Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

When Joan Baez makes a song about you, you’ve got it made.

Or do you?

You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you…..

— Carly Simon

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite John Prine songs with excellent photo collage.

Read Full Post »

billy-joel

Photo Credit: Trisha – [click to enlarge]

Last Wednesday we saw a wonderful concert by Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. He played without an opening act. He played songs and interacted with the audience for two hours. Then he came out for an encore that consisted of another six or seven songs. We were captivated. Fifty years of practice of his craft made Billy Joel a master artist and performer. In the picture above you see him in the center, sitting at the piano.

I couldn’t help it. I had to write a poem for him:

The Piano Man

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright.

Madison Square Garden is a giant place
And we all came to hear you tonight
Twenty thousand of us were in unison
We were rocking with your music and light.

We were old, we were young, we were fired up
To hear the old songs for the heart
You lived up to what we expected of you
You did so much more than your part.

You have practiced your craft a half century
The master in you showed grand
You sang and you played for hours on end
We tuned into you and your band.

Together we hummed the old melodies
And swayed to the beat and the light
We felt great all being together there
Before we left at the end of the night.

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright.

Read Full Post »

52 years after it was first released

Read Full Post »

I Will Miss You, Leonard Cohen

Read Full Post »

yay-at-wedding

Chelsea and Tyler did a marvelous job with a photo essay of their wedding in July 2016.

Here is the link.

Read Full Post »

Much deserved by my favorite poet.

bob-dylan-1

See CNN article here.

Simple Twist of Fate – by Bob Dylan

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he felt a spark
Tingle to his bones
‘Twas then he felt alone
And wished that he’d gone straight
And watched out for a simple twist of fate

They walked along by the old canal
A little confused, I remember well
And stopped into a strange hotel
With a neon burnin’ bright
He felt the heat of the night
Hit him like a freight train
Moving with a simple twist of fate

A saxophone someplace far off played
As she was walkin’ by the arcade
As the light bust through a beat-up shade
Where he was wakin’ up
She dropped a coin into the cup
Of a blind man at the gate
And forgot about a simple twist of fate

He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
Pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate

He woke up, the room was bare
He didn’t see her anywhere
He told himself he didn’t care
Pushed the window open wide
Felt an emptiness inside
To which he just could not relate
Brought on by a simple twist of fate

He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks
Hunts her down by the waterfront docks
Where the sailers all come in
Maybe she’ll pick him out again
How long must he wait?
One more time for a simple twist of fate

People tell me it’s a sin
To know and feel too much within
I still believe she was my twin
But I lost the ring
She was born in spring
But I was born too late
Blame it on a simple twist of fate

Read Full Post »

This is my favorite piece of music of all time.

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is known as one of the greatest compositions ever. And the 3rd movement, in my opinion, is one of the most enormous, most beautiful works of art that humanity has ever produced.

It contrasts sharply with the other movements of the 9th, which are for the most part much more famous and recognizable, even in popular culture.

When I was 16 years old I first listened to this piece and it brought tears to my eyes and chills to my spine.

I am 60 now, and it still has the same effect.

 

Read Full Post »

Glenn Frey of The Eagles passed away today at the age of 67. Here is one of his later compositions. The lyrics are listed below. I have had The Eagles as companions since my youth. Spent a lifetime with them. He’ll be missed.

“It’s Your World Now” Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin From the Eagles’ Long Road Out of Eden album

A perfect day, the sun is sinkin’ low

As evening falls, the gentle breezes blow

The time we shared went by so fast

Just like a dream, we knew it couldn’t last

But I’d do it all again

If I could, somehow

But I must be leavin’ soon

It’s your world now

It’s your world now

My race is run

I’m moving on

Like the setting sun

No sad goodbyes

No tears allowed

You’ll be alright

It’s your world now

Even when we are apart

You’ll always be in my heart

When dark clouds appear in the sky

Remember true love never dies

But first a kiss, one glass of wine

Just one more dance while there’s still time

My one last wish: someday, you’ll see

How hard I tried and how much you meant to me

It’s your world now

Use well your time

Be part of something good

Leave something good behind

The curtain falls

I take my bow

That’s how it’s meant to be

It’s your world now

It’s your world now

It’s your world now

Read Full Post »

Bob Dylan Lights My Imagination

Dylan

Dylan recording Highway 61 Revisited in New York City, 1965 — Time Magazine, Nov 9, 2015, page 49

On Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde, Dylan ballooned from a folkie “protest singer” into an electric visionary beyond category. The songs – including the indelible “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “It’s Alight Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” – rocked with sounds and lyrics potent enough to launch a thousand bands and light countless imaginations.

— Jim Farber, Time Magazine, Nov 9, 2015, page 50

Yes, this music lit my imagination in the Sixties, and it still does today.

Read Full Post »

On Halloween night we went to see Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. Kris, now 79 years old, did an introductory set of about 40 minutes, and John joined him at the end for two songs. Kris was there on the stage, humble, just picking his guitar and singing the old troubadour tunes, just like I expected.

After the break, John Prine came out with his band and was there for a full hour and twenty minutes. The video below is the encore, when Kris came out with him and joined them, singing along. It turns out, Kris was mostly loving it up there.

Kris discovered John some 45 years ago and they have been friends ever since.

Read Full Post »

While I went about my own life, Jerry Jeff Walker has also gotten old. I would never have recognized him, but the voice is unmistakable. There are so many songs that he wrote, but the most famous one was Mr. Bojangles, which is often attributed mistakenly to Bob Dylan.

Here is: I love you:

 

 

Read Full Post »

Devin on the Banjo

Nothing beats the joy parents experience from observing the successes of their children, no matter their ages.

Read Full Post »

Memory Lane

Memory Lane

Everyone has memorable or favorite songs. When we hear them, we are instantly transported back to a time in our lives, sometimes to a specific period in our lives, like the senior year of high school, or even a specific day, like that first night with that special girl by the camp fire.

I noticed that when I hear such a song, I instantly mind-travel back to that period, or season, or day, when I first heard the song, or when it was popular on the radio. Some of the associations are so vivid, I can smell the air, I can see where I drove when I heard the song, sometimes as long as 40 years ago.

So I did something that I could not have done only ten years ago: I made a list of 50 songs that had special meaning to me. Predictably, many of those were songs that were popular in my youth and younger years when I tended to be more into music. To refresh my memory, I sampled collections of hit songs in some of the target years, and favorites jumped out at me that I had forgotten about.

Then I went on iTunes and bought the collection one song at a time (unless I already had it on CD somewhere). There are no artists with two songs on the list. I just picked the top 50. I called the playlist “Nostalgia.” When I play that list, in random order, I can literally mind-travel, jump around over the years and decades, and imagery of long past events flash bright in front of me, feelings and moods come to life, and the people of those days are suddenly around again – copies of their former selves, of course.

My mind always ponders mathematical implications. I realize that my list is unique in the universe. If a million other people all picked their own top 50 favorite songs and called the list “Nostalgia,” every list would be different. I’d venture to say that if I asked any random person about their list, I might not find a single one of my songs on their list. Yet, every one of us would have those unique, personal experiences when mind-traveling down memory lane.

Why can music do this to us? How is the melodic word, propped up by rhyme and rhythm, able to create such powerful associations in our heads to recreate the smells, the feelings, the places we lived when we were first imprinted with these songs?

Modern human evolution covers only a very short time span, perhaps 200,000 years, perhaps much less. Until very recently, like only a few centuries ago, knowledge and experience had to be transmitted from one person to another, from one generation to the next, by spoken and most likely sung words. Music and poetry may well have evolved to be so important in our experience now because it helped package knowledge and experience by creating associations. It’s easier to remember a poem that rhymes and is associated with a melody than it is to remember just spoken words. Those of our ancestors that were able to make those powerful associations and benefited by surviving and passing on those skills were the ones whose tribes survived through the ages. That’s probably also why we have songs that get stuck in our heads. We call them earworms.

Our brains are not good at remembering strings of numbers or words. But they are excellent at recognizing patterns, like seeing faces in tree bark or angels in clouds or animals in the stars of the night sky. When smells, images, feelings about people and places, come together with sounds, rhymes and rhythms – in short music – then magic is created.

That magic can now fuel the trips down our memory lanes unlike any generation before us could – because we have playlists to arrange them, iTunes to buy the songs from, and YouTube to trigger our memories about periods or things we have forgotten. The Nostalgia playlist is like the shoebox of photographs in the attic on steroids.

Read Full Post »

Violinist in the Subway

A Facebook post by a friend of a worldclass violinist reminded me of this story that I posted some time ago of a violinist playing in the subway in D.C.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

Do we recognize true greatness when we see it?

Check this article and then tell me.

Make sure you click on the comments below for a link by Joshua Bell for a concert video.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: