9 thoughts on “Music 2022

  1. I’ve been listening to old episodes of Night Music, which aired between 1988-1990. I actually remember watching some of the episodes. In fact, I first heard Pat Metheny on the show, which I remember because he was so passionate while he played. (I even picked up my guitar, trying to imitate Metheny’s fingering, wishing I was actually making music.)

    The diverse types of music, including experimental musicians, on one program made this show stand out. This approach encouraged viewers to appreciate music beyond styles and even time periods. (They would feature older musicians, both live and older film footage, on the show.) I think that’s really cool. I didn’t really appreciate this aspect of the show back then, but since my musical palette is much broader, I enjoy this show a lot more now. I wish some musician would do something like this on youtube.

    Here’s a performance of Leonard Cohen, with Sonny Rollins and the lead singers to Was Not Was. What an odd combination of musicians–but it really worked well. I like the song, the backup singers, and Rollins’s solo.

    1. I thought he was kinda awkward. At first, I thought comic relief was his main function, but he can also play the piano, and he seemed quite good.

  2. The next group might be my favorite new pop group. I came across them listening to an interview with the late Colonel Bruce Hampton. Hampton complained about the contemporary music scene, but when the interviewer asked him about any artists he liked, Lake Street Dive, was one of the groups he mentioned.

    I especially like the first two songs–“Hypotheticals” and “Same Old News.” This is a kind of contemporary version of Hall and Oates–i.e., blue-eyed soul, albeit with a female lead, Rachael Price, who I would lump in with female leads like Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Meghan Trainor.

    There are many influences, particularly from older styles (e.g., soul, R&B, pop from the 70s), but I wouldn’t necessarily call this retro. The music sounds very familiar, as if I’ve heard the style before, but I can’t really identify any specific, older artist(s) that they sound like. (Price reminds me of another singer, but I can’t put my finger on it.)

    Here’s another clip, prior to the keyboardist/vocalist, Akie Bermiss, joining the group. (I like the way they speed up their first song.)

    Some things I’ve noticed, after listening to more of their songs:

    • They’re good musicians–the bassist, Bridget Kearney stands out. I think the drummer, Mike Calabrese’s approach deserves some credit, as he plays in more lighter, spared down way–which gives more space for the bass. In general, I feel like they have a stripped down sound, which allows the vocals and the bass to stand out and have more of an impact. I like this feature of their music.
    • I like the background harmonies.
    • Berniss, both vocally and his keyboards, adds an interesting dimension to the music.
    • To me, this is really good pop music–good singing, good songs, good musicianship and tight playing. In a way, they kinda remind me of the Beatles.
    1. I love this band. I saw them on a late-night show (Letterman, maybe) and immediately purchased their 2014 album Bad Self Portraits. Been following them on FB for about the same time.

  3. I was never really a big classical music fan–not in the sense of choosing to listen to it regularly. I’ve liked composers like Beethoven, Mahler (but not really Mozart for some reason), but my desire to listen to them was never on par with jazz, for example.

    But that’s been changing lately–at least with one classical composer–namely, Bach, particularly his pieces for solo instruments (e.g., cello, violin, or piano). I’ve been drawn to that music–it may be the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard.

    Today I was listening to an interview of a classical guitarist who spoke about her love of playing arrangements of Bach compositions (for other instruments). I decided to check her out. The two performances I saw brought tears to my eyes:

    Watching her left hand really adds to the enjoyment of the music, particularly when the tempo increases. Her left hand looks like a spider playing the guitar.

    1. That’s really pretty. I love classical guitar. When we were in our first year of college, I used to listen to the HPR early classical show, and I’d actually call and request AndrĂ©s Segovia or Liona Boyd or Christopher Parkening once or twice a week, which I now realize is kind of weird because you don’t call in to those shows with requests. But the host was accommodating, and he said on air he’d never really known much about classical guitar until I kept requesting it.

      If you haven’t heard it, I recommend Yo-Yo Ma’s 2018 Six Evolutions – Bach: Cello Suites.

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