Posted tagged ‘music’

Playing Favorites 2

April 15, 2022

music notesI have loved a lot of music in my 77 years.   The truth is, the number of new pieces I fall in love with has dwindled over the years and my new music loves are often jazz or country.  Current modern popular music seems simplistic and boring, except for hip-hop and rap, which offends my ears.  I remember what my Mom and Dad thought about the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, and how I promised myself that I would always stay up with new music.  Here I am, not so much, mostly stuck in the 60 and 70s.  My tastes are fairly eclectic … classical, jazz, country and rock … but the rock n roll of the 60s and 70s gives me the most joy and provides most of my pop favorites. (more…)

Playing Favorites

March 4, 2022

music notesWhat is your favorite song?  To a real music lover, it is a nearly impossible question to answer.   Instrumental or vocal?  What genre?  Pop? Rock? Jazz? Should I include symphonies and concertos?   I have many favorites, some because they are part of the soundtrack of my life, reminding me of life’s best moments.    My wife Muri and I have considered Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers our song since we met over 50 years ago.  In our senior years we have added Gladys Knight’s You’re the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me.   Some favorites were written before I was born and were likely etched in my musical memory by listening to my Mom play her music collection on the stereo in the living room.  Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade always put me in a romantic mood, especially as performed by Carly Simon.  Linda Ronstatdt’s  amazing verion of Patsy Cline’s Crazy always tugs at my heart strings.  Sometimes I’m drawn by beautiful lyrics and sometimes it’s a perfect melody.  Acoustic Alchemy’s Lazeez is a favorite because of the virtuosity of the guitar playing.  Sometimes, I find a live performance on YouTube that brings a new arrival to my list of favorites.  An amazing live performance by Lady Antebellum recently catapulted I Need You Now onto my must play list. (more…)

Christmas Eve Again

December 24, 2021

wreathLast weekend, we had dinner at our neighbor’s house.    They had Sirius XM on playing traditional Christmas music and it was just what I needed to get me in the mood for Christmas.   Oh, yes, I had put up our tree and the lighted wreath on the front door,  And ordered (on Amazon) gifts for the grandkids.  In my family we all buy stocking stuffers for each other now that we know Santa doesn’t do it and I’m done with that (almost).  But until I start playing my Christmas soundtrack in the car as I’m driving or or on earbuds as I’m working out, I can’t really find the Christmas spirit. (more…)

The Queen

August 26, 2021

respectOver the weekend, we went to see the film, RESPECT, with friends.  In case you don’t follow movies, it is a biopic of the life of Aretha Franklin starring Jennifer Hudson.  Now, I love rhythm and blues, what we used to call soul music.   Not only did my years in college coincide with the explosion of Motown, in my junior year I joined Beta Sigma Gamma, the first inter-racial fraternity at the University of Connecticut.  As I used to say, almost half of my fraternity brothers were brothers.  I started my junior year listening to the Beach Boys but ended it listening to The Supremes, The Temptations and yes, Aretha Franklin.  So naturally, I really enjoyed RESPECT, filled as it was with Jennifer Hudson’s amazing renditions Of Aretha’s music.  As a film, it was good but a little long … still I learned a lot about Aretha’s often difficult life.  Reading RESPECT: Hollywood vs. History at home after the movie, I discovered that the film understated the ways in which her father and first husband controlled her life and career. (more…)

Small Things

May 29, 2021

crows2Last night, I set out on my walk later than usual, needing about 4000 steps to reach the daily quota dictated by my Fitbit.   It was springtime warm and  to be honest, these old legs didn’t want to go.  Often when I need motivation to walk … and perhaps something upbeat to give me a brisk rhythm to walk to … I put on my Uplifting Tunes playlist, which is an assortment of favorites like Moondance, Rise, and Dance with Me.  Guaranteed to lift your spirits.   But my legs said, Put that crap on and we will go on strike.  So instead, I put on Linda Ronstadt’s Hasten Down the Wind, a beautiful mix of mostly slower songs better matched to my mood and my condition.   And how can you go wrong with Linda, on of the most incredible voices of my lifetime? (more…)

