Not that it needs to be proved that women can play at the highest heights, but the video below is an incredible demonstration of how to play the bass.
My wife, the lovely woman that she is, took me out for a slice and Yo La Tengo. Wow. I knew I liked them, but wow.
The first thing that surprised me about is they have been around since 1984. 1984! And I had never heard of them until about a year ago.
The second thing is that they are known as a screaming loud alternative punkish band. They are, but the first set was all acoustic and there was something utterly compelling and haunting about the music and their lyrics. These are people who are artists first and everything else can kind of go to hell. The second set was impressive for the controlled noise they create as they build from intensely creative rhythms by their drummer Georgia Hubley. She is the best, most interesting drummer I have ever seen and I can't remember seeing a band where I waited with anticipation for what the drums would do in the next song. Wow.
Of course, music is meant to be seen and heard so video/CD/MP3 never does justice to it, but the videos below should give a taste.
I've probably posted this video before, but if I could create the intensity with my writing that Arcade Fire achieves in this performance I would be really proud.
Music is one of the most powerful creative tools we writers have. The clip below testifies to that.
Weather and season are important components for setting the scene for a reader as well as inferring the physical and emotional states of the characters. However, it is difficult to write within a season without falling into cliche. There is just so much description of slate gray skies or fields of dipping violet wildflowers that can be written before it becomes cliche and predictable.
Originality really takes some work, though I also suggest not trying to reinvent the wheel (i.e. it is cold then say it is cold because sometimes straight forward is the way to go).
One of the best ways to set the context as you write and the proper mood is through music. That's why there is so much music on this blog. All of art is compliments all artistic creation.
The best music I've found for setting tone and ambiance for writing about winter is Schubert's Winterreise song cycle sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. If you have Spotify, I highly recommend a subscription, then there are a number of good recordings for you to listen to.
Below is Gute Nacht, which has about as wintery a feel as you will find anywhere, and Der Leiermann. This may not be your cup of tea for just listening to music, but it will help set a stark winter mood.
Aoife O'Donovan, Sarah Jarosz, and Sara Watkins perform John Hiatt's "Crossing Muddy Waters" at FreshGrass 2015 at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Mass.
And just Aoife...
A lovely piece of music to write to.
It's a rainy November day here in Exeter. A good day for writing. And this song seemed to capture the mood rather well when it came on RDIO.
Paul Krugman posted this on his site, Conscience of a Liberal, and while I don't like to be too much of a copycat, this is really good and I wanted to share it.
There are many reasons to post the video below today. One is that today is truly a fall day here in Exeter. The air is cold, I'm wearing a thick sweater because I refuse to turn the heat on before Columbus Day, and the leaves are truly starting to turn. All of this means it's good jazz and classical weather.
The second is today I did something I rarely do: I took five. I went for a six mile walk in the woods and the colors were wonderful. I feel somewhat restored.
And three, this version of the song offers something that can't be found on the studio recording. The pace is a bit faster than the studio recording and while Desmond does his signature melody, he breaks into an improvisation that is not on the studio recording, and so does Brubeck on the piano.
This is a truly great recording of this song.
Two of the best entertainers ever produced in this country are Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong. In the clip below, both their unique talents shine through. There's a bonus clip below that, which I think most will enjoy as well.
Sparks performed at Woodstock...
All I can say is wow:
I just watched the documentary on Nina Simone last night on Netflix and thought it was very good. Good storytelling and well put together. She was an amazing, interesting and troubled woman, but so talented.
Below are two of her songs. Enjoy.
The first is My Baby Just Cares for Me. The piano work is truly amazing and shows her dexterity and talent. The intro, however, shows her mental and emotional fragility. As a writer, she comes across as a truly complex character in this video and the one below.
Below is the song that most people of my generation know her for. This version shows her vulnerability as well as talent.
Love this guy. He's a writer's songwriter and a voice he should thank God for every day.
This is a great way to start any day of writing. This is What I'm Doing Here by Lake Street Dive.
When I started to be a writer, meaning when I actually started to sit down and write seriously, Dave Matthews had recently released his album Crash. To this day, I think it's one of the artsiest albums I've ever heard with a true sense of poetry in the lyrics and music.
To say the least, it inspired me to create and write.
Below is one of my favorite songs from that album.
Always had an affection for Blues Traveler. John Popper is something else.