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Posts Tagged ‘MUSIC’

The two paths (m)

Somewhere along the road to self-love, the Boomers

were annointed with the sacred title of Teenager. Up

until that time, they were considered child or adult.

The age at which this mysterious transformation took

place occurred at some point during those so-called

teen years, but occur, it did. With the advent of the

Holy Teen, something new was created. Neither child,

woman or man, this creature became an entity unto

itself, with norms that allowed it to behave in ways

previously unthinkable. Rebellion, experimentation

and self-destruction became an acceptable way of life.

Not for children, not for adults, but for the Teen, of

course! The Culture Vulture thinks the Teen has

outlived its usefulness. The time has come to do away

with the entire concept of the Teenager. Children must

defer to the adult and the adult must assume full

responsibility for the choices he or she makes. No more

excuses, no more delayed maturation and above all, no

more crappy music, crappy movies and crappy fashion.

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Road Trip Tunes

Road trip, no A.C.

Image by Chovee via Flickr

Been thinking about the perfect road trip. Even a one-day getaway can be soul-nourishing. Your travelling companion is more important than your destination (just like in daily life). He or she has to share your enthusiasm for the unplanned detour to visit The World Famous Mystery Spot!!! or The Thing!!! There must also be a shared love for gas-station snacks. But, above all, you must both love (okay, tolerate will do) one another’s weird musical tastes. Because the music can make or break a good road trip. Sometimes, Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ must be sung at full volume with the windows rolled down and the wind whipping your hair into a wild imitation of Cyndi (or Boy George, take your pick), eighties style. When you’re taking the backroads, watching the miles roll by through farmland or desert, something more reflective is called for. George Winston comes to mind. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons works well. One of my fave road trip soundtracks is the music of Honk, from the surf flick, Five Summer Stories. Cameron Crowe, who gave us Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Almost Famous, made a movie (Elizabethtown) centered around the perfect road trip tunes. What is your perfect road trip compilation?

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Artists, Writers, Musicians

Everybody Else

I used to dream about hanging out with artists, writers and musicians. Then I found out they’re just like everybody else.

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My iPod is Making Me Crazy

My iPod is Making Me Crazy

My iPod is Making Me Crazy

My iPod is wreaking havoc upon my mental health. One moment, I’m meditating prayerfully on eternity and the next I’m in a sentimental swoon over my seventh-grade sweetheart. But before I even recall why the song has dragged me back to my adolescence, I’m dancing to an aerobics routine that would make Jane Fonda proud.

My iPod has changed the way I experience music. Gone are the days of slipping an album from its cardboard cover and paper sleeve, carefully placing it on the turntable and committing to one musician for forty-five minutes. The artist had forty-five minutes to make me fall in love with his or her music. Sometimes, that forty-five minute tryst became a full-blown love affair. I committed myself, like a lover, for better or worse, til death do us part. The collection of lovers could multiply, but no lover was ever discarded.

I miss the days of caressing that black disc between my palms, touching only the edges. Gently setting the needle upon the outer rim’s blank sliver , listening to the sandpaper scratch that preceded the first track. And then going along for the ride, listening as I studied the cover art and liner notes. Albums were intended as works of art. The careful assembling of various songs, when done with love, carried the listener on an emotional ride. If the artist succeeded, the listener experienced a seduction,was drawn in as a willing participant to the artist’s most intimate thoughts and emotions. And come out with a sense of completion. There was a beginning, a middle, an end. Whether cheerful or melancholy, the ending was meant to be satisfying.

Not so with my iPod. I am a schizophrenic listener now. I shuffle. I am jarred from one extreme to the next, with little commonality of idea or purpose. I dance, I feel blue, I feel elevated, I feel raunchy. It’s all one big jumble and I’m struggling to keep up. Perhaps some classical strings would soothe me. If only the violins weren’t followed by Pink telling me to get the party started.

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Mumford & Sons

Have been listening to Sigh No More obsessively lately. This Brit group’s fierce fiddling, driving beat and compelling lyrics keep me coming back again and again. Their heart-thumping, toe-tapping hillbilly sound, with just a touch of brass, is juxtaposed against phrases of layered meaning. The Chieftains and Van Morrison come to mind. Wonderful use of pauses, silence and slamming crescendos. Lyrics are laid upon the melody without forced poetic conventions. When was the last time you read (let alone reread) the liner notes on an album cover? Har, har as a bridge? Just another twist in the Mumford & Sons universe. And it’s a bleak universe. They sing of death, loss and empty souls while dark thunderclouds gather overhead. All the while, their music makes you want to get up and dance a jig. Incredible. Occasional rays of hope pierce those clouds,and you can’t help but wonder: if this wildly creative band ever gets happy, will they lose their twitchy tension? Let’s hope not.

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All You Need is Love?

The Beatles said ‘All you need is love’….and then they broke up. 

                                                   Larry Norman, singer/songwriter

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All I Want for Christmas

Just opened the latest Christmas CD from famous artists trying to be artistic. Bah, humbug! I want Christmas carols! No original songs, no songs from your heart. I want to hear the same old carols I hear every year and I’m giving you permission to be the one to deliver them into my home. So sing the old carols and no one gets hurt.

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