Coming Around (Again)*

May 6, 2021

music notesRecently, someone posed this question on Facebook:  If you followed your childhood dreams, what would you be doing today?   It is the kind of post that catches my eye for a minute or so (leading me to see what others answered in the comments), then move on.  But it hangs around on the edges of my awareness until my own answer turns up out of my distant memories.   My oldest recollection of What do you want to be when you grow up? is … NUCLEAR PHYSICIST.  Chances are I was just trying to sound smart.  I ended up an electrical engineer.   A more interesting question is as an adult, what professions do I wish I pursued?   I have never been dissatisfied with being an engineer, but having such a left-brained profession has often given my right brain little to do except wonder what might have been.   In high school, several wonderful teachers taught me the love of writing, not just reports and term papers, but composition and fiction … and this combined with my love of reading … led me to wonder if I should have been a writer (more than a technical report writer and blogger with one published short story).  My Mom taught me to draw and paint, a habit I have continued sporadically throughout my life, and naturally, my right-brain has whispered, I bet you could sell this.   I love music and have dabbled with the guitar since high school and whenever I watch a guitarist, whether it be John Williams, Peter White or Carlos Santana, I imagine what it would be like to be able to do that. (more…)

Almost Daily

March 7, 2021

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words – Goethe

Most mornings, I remember to read a Daily page from David Kundtz’ lovely book, Quiet Mind: One Minute Mindfulness.  It is part of what I call my Morning Practice … I’d call it Daily Practice but that would be a lie.  I am easily distracted, especially in the morning and Almost Daily Practice sounds dumb.   What I like about Goethe’s list is that each item takes only a few moments , in keeping with the title of Kundtz’ book, where as my Morning Practice takes over an hour.   But I do listen to music as I write in the morning (hear a little song, check).  At the moment the song is Cast Your Fate to the Wind by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

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Cold

October 27, 2020

It has been an unseasonably warm October here in Utah, at least according to my daughter who has lived here for five years. I had been looking forward to Autumn and in spite of the warmer weather, the trees were doing their part. turning yellow and gold and red. But I wanted some cool autumn weather. Watch what you ask for. Sunday evening it was in the low fifties at bedtime but we woke to sub-thirty temperatures … and SNOW. And it has remained in the twenties and thirties since then.  Welcome to Utah. (more…)

Remembering Eva

October 16, 2020

I love music.   Not all music but a lot of it.  Being 76 years old, having lived through years of fads and new genres, gives me a lot of music to choose from, which is good because finding new music (not necessarily new to the world but new to me) has always been a a source of joy.  For me, perhaps the best time for finding new music was in the heyday of Border’s book stores.  Above the rows and rows of CDs were listening stations with headphones that allowed you to listen to new releases.  One of the most amazing Borders finds ever was Songbird by Eva Cassidy.   When I put on the headphones and fast forwarded through the tracks, what I heard was: a crystalline voice that brought a unique style to well known songs; as simple but beautiful guitar accompaniment; and a songs from every musical genre.  I also heard a lovely and poignant version of my mother’s favorite song, Autumn Leaves. (more…)

(Borderline) Boomer

September 25, 2020

you tubeI have been watching a LOT of YouTube videos lately, mostly music, music commentaries and art documentaries.   One of the channels I watch a lot is Rick Beato, especially his What Makes This Song Great? series.  According to EverybodyWiki, Rick Beato is an American YouTuber, record producer, songwriter, musician, and educator whose career in the music industry and in education has spanned several decades and brought him numerous awards and much recognition professionally.   You can read more about him here if you are interested.  To be honest, his commentaries are beyond me musically but I still enjoy hearing an expert dissect the songs I’ve listened to for year. (more…)