing
Will never let us grow
Time will do its healing, You’ve got to let it go.
I find no absolution
In my rational point of view
Maybe some things are instinctive
But there’s one thing you could do
You could try to understand me
I could try to understand you.

From 1987’s Hold Your Fire, an album that I was too immature to appreciate fully when it came out. Now that I’m about the same age Neil Peart was when he penned those lyrics, I completely understand where he’s coming from. Nice nod to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in there, too.

Deep Purple No No No

December 20, 2006

Jon Lord, of Deep Purple (for most of its history), is the apotheosis of a hard-rock organist. And he’s probably the greatest influence on my own Hammond style.
Sure, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman each had a better classical technique. But Emerson was much more of a Jazzer, and Wakeman was just, well, kind of effete, what with his flourishes and ornamentation. Both fantastically talented, but neither really representative of rock and roll.
Lord, on the other hand, manhandled the Hammond organ. Made it a coequal to Blackmore’s overdriven guitar and Ian Gillan’s wailing vocals.
Check out this classic video of a riff-based jam, entitled “No, No, No.” Lord’s solo kicks in at around 3:45 and the song just builds from there:


Ben Folds Five – Philosophy

October 17, 2006

I’ve previously mentioned in passing that Ben Folds is one of my favorite contemporary musicians. His first group was a hard-rocking piano trio (piano-bass-drums) known as the Ben Folds Five.
I first learned about them when I saw them play “Song for the Dumped” on David Letterman. (Hilarious song, at least for guys). Ironically, it was that performance that triggered (or at least coincided with) their decision to break up.
Anyway, check out this amazing 1998 performance of their song “Philosophy,” available on this DVD: