Music · Opinion · Video

Music To My Ears

I just spent the better part of the last two hours alternating between watching the snow fall out the window over my desk and looking at/listening to best album lists of 2013.

I pride myself on being somewhat of a music aficionado (a word I can say and understand, but apparently not spell correctly without help).  Music has always been more than important to me and I’ve spent a lifetime making playlists on cassette, when cassettes came in to play, so to speak, followed by CD mixes, and digital mixes for the iPod.  I’ve always done this, for myself, my friends, my family, and anyone else I could get to listen to the groupings of music I’d created.  It brings me an untold amount of joy and the doing of it is a big part of who I am.

Something I particularly love is to find new music.  Most of the time this means new music to me, not brand new to the cosmos.  Discovery.  We used to be dependent on radio stations to find something new.  New releases blasting out, spun by knowledgeable DJs who scoured the planet for the best tunes.  I’d look for odd stations, like college stations that played stuff that sounded like it came from funky back rooms and strange far off places.  I’ve also always been able to cull new sounds from family and friends and the music they love, and loved.  Exposed to very differing kinds of music growing up (big band, twang country, disco, pop, rock and roll, gospel, new age, afro-jazz, classical, jazz… the list goes on), I was lucky.  There was never any one kind of music we listened to in our house, not one kind my grandparents listened to either.  Music was and is a tapestry of sound and I was fortunate enough to get hear so many different kinds.  I had a great education in this regard and I appreciate that musical education more than I can say.  Hearing music the people in my life loved, and love, has always been a thing of beauty to me.  A true reflection of who they are, a better look into their souls.  Deep stuff, but true none the less.  Just as hearing the stuff I love probably lets the people in my life know who I am just a bit better.  We learn about each other through the power of the music we love.  We discover.  It’s a never-ending evolution of beautiful sound.

I wax on… back to mixes and music and watching the snow fall, it’s still falling.

Looking at various best of album lists for 2013 I realized I hadn’t even heard of some of the people and bands that made the lists.  For as plugged in as I think I am, there’s always a whole exciting world of unknown sound I haven’t heard.  I love that.  It means there’s a world of music, doors yet unopened, for me to explore. Today I put on my headphones, I listened, and was transported.  Music does that.  It’s a magical thing, a gift.  And since I’m always making playlists, I thought I’d cue up some of the stuff I heard today and do a playlist right here on the blog.

Some of these people I’d heard of before, and may even own some of their earlier work, some not, but all the music I’m presenting here was new to me today (except for The Lone Bellow’s You Never Need Nobody that I discovered in 2013 and just had to include here).  It’s been an amazing couple of hours.

The list is eclectic and in no particular order.  Put on the headphones, and enjoy….

Photography

57/365

20140131-170053.jpg

10 Word Review · Music · Opinion

10 Word Review – John Grant, Pale Green Ghosts

Strange. Cool. Melodic. Haunting. Groove. Move. Hook. Beat. Dramatic. Smooth.  Yes.

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Fast & Furious 6

FastFast. Furious. Action. Chases. Fights. Family. Ridiculous. Fun. Non-stop. Yes.

10 Word Review · Film

10 Word Review – Don Jon

Don JonMuddled. Slow. Edgy. Ridiculous. Monotone. Tried. Journey. Excessive. Immoderate. No.

Film · Words Written

What Will Your Verse Be?

 We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be? – John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Photography

56/365

20140130-183142.jpg

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Before Midnight

MV5BMjA5NzgxODE2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTI1NTI0OQ@@._V1_SX214_Talk. Raw. Relationships. Dialogue. Life. Truthful. Emotion. Funny. Complicated. Yes.

Photography

55/365

20140130-183034.jpg

Photography

54/365

20140128-144054.jpg

10 Word Review · Opinion · Travel

10 Word Review – True Detective

20140127-204337.jpgDesolate. Slick. Smart. Story. Narrative. Actors. Beautiful. Layered. Compelling. Yes.

Music · Opinion · Video

Thoughts on The Grammy’s

I, along with nearly everyone else I know, save for those people who were watching the première of Sherlock, watched the Grammy’s last night. I admit, we record it and then start watching about 45 minutes after the start so we can fast forward through stuff we don’t really want to watch. What we like, what everyone probably likes, are the musical performances. Some good, some strange, some sad, and some just plain great. One never knows what you’ll see when you tune in. Some years have been disastrous, others spectacular. I guess that’s what makes the viewing so intriguing. Train wreck or triumph.

I’d say last night was a triumph, in most respects. The performances were, by and large, pretty great. We loved Lorde, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Mary Lambert and Madonna, Carole King with Sara Bareilles, Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr., and even Beyoncé and Jay Z. The last of those was at times uncomfortable, but in a totally good way. That’s obviously one hot marriage.

Other performances made us uncomfortable in an off-putting kind of way. Sir Paul is past his prime, and should know it. It was cool seeing him and Ringo play together, but to be honest I turned down the volume. Worse, and harder to watch, was Blake Shelton with The Highwaymen. Shelton was good, as he usually is, and thank god he was there to hold it all together, because to watch Willie Nelson not play the guitar, and not know what or when he should sing, it was heart wrenching. Was it only us? Add to that a rough Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson, who for his part seemed the same as always, and it was a tough bit to get through. We wanted to fast forward, but were in so much shock we had to keep watching. Whose idea was this anyway? It wasn’t over quickly enough. We felt bad for him.

The best performance, in my opinion, was John Legend’s. Just a guy and his piano singing a lovely song flawlessly. To quote Montell Jordon, “this is how we do it”. No frills, no production, and no loud music to drowned out that he might not be able to sing well live. He can, and he did, without any of the fluff.

If production is actually something you’re into, P!nk stole that horse and rode it. Once again she was high-flying, and awesome. You could hear, at various points during her performance, that she was actually breathing hard. Who could blame her. She must have worked at Cirque du Soleil at some point in a past life. If not, they’re probably hiring. She rocked it out.

I’m sure we’ll be tuning in again, or should I say recording again, next year. Who knows what will happen, other than my usual line, spoken again this year… I have GOT to look up that artist (insert Gary Clark, Jr.) and check out their music.

Wrapping up I have to include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (with Mary Lambert & Madonna) doing Same Love. Every time I hear this song I cry. Put all else aside, love is love. Music sometimes says that best.

Photography

53/365

20140128-143859.jpg

Photography

52/365

20140126-133935.jpg

10 Word Review · Film

10 Word Review – Thanks For Sharing

MV5BMjA5MzI3ODcxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODY5MTc4OQ@@._V1_SX214_Addiction. Ensemble. Struggle. Courage. Sweet. Gad. Drama. P!nk. Uncomfortable. Yes.

Photography

51/365

20140125-115454.jpg

Photography

50/365

20140124-175930.jpg

10 Word Review · Film · Opinion

10 Word Review – Much Ado About Nothing

MV5BMTgxNjQ0MjAwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjI1NDEyOQ@@._V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_Modern. Adaptation. Effortless. Amusing. Wit. Conniving. Barbs.  Charming.  Funny. Yes.

Nature · Photography · Travel

Poppies

10561097703_1ff958147e_b

Event · Revelry

Shoe

10560665543_de5b27e2f7_b

Nature · Photography · Travel

Driving

10560836485_96b45e2c3b_b

Monochromatic · Photography · Structure · Travel · Urban

Westminster

10560480196_6cbc108397_b

Candid · Photography · Portrait

Looking Back

10560439006_3662c1e8ac_b

Photography · Revelry

Ketchup & Mustard

328959_10150508628330802_1534621541_o

Photography

49/365

20140123-134458.jpg