Earlier this year, I made a sort of vow to blog more often and zero out my article reading list (which mostly lives in Pocket). A friend on Twitter quickly replied, “Good luck.” I was undaunted though and set out to tackle these unrelated goals.
Led Zeppelin! On xylophones! By middle schoolers! What’s not to love? Well, if it sucked, then yeah, but these guys are on it and it’s a decent arrangement. Give it up for the Louisville Leopard Percussionists.
Well, what’s there to say? Beethoven’s 3rd movement of his Sonata in C# Minor—the “Moonlight” Sonata—on electric guitar. My mom (yes, my mom!) turned me on to this beauty, and sure, it’s cheesy as hell, but this guy absolutely nails it. I don’t think it’s note-for-note with the actual piece, but it’s close. And what the electric guitar lacks in dynamics and nuance, is more than made up for by hair flips and whammy bar. Yes, only true music geeks will appreciate this one.
Jazz has played an important role in my life on a lot of levels, but for whatever reason, I haven’t shared much of it here. It’s definitely a genre I’m drawn to on my own, musically, but it’s just so damn daunting, which sometimes makes it hard to explore (and enjoy). This guy though, Ambrose Akinmusire, grew up in Oakland, CA and attended Berkeley High (a school known for its jazz program). I grew up somewhat nearby and was always astonished by what the Berkeley High kids—kids my own age at the time—were capable of. Blew me right out of the water. Still does.
Anyway, Akinmusire is pretty much everything I love about a great trumpet player: beautiful tone, flexibility on the instrument, with a knack for writing pieces that I’m drawn to harmonically. This recording won’t be for everyone—and unfortunately, it gets cut off at the end during the tenor solo—but it’ll give you an idea of what he’s about and it definitely gets deep in the conversation happening on stage between the guys in the band.
To go along with #photowednesdays, I thought I’d just get crazy and do #musicthursdays. Every Thursday I’ll try and share music I’ve been enjoying and hopefully you all will chime in with comments and what you’ve been grooving to lately, too.
I just discovered Rubblebucket thanks to the always-fantastic Tiny Desk Concerts via NPR. With their catchy, uplifting, fun tunes, and sometimes serious/inspiring lyrics, I was immediately hooked. I could also tell they really knew what they were doing. Between their multi-instrumentalism, harmonies, and rhythmic/melodic variety, there was a lot to enjoy and pull apart. Turns out the two leaders, Alex Toth (trumpet, flute, vocals, band leader) and Kalmia Traver (vocals, flute, saxophone), met as music majors at the University of Vermont, so there you go. Music geeks gone alt/mainstream and holding it down for all of us to enjoy. I really dig these guys and I hope you do too. Oh, and I have to say, I like these raw versions of their songs better than their polished recordings, but those are worth checking out too.