A Little Bit of Love

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. So here are the four albums that were suggested to me this week.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars mean I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Mika – Life in Cartoon Motion (2007)

First, I think the title and the artwork pretty much give you an idea what the album is going to be like. Pretty much. My wife got a mix CD from her cousin that had some of Mika’s songs on it, and that’s how I got introduced to him. I think this is what Freddy Mercury would have done if he were born 30 years later. I am always a sucker for good harmony, and this album does not leave you wanting for that. There was one curiosity about this album, though; it seems like something that worked for one song would be the exact thing I didn’t like about a later song. 3/5 Continue reading

Something More than Life

Some of my co-workers and I started sharing some of our favorite music. We’ve been doing it for a while, but now we’re actually reviewing them and sharing those reviews with one another. So here are the four albums that were suggested to me this week.

A note on how I rate things. One star means I don’t think it qualifies as music. Five stars means I wish I wrote the thing. Most music for me is a three.

Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love (1987)

This is something I would never buy. I probably wouldn’t skip past most of the songs if they came on in a mix, but it was just OK. There were some good songs and there were some bad ones. All in all, though, this album just didn’t engage me. Probably my least favorite of these four. 2/5

Continue reading

A Lullaby for Me

I wrote this song for a TuneStorm. A TuneStorm is a kind of online experiment (an uncompetition if you will) where you are given a prompt and you are expected to carry it out in your own style, using your own ideas, instruments, background, etc.  Like musical brainstorming. You are expected to keep your work a secret until the big revelation day to avoid influencing other uncontenstants.

My friend Spencer has done ones where the criteria was the lyrics have to be a haiku, another where the song could only be 15 seconds long, and another where the song had to be angry but you couldn’t use words. Continue reading

Meaningful Memories

I started a new job in October. I also decided I needed to write more music, so I set a goal to write one new song a month.

To give me some momentum, I cheated and reworked a song I started writing in 2008, but never finished. But the song started forming in my head years before. Continue reading

myTunes Nobody Playlist Blogpost

Ever heard of the iTunes Celebrity Playlist Podcast? Celebrities (Steve Martin, Whoopee Goldberg, Ringo Starr, Clint Eastwood, etc.) would come on and talk about music. I really like the musicians who would come on and talk about the music which influenced them as musicians. Mic Fleetwood talking about drummers, Slash talking about guitarists, etc. It was pretty good and I’m not sure why they stopped.

Weeks and weeks ago, one of the bands I play with was invited to a local radio show to guest DJ. I’m not sure where the communications breakdown was, but I thought it was going to be like the iTCPP. Instead, it was like a normal radio show with occasional talking by us the band. It was kinda fun, but I don’t know that I’d do it again if the format stays the same. Continue reading

Secret Abilities & It Gets Worse

A year ago I changed jobs and moved from a college town to a bigger city. It took me a year of trying to connect with people I already knew in town to branch out a bit on a quest to find some musical collaborators. I didn’t actually have to look that far.

You see a while ago, my band played a show and we needed some other people to play with us and out trombone player suggested his brother’s band.

They happen to be based in the town I just moved to. So since I had already played a show with them once, I asked if they needed another musician.

So I joined another band.

Which was timely, because they had a show coming up.

There was supposed to be four bands, but the drummer of The Commonalities broke his ankle or wrist or something. Anyway, the point is that he couldn’t play and they couldn’t replace him last-minute, so they pulled out. And we couldn’t find another band two days before the gig.

Also, let me add here that I don’t really understand this poster. I didn’t design it. Pee-Wee Herman? Awkward. Dolly Parton in … some sort of jungle cat print? Weird. Together? Awkweird. Speaking of awkweird…. Continue reading

You Gotta Move

Every time I get into a conversation with my boss’s boss about music, she talks about all these people her husband interviewed or reviewed (Ever heard of Carl Arrington? I had not heard of him either, until she came to work for us. Apparently, he is a kind of big deal). She does not usually talk about music I have never heard before.

Recently, however, she introduced me to a Rolling Stones cover I had never heard as well as the original, which was done by Fred McDowell: “You Gotta Move.”

This came off the Stones’ 1971 album “Sticky Fingers.” The same album “Brown Sugar” is on, but the latter seems to be the only song on the album I really recognized. Which is a crying shame, really. This is the quintessential blues song.

Continue reading