Musical Monday 4/25/16

Even now, after death, Prince continues to be prolific, kinda. His influence still spreads across many aspects of life.

I didn’t see it but, apparently SNL issued a retrospective of Prince performances. Jimmy Fallon hosted and also offered a recap of Prince’s performance at the 40th anniversary of SNL afterparty. I am not completely familiar with all of Prince’s extensive catalogue, but this one performance (like his Superbowl halftime show provides a good idea of the concept of him for those searching for a more complete encapsulation. A video of the after show performance exists and it’s legitimately cool. I loved seeing a bunch of popular people at the celebration jam along to Prince as he sings.

On top of that, Bruce Springsteen, someone I am more familiar with most of the work (but definitely not all), opened a recent show with Purple Rain. And, still, in Jenga fashion the tributes stack higher, at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) there’s a exhibit called the “rain room.” In the “Rain Room” I guess you stand in the center and it rains around you but not on you. From all reports it looks pretty cool. 

After the surprising revelation of Prince’s death, the “rain room” rained down purple colored rain in Prince’s honor. 

While it doesn’t cleanse the sorrow from those missing Prince’s presence, the tributes serve as a touching reminder of Prince’s wide influence.

Musical Monday 4/11/16

Musical Monday 4/11/16

May 9, 2016

I used to like the Roots just fine. I used to like John Legend just fine (except for his innuendo filled ode to nutmeg on the Colbert Holiday Special which was fantastic). I was familiar with both, just not star-struck by either. More like, “they’re cool. They’re good. Whatever.” But then I heard this song. The whole album is good but this song is really good. And being able to watch them jam out makes it better for some reason.

Another tidbit having nothing to do with the preceding. I like the cello. It sounds cool. I also like Led Zepplin. They sound cool too. Beethoven was a genius. It comes off a bit corse, but he also sounded cool. No wonder the combination of the three sounds cool.

Musical Monday 3/28/16

Musical Monday 3/28/16

May 9, 2016

Usually, everywhere, you can hear some kind of music from somewhere. On your car radio as you drive down the road. Pumped through the speakers as you peruse the aisles in the grocery store. Pretending to relax you as you sit patiently in a doctor’s office waiting for expert input. But often the music just provides meaningless white noise subservient to the task at hand. We fail to appreciate that a tremendous amount of effort actually goes into creating the sounds that we take for granted as background noise. People create those “noises” and pin all sorts of hopes and dreams to their creation.

So, thinking beyond the toe tapping, here’s one of my favorite song lyrics:

Kids flash guitars just like switchblades,

Hustling for the record machine.

The Hungry and the hunted,

Explode into Rock’n’Roll bands,

And face off against each other out in the street,

 - Bruce Springsteen, Jungleland


Here’s another:

One likes to believe in the freedom of music,

but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity 

- Rush, Spirit of the Radio


In conjunction they speak to an important issue. That the primal thing sought often lacks what we think it would. It's not the destination, it's the journey. The kids in the first song compete in the arena of perception for prominence. But in the second song it becomes clear that the hard sought prize, once achieved, is really fool's gold, made worthless through compromise. Back when the kids were just being kids in the street they still had their integrity. The illusion was not yet an illusion. The majority of the trip is the journey anyway. Usually just a small percentage makes up arriving at the destination. If only the kids, or all makers of music, or anyone making anything, or anyone, better appreciated the journey a shattered destination would not disappoint as much.