music clip of the day

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Month: April, 2013

Tuesday, April 30th

one thing after

another after another 

after another after another after . . . 

John Cage (1912-1992), Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1958); Variable Geometry (Jean-Phillippe Calvin, director), live, London, 2011

A performance like this can go wrong in so many ways. This one, to these ears, works wonderfully. Momentum, tautness, immediacy—it has them all.

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Everything we do is music.

John Cage

Monday, April 29th

serendipity

Every so often, like, for instance, last night, when I was listening to the radio* while working on a brief for a client who’s serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder, I find myself being totally swept away by something that, a minute earlier, I didn’t even know existed.

Pannalal Ghosh (1911-1960), bansuri (Indian flute), Raga Darbari

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lagniappe

random thoughts

One thing we can be sure of, in an otherwise uncertain world, is that each of us is a child of a God who may or may not exist.

*Raag Aur Taal, WKCR-FM (Columbia University).

Sunday, April 28th

more

George Jones (1931-2013), “Amazing Grace,” TV show, 2008


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lagniappe

radio

Today, beginning at 10 a.m. (EST), there’ll be a four-hour memorial broadcast on WKCR-FM (Columbia University). 

Saturday, April 27th

passings

George Jones, September 12, 1931-April 26, 2013

With Johnny Paycheck (vocals & bass), et al., “Things Have Gone To Pieces,” TV show, 1960s


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lagniappe

George Jones, the definitive country singer of the last half-century, whose songs about heartbreak and hard drinking echoed his own turbulent life, died on Friday in Nashville. He was 81.

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Mr. Jones was a presence on the country charts from the 1950s into the 21st century, and as early as the 1960s he was praised by listeners and fellow musicians as the greatest living country singer. He was never a crossover act; while country fans revered him, pop and rock radio stations ignored him. But by the 1980s, Mr. Jones had come to stand for country tradition. Country singers through the decades, from Garth Brooks and Randy Travis to Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, learned licks from Mr. Jones, who never bothered to wear a cowboy hat.

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George Glenn Jones was born with a broken arm in Saratoga, Tex., an oil-field town, on Sept. 12, 1931, to Clare and George Washington Jones. His father, a truck driver and pipe fitter, bought George his first guitar when he was 9, and with help from a Sunday school teacher he taught himself to play melodies and chords. As a teenager he sang on the streets, in Pentecostal revival services and in the honky-tonks in the Gulf Coast port of Beaumont. Bus drivers let him ride free if he sang. Soon he was appearing on radio shows, forging a style modeled on Lefty Frizzell, Roy Acuff and Hank Williams.

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In his last years, Mr. Jones found himself upholding a traditional sound that had largely disappeared from commercial country radio. “They just shut us off all together at one time,” he said in a 2012 conversation with the photographer Alan Mercer. “It’s not the right way to do these things. You just don’t take something as big as what we had and throw it away without regrets.”

“They don’t care about you as a person,” he added. “They don’t even know who I am in downtown Nashville.”

—Jon Pareles, New York Times, 4/26/13

Friday, April 26th

what’s new

Colin Stetson (saxophone), “In Mirrors,” “And In Truth” (feat. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon), 4/13

Thursday, April 25th

Who better to sing about a ghost town than a band that’s survived not only Katrina but three—yes, three—homicides?*

Hot 8 Brass Band, “Ghost Town,” New Orleans, 2012

*As detailed in Wikipedia, in 1996 “seventeen-year-old trumpet player Jacob Johnson was found shot execution-style in his home”; in 2004 “trombone player Joseph ‘Shotgun Joe’ Williams was shot dead by police in controversial circumstances”; and in 2006 “drummer Dinerral “Dick” Shavers was shot and killed while driving with his family,” with a bullet intended for his fifteen-year-old stepson.

Wednesday, April 24th

passings

Richie Havens, January 21, 1941-April 22, 2013

“All Along The Watchtower” (B. Dylan), live, Mountain Jam (Hunter, N.Y.), 2009

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lagniappe

reading table

Nakamichi, 1892 (Japanese Death Poems, Yoel Hoffman, ed.)

Ice in a hot world:
my life
melts.

Tuesday, April 23rd

There seem to be two possibilities here. One is that you’ll find this mesmerizing, as I do. The other is that it’ll drive you bonkers.

Roscoe Mitchell, alto saxophone, live, Italy (Bologna, Angelica Festival), 2011

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lagniappe

reading table

Wang Wei (699-759), “Deer Park”
(translated from Chinese by Gary Snyder)

Empty mountains:
            no one to be seen.
Yet—hear—
            human sounds and echoes.
Returning sunlight
            enters the dark woods;
Again shining
            on the green moss, above.

Monday, April 22nd

Let’s listen, after a week of bombings and explosions and earthquakes, to something spare, something quiet.

Erik Satie (1866-1925), Sonneries de la Rose + Croix – Air du Grand Prieur (1892); Reinbert de Leeuw, piano


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lagniappe

radio

Happy Birthday, Charles Mingus!

Today it’s all Mingus, all day at WKCR-FM (Columbia University).

Sunday, April 21st

Once I start listening to this I don’t want to stop, ever.

The Original Gospel Harmonettes (featuring MCOTD Hall of Famer Dorothy Love Coates), “He’s Calling Me,” 1955


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lagniappe

art beat: Tuesday at the Chicago Cultural Center

Hale Woodruff (1900-1980), Old Farmhouse in Beauce Valley, 1928 (featured, through June 16th, in Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College)

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random thoughts

It seems to be difficult, if not impossible, for me to grasp the apparent fact that the distance between, say, 2010 and 1960, when I was eight years old, is just as great as that between 1960 and 1910.

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