Tag Archives: Music

Banjo Makes Everything Better

In my search for new and cool indie folk music, I’ve discovered a few new things…well, new for me at least.

The addition of banjo in any song adds a little extra dash of magic. To me, it is a summer instrument that makes me think of road trips. Perhaps in it’s ability to make each chord of a song feel like it is being stretched and pushed right into the next. It might just be in the clarity and simplicity it brings to each song. No matter how loud or distorted the sound might be in a song, the lonely banjo, in it’s own quiet little way, makes it’s voice heard.



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They Don’t Love You Like I Love You

I did something last night that reminded me of just how old I really am. Yes, I realize I am not quite reaching ‘senior citizen’ status but last night was a gentle reminder that anything I do has an equal and opposite reaction.

A friend from work told me she had tickets to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. At the time, I had just discovered this rock, indie group and told her I liked them. As it turns out, she had an extra ticket. I told her I would be excited to go.

It was general admission so we had arranged to meet fairly early to ensure we could get close to the stage when the doors had opened. I took the time to get ready and pick a comfortable, yet decent outfit. I decided flats would be my best bet as we would be standing in line for awhile.

As we stood in line, I looked around and saw quite a mixed crowd although many of them were at least 10 years younger than I was. After waiting over an hour, we finally got in and found our spots by the stage. We were in the third row of people back from the stage. This was all very exciting but as we waited another hour for something to happen on the stage, I began to notice my feet were getting a little sore.

“Oooh, not sure about this shoe choice. No arch support. Should have worn orthotics. Did I just think that? I don’t even own orthotics! No, mustn’t think that way. Must be cool and young and hip.”

So I ignored the pain. The first act came on. Some singer with two guys DJ-ing. As the DJ’s started up, it became very clear that my ears were going to take a beating tonight. The bass started up and my entire chest vibrated. The vibrations increased, out my arms and even to the tip of my nose. I felt like I had been locked in the trunk of a pimped out Acura at the hub of the stereo speakers. As the singer came out in her cape. Yes, you read that right, cape, I wasn’t sure I would immediately see the musical value. I struggled through this act but convinced myself it would all be worth it when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs came on.

As they came on, I couldn’t help but notice that my feet were hurting even more. Perhaps as long as I was distracted, I’d be ok. As we waited once again, my mind also wandered a bit…

“I wonder what time this concert will end? I wonder how difficult it will be to get out of the parking lot? I wonder if I’ll get to bed at my usual time?”

These are not the thoughts of a carefree person on vacation. These are the thoughts of someone who is clearly set into a routine. A very boring routine. It was time to let loose. Time to have some fun.

The band came out and the thrill of the crowd cheering was something I’d forgotten. I actually was getting excited now.

That excitement quickly disappeared when the band started playing. I was suddenly swept up in this see of squished teenage bodies who were all jumping in unison to the beat. Was this fun? I wasn’t sure at this point. I guess it was as the pushing started that I really started to get cranky. I literally had to lock my arms with elbows out, just to stay afloat.

“Was this safe? Somebody was going to get hurt! Why is nobody else concerned about this dangerous mob??”

Things only got worse as those teenage bodies that were rubbing up against me, poking me and grabbing me started to sweat.

“Did someone just step on my foot! Hey, I think you just touched my bum! Do you mind not shoving so much?”

At one point the singer threw a towel out into the audience. Two boys (yes, they were teenaged boys) fought violently over this sweaty towel until the crowd threw them out.

We finally looked at eachother and made our way toward the back. I don’t know why I was surprised by this but it seemed so much more civilized toward the back and the demographics of the crowd changed to older concert goers.

Ironically enough, as we finally reached the back, the band was done and the lights came on. Although I was relieved by it being over, the band really did sound fantastic and this only encouraged me to listen to them even more.

All of that being said, this crowd clearly loved this group differently than I loved them. From this point on, I would love them through the sound of speakers only or perhaps in the comfort of a venue with assigned seating.

They loved them in a “I wanna jump up and down, crashing into people and screaming while I do it kind of way” and I loved them in more of a “this is neat music and I think I will show it by politely bobbing my head to the beat” kind of way.


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Playing For Change

In a random forward that was sent to me of a youtube video, I came across the organization “Playing For Change”. This is an organization that finds talented musicians (mostly street musicians)to contribute to a recorded production of a song. These musicians have never performed together or even met before. It is simply the music that brings them together. The goal of the organization is to bring people across the world together through the power and common element of music.

I just think it’s really cool.


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Susan Boyle

What is the deal with the media and Susan Boyle? A contestant on the British reality show “Britain’s Got Talent”, she is now being dubbed an “unlikely heroine”. Apparently shocking the audience, this grey-haired, round woman who claimed she had never been kissed sang a pleasant version of “I Dreamed a Dream”.

Now, I understand that people were not necessarily expecting greatness from a woman who barely had enough stage presence to catch the attention of a captive audience, I am frustrated at the grand, superficial reaction of the media. Skill, talent and musicianship do not go hand in hand with society’s portrayal of beauty.

I suppose the other thing that frustrates me is the fact that on two other occasions of which I am aware, there were similar situations on this very television show. The first being Paul Potts and the second being Andrew Johnston. Paul Potts first displayed a timid mobile phone salesman with crooked teeth, only to later reveal a marvelous operatic version of “Nessun Dorma”.

I’m not sure what is more disturbing; the fact that these people existing continues to be such a shock to people or the fact that this show may in fact be looking for people to fit this bill, only to exploit them later.

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Simply Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby is one of those singers with a simple, yet pure voice. With all of the fancy schmancy equipment out there that can make just about any non-singer sound like a “one hit wonder”, I find it refreshing to listen to a genuine and sweet voice. What’s even better, is that she is being accompanied by a brass quintet of some fine British brass band musicians.

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