music clip of the day


Month: March, 2013

Sunday, March 31st

back to church

“He Set Me Free,” Mt. Do-Well Baptist Church, McConnells, S.C., 1991



reading table

“God’s Grandeur”
By Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Saturday, March 30th

The other night, as Mitsuko Uchida was performing two of Mozart’s piano concertos (17, 27) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, there were moments so pure, so open, I would have liked nothing more than to disappear into one of the spaces between the notes and stay there.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, KV. 466; Mitsuko Uchida (piano and conducting), Camerata Salzburg, live, Germany (Salzburg), 2001

Friday, March 29th

only rock ’n’ roll

Dolly Varden, “California Zephyr,” live, Chicago, 1999



musical thoughts

Last Saturday, with my wife Suzanne and son Alex, I heard these folks at Fitzgerald’s, a wonderful club in Berwyn (just outside Chicago) that I’ve been going to since long before Alex, now twenty-five, was born. Some people, if given the chance to be anywhere in the world on a Saturday night, might choose Paris. Others might take Rome. London would likely get some votes, New York too. For me, last Saturday anyway, there was nowhere I would rather have been than Berwyn.

Thursday, March 28th

Most saxophonists play with their mouths and fingers.

Not this guy—he uses his whole body.

Mats Gustafsson, baritone saxophone, live, Romania (Bucharest), 2010


Sunday afternoon, at an art gallery on Chicago’s west side (Corbett vs. Dempsey), I heard Gustafsson, who lives in Sweden, perform with the Chicago-based reed player Ken Vandermark. One-word review: mesmerizing.



musical thoughts

Sometimes discaholism is taken to its most further borders when the “holy 4″ is fulfilled:

When a vinyl has the holy 4 qualities: great music, great title, great rarity and an AMAZING cover and design!!!


‘one piece of vinyl per day keeps the doctor away’

—Mats Gustafsson, Discaholic Corner

Wednesday, March 27th

What I love about the ’net is that sometimes, like yesterday, when I happened upon this, you find yourself being lifted out of your seat by something you didn’t even know existed two minutes ago.

Ned Rothenberg (clarinet, alto saxophone) & Samir Chatterjee (tabla), “Interstellar Duo #3,” live, New York, 2009



reading table

The more I read, the less I understand.

—Charles Simic, “Serving Time” (New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012)

Tuesday, March 26th

I love the way he plays Mozart. Simply. Directly. There’s nothing fussy here. Nothing fey. Melodies unfold with the ease and grace of a bird flying from branch to branch.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Sonatas & Fantasia,* Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), live, Germany (Munich), 1981


*Program (courtesy of YouTube):

0:00 – Nº4 in E flat major, K.282
14:35 – Nº9 in D major, K.311
32:58 – Nº12 in F major, K.332
55:54 – Fantasia nº4 in C minor, K.475
1:06:55 – Nº14 in C minor, K.457

Monday, March 25th

I think I’m in love—with the sister in the middle, that is.

Andy & The Bey Sisters (with Kenny Clarke, drums), “Smooth Sailing” (A. Cobb), live, Paris, c. 1964

Sunday, March 24th

They sounded so good last Sunday—let’s hear some more.

Pastor B. L. Blade with Daniel Lanois (guitar, vocals), Brian Blade (drums), et al.
“The Maker” (D. Lanois), excerpt (“Oh, river rise from your sleep.”)



random thoughts

How strange it seems sometimes, like the other day in the shower, to have hands and feet.

Saturday, March 23rd

sui generis

Quintron and Miss Pussycat, “Freedom,” New Orleans
Too Thirsty For Love, 2008



reading table

Language is finite and formal; reality is infinite and formless. Order is comic; chaos is tragic.

—John Updike, Assorted Prose (1965)

Friday, March 22nd

only rock ’n’ roll

Savages, “City’s Full,” live, London, 2012

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