music clip of the day


Month: May, 2012

Thursday, 5/31/12


Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, singer, guitar player, songwriter
March 3, 1923-May 29, 2012 

“Deep River Blues,” 1960s

Country musicians who love blues, blues musicians who love country (as I frequently encountered years ago working at Alligator Records): stories of race and music are often complex, resisting reduction to black and white.

Wednesday, 5/30/12

old stuff

Fred Astaire (with Ginger Rogers), “I Won’t Dance”
Roberta, 1935




Driving around yesterday afternoon, I happened upon a new series on NPR’s All Things Considered, “Mom and Dad’s Record Collection.” “[M]usicians, writers, even politicians” talk about a “song they discovered through a parent and how it shaped them.” First up was singer and actress Audra McDonald, who can be heard here.

Tuesday, 5/29/12

two takes

“Human Nature” (S. Porcaro & J. Bettis)

Vijay Iyer Trio (VI, piano; Stephan Crump, bass; Marcus Gilmore, drums), live (studio performance [KPLU-FM]), 2011


Michael Jackson, recording (Thriller), 1982

Monday, 5/28/12

Sometimes a drought lasts so long it ceases to be noticed.

What’s missing from our world?


Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Sunday, 5/27/12

two takes

The Mighty Clouds of Joy (feat. Joe Ligon, lead vocals)
“Steal Away To Jesus”

TV show (TV Gospel Time), early 1960s


Live, South Carolina (Charleston), 1996



art beat: yesterday at Harvard’s Sackler Museum (Cambridge, Mass.)

Lyonel Feinenger, Black Ice and Fog on the Burgkuhnauer Allee, November 1928

Saturday, 5/26/12

John Luther Adams, “Red Arc/Blue Veil” (excerpt)
Live, University of Kentucky, 2008
Clint Davis, piano
Charlie Olvera, vibraphone, crotales
Jason Corder, Jordan Munson, video

(Originally posted on 2/10/11.)



musical thoughts

One of the functions of music is to remind us how much more beautiful the world is than it needs to be.

Friday, 5/25/12

two takes

“Kung Fu” (C. Mayfield)

The Dirtbombs, live, New York (Southpaw, Brooklyn), 2008


Curtis Mayfield, recording (Sweet Exorcist), 1974



found words

Yesterday, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where I am for my son Alex’s college graduation), sitting on a brick sidewalk in Harvard Square, a panhandler with a sign:


Thursday, 5/24/12

A high school girl in Reykjavik, an old man in Prague, a grieving widow in Sydney: no matter who you are, no matter where you are, these sounds are just a click away.

Franz Schubert, Piano Sonatas D. 958 (C minor), 959 (A major), 960 (B-flat major); Alfred Brendel, piano*

One of the delights of doing this blog is imagining the lives of the folks who stop by. In the past few days, for instance, there’ve been visitors from Germany, Netherlands, France, Syria, and Italy; Lithuania, Sweden, United Kingdom, and Mexico; Greece, New Zealand, Belgium, Israel, and Ethiopia; Colombia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Spain; Mongolia, Argentina, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Singapore, and the United States. To all: Welcome!


*Here, courtesy of YouTube, is more detailed information about the program:

Sonata in C minor, D. 958

I Allegro
II Adagio
III Menuetto: Allegro — Trio
IV Allegro

Sonata in A major, D. 959
I Allegro
II Andantino
III Scherzo: Allegro vivace — Trio: Un poco più lento
IV Rondo. Allegretto — Presto

Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960
I Molto moderato
II Andante sostenuto
III Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza — Trio
IV Allegro, ma non troppo — Presto

Wednesday, 5/23/12

sounds of Cuba

Live, Santiago de Cuba, 6/21/10

Tuesday, 5/22/12

basement jukebox

Bobby “Blue” Bland, “That’s the Way Love Is” (Duke 1962)


O.V. Wright, “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (Goldwax 1964)


Jimmy Ruffin, “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” (Motown 1966)



found words

You’ve got [Cubs left fielder] Alfonso Soriano out there with Mickey Mantle’s knees. I’m not talking metaphor here. I think he really has Mickey Mantle’s knees.

—Jim Memolo, WGN Radio, Sunday’s post-game call-in show, following the Cubs’ third straight loss to the White Sox

%d bloggers like this: