music clip of the day


Month: April, 2014

Wednesday, April 30th

sounds of Chicago

Specter (AKA Spekter, Andres Ordanez), “Pipe Bomb,” 2011



reading table

[N]othing enhances pleasures and blocks guilt like a looming cataclysm.

—Aleksandar Hemon, The Book of My Lives

Tuesday, April 29th

Happy (115th) Birthday, Duke!

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, April 29, 1899-May 24, 1974
pianist, composer, bandleader

“Black Beauty,” 1928


“C Jam Blues,” 1942


“Mood Indigo,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” 1943




WKCR (Columbia University): all Duke, all day.

Monday, April 28th


DJ Rashad, October 9, 1979-April 26, 2014

Live, Chicago (Pitchfork Music Festival), 2013


“I Don’t Give A Fuck” (sampling Tupac Shakur’s dialogue in Juice), 2013


“I’m Gone” (remixing Gil Scott-Heron’s “Home Is Where The Hatred Is”), 2011

Sunday, April 27th

Friday he was at a nightclub in Vancouver. Today he’s playing a different venue—his father’s Shreveport church.

Choir (with Brian Blade, drums), Zion Baptist Church (Brady Blade Sr., pastor), Shreveport, La., December 23, 2012



reading table

celestial geese—
none of them come down
to my pine

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827; translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Saturday, April 26th

only rock ’n’ roll

MC5: A True Testimonial (2002)


Thanks to my brother Don for the tip. We first encountered these guys in Chicago’s Lincoln Park during the 1968 Democratic Convention. The park is still there. But that moment, when, as a teenager, nothing mattered more than intensity and attitude, is long gone.



found words

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the advertising from the conceptual art. Last night, while driving to Hyde Park to hear pianist Rafal Blechacz, I came upon a billboard:


Who knew Diet Coke could be so deep?

Friday, April 25th

only rock ’n’ roll

Black Dub (Daniel Lanois, guitar, vocals; Trixie Whitley, keyboards, vocals; Jim Wilson, bass, vocals; Brian Blade, drums), “Ring the Alarm,” live, Vancouver, 2011



art beat

Danny Lyon (1942-), Four Boys, Uptown, Chicago (1965)


Thursday, April 24th

never enough

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor
Rafal Blechacz (1985-), piano, live

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

4th Movement


can’t wait 

Tomorrow Blechacz (pronounced, I just learned, BLEH-hatch), who recently won the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award,* will be at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, playing Bach and Beethoven and Chopin.


*New York Times (1/8/14):

[O]ne of the great windfalls of the music world . . . the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award . . . is given every four years to an unsuspecting pianist deemed worthy of a great career by a panel of anonymous judges who conduct their worldwide talent search in secret.

Wednesday, April 23rd

sounds of New Orleans

Let Me Do My Thang: Rebirth Brass Band (Keith Reynaud, 2000)



random thoughts

Day after day tiptoeing through minefields, until finally our luck runs out.


Tuesday, April 22nd

Happy (92nd) Birthday, Mingus!

Charles Mingus, bassist, composer, bandleader
April 22, 1922-January 5, 1979

Charles Mingus Quintet (CM, bass; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone; Ted Curson, trumpet; Dannie Richmond, drums) with guest Bud Powell (piano), “I’ll Remember April” (G. de Paul, P. Johnston, D. Raye), live, France (Antibes Jazz Festival), 1960




WKCR (Columbia University): all Mingus, all day.

Monday, April 21st

old stuff

Jeannette and Her Synco Jazzers (Mary Lou Williams, piano, et al.), “The Bumps” (rec. 1927, Chicago)



musical thoughts

Whistling was said to be popular among ancient Chinese hermits as a way of achieving oneness with nature.

Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei (translations by Tony Barnstone, Willis Barnstone, Xu Haixin)

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