I’ve been off the #musicthursdays for a bit, and this is also a little late for Holi, but this special performance as part of NPR’s Tiny Desk series is fantastic on all levels. Not just colorful musically, but culturally as well. It will definitely lift your spirits, I promise.
These guys are a nice mix of something old, something newish, and something in between. Enjoy.
Okay, this doesn’t have anything to do with music, but it’s a flame-throwing guitar. Musicians and geeks alike gotta appreciate.
Solid Cali Harmonies with The Wild Reeds
Yet another gem from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series: The Wild Reeds. Folksy surfer-type rock from LA with three women switching off between instruments and lead vocals. Perfect for lazy summer days or late night drives with the windows down.
Smells Like Teen Spirit On Upright
This rendition is so soulful and haunting that upon first hearing it, I felt as if it conveyed much of the spirit that I can only imagine Cobain & Co. had in mind when they wrote the original. Not many jazz remakes of rock/alternative classics turn out, but Ben Williams absolutely kills this. Enjoy.
Not Because You Have To, Because You Get To
It’s something I lost track of years ago in my struggle to be a professional musician. I was a professional—paid to play, teaching at two different music schools—but was always so afraid of making mistakes and failing that I lost track of what I loved about playing. This piece by Macklemore names exactly the thing that I think I’m still looking for: that feeling of joy in making and creating music, not because I have to but because I get to.
What I couldn’t find in a hotel room, on the road or in Seattle, I found in the middle of nowhere. No reception. Making music not because we had to, but because we got to. I had forgotten how to do that. Not being afraid of the platform we were standing on. Not creating from a place of “don’t fuck up” but creating from a place of “fuck it up.”
It’s what I try to teach my kids and it’s what I want for myself.
I fell in love with Anthony Hamilton’s music back in 2004. Newly married, new job, first kid on the way…there was a lot going on. And when “Charlene” first came on the radio I could relate to the song right away and was instantly hooked. In this performance, not only does Hamilton give an excellent performance, his band and backup singers are right there with him. Musically, yes, but it’s clear these guys love the music and love performing together. Such a joy to watch and listen to.
A Piece to Inspire Us All to Rise Above
This came to my inbox via NPR Music and reminded what a powerful inspiration certain pieces of music can be. The LA Philharmonic brass section does an amazing job and their intonation is perfect. Sharing it helps me feel just a little more hopeful in these moments of complete absurdity in our presidential elections.
Enjoy and be hopeful.
Insane Marble Machine Making Music
Nothing else to say [head still shaking in disbelief].
“You must not really think of reaching an audience. You must think first to express yourself.”
I can’t say that the music of Boulez has changed my life in any significant way. I studied some of his stuff in college as a music major, and I’m sure most people don’t really care for his style, yet any time an influential figure dies it only seems right to pay some sort of tribute. If you have a few minutes, this piece by NPR should get you up to speed on one of the true greats of our time.