Thursday, May 01, 2008

Music this Week

When it comes to differnt things that I enjoy doing with my limited spare time, music is one of my passions. I cannot play an instrument, I can probably carry a tune only if I had a good sized bucket and I have (at least B.C.--before children) spent many a summer night at Nissan Pavilion or Merriweather Post pavilion in the DC area attending concerts. A few years ago in an 8 day stretch, my wife and I saw 4 different concerts at Nissan Pavilion. Were it not for the need to go to work, it would have been easier to just camp in the parking lot.

Every once in a while, I will get an email about what I am listening too since I don't keep up with updating the left hand column as frequently as I probably should. Like many people, I have an iPod that I update pretty frequently. but most of my friends wonder how I come to listen the music I choose. To be honest, I don't have a good answer other than to say that I like to listen to just about anything--exept gangsta rap--which I generally find to be without any redeeming quality. Even some of the worst pop music out there has something going for it, if only a hook or melody line, but I have never understood the "artistic" appeal of hard core rap.

Having said that, I have a habit of putting together a Weekly play list for my iPod, 10 songs that I will listen to a great deal in that week, perhaps not exclusively, but regularly. Here is this week's list and I will try to post them regularly.

1. Pipe Dreams by Animusic. Animusic is a wonderful production that involves creating pieces of animation with music and different animated instruments. I saw it on PBS one time and immediately bought the DVDs and CDs. Neat stuff and some really good music.

2. The Downeaster "Alexa" by Billy Joel--I have always liked this Billy Joel song. Musically it is not his best work, but lyrically it has a sad sort of pride in his family roots that cannot be dismissed.

3. Kashmir by Bond. This cover of the great Led Zeppelin classic I thought was simply audacious. The classical quartet gets the backing hook just right, but I would have liked to have the melody line a little more prominent. But still, very cool.

4. Grey Street by Dave Mathews Band. I like the music, I love the lyrics. One of the things about DMB that I have always loved is the rhythms that drummer Carter Beauford puts down. This song is no exception.

5. Departure Bay by Diann Krall. Her album "The Girl in the Other Room" is a wonderful piece of production and Krall's smooth voice is always wonderful to listen to. Departure Bay is a quiet, wistful and vision filled song that closes the album out. I could listen to this song over and over and never get tired of it.

6. I'm Goin' Home by Hootie and the Blowfish. Yeah, pretty old school I know. But while a lot of people dissed Hootie, they made music that people like listening to and there is nothing wrong with that.

7. Back in Time by Huey Lewis & the News. Good old fashioned rock and roll by a band that acts and plays like they are in it just for the fun of it. Although a soundtrack song for Back to the Future, the song is just so much fun.

8. Crowd Chant by Joe Satriani. I have always liked Joe Satriani since I first heard him back in teh early 1990's. This song is a riff on the old "call and repeat" crowd game that a lot of bands and artists like Satriani himself does. What is amazing is in the liner notes he explains how he made 30 people sound like 300--record their chant with 10 different microphones in 10 different locations in the studio. Neat trick and a fun song.

9. Put Your Hands on Me by Joss Stone. Sexy soul--it is a simple as that. Amazing that such a young woman can have such a big voice.

10. Breath by Pearl Jam. Nobody did angst better than Eddie Vedder an the boys of Pearl Jam, at this song has a little bit of that present, but I think one of the best parts of this song is that it is kind of the beggining point of their evolution away from their angst driven days. Good lyrics and great guitar hook.

That is this week's play list.

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