The Power in the Song

DSC_0288In one of my earliest memories, mom lifts me out of an amp case. “Honey, you’re getting way too big for that.” I am probably a year and a half old.

I’m driven by music; I grew up vibrating in four-four time. I never believed in love, probably because I always imagined I’d fuck my life up by getting together with a musician. Instead I lucked into this academic who isn’t a big fan of concerts and guitars, who anchors me instead with the kind of harmony that doesn’t need sound.

He understands how I thrive on the other, though.

Last year on our anniversary, Scott stayed home with the kids so I could drive to Birmingham and see The Head and the Heart.… Read the rest

1812 festival overture

It starts in low with the strings, sorrowful and full of remembrance. Let us not forget those dead who went before, those who fell, those who stood until they could not stand, those who never let fail. Here is their pavane. Hope and trepidation hold hands and carry out their somber bodies.
Listen to the clarinet standing alone. Listen to the battle story. The nervous thrumming strings are the racing hearts of memory. Now the brass! The first clashes build to tempestuous thunder and then collapse. But the winds rally! The theme! It is time for the theme! But as strongly as it begins, it fades away, and the orchestra waits, poised.… Read the rest

Noise pollution

“Turn it down.” Scott’s face loomed as my door swung open.

“I had that closed.”

“We can hear you in the kitchen.”

“Yeah, Mom, it’s too loud.” Caroline poked her head under her father’s elbow.

“You’re only complaining because it’s heavy metal. If I had the Beatles up, you’d be in here dancing.”

“You’ve got Beatles? I want the Beatles!” Sam joined the fray with enthusiasm unreasonable for someone who should have been zoned out in front of the TV.

I clicked around until my desk stopped shaking with the gunshots of “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You.”

Scott rubbed the back of his head.… Read the rest

Sam’s Song

Last night, I told you about Caroline’s fondness for Neil Diamond’s song with her name in it. Sam has a song, too, but we only found it recently. There just isn’t much out there with the name “Sam” in it, or even “Scott”, since that’s really his name. But, with a little research, Dad found us Barbara Streisand’s cover of “Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long” for me yesterday. Here’s a YouTube link in case you haven’t ever heard it before. Like us. Go on and listen. I’ll wait.

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In case the embedding doesn’t work, here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrmIEl9S8VQ

There now.  … Read the rest

Pandora

I’m in a relationship with Pandora radio, and it’s complicated. Not just the relationship, but the entire system. In theory, Pandora only plays music you like, and it determines your desires by keeping track of your “like” and “dislike” clicks in “stations” you create. It sounds simple, but it isn’t in any way ingenious, even when attached to something with the name “The Music Genome Project”.  

Here’s how it works. When you first login, you search for an artist or song you like. Based on that search, Pandora plays a song it thinks you’ll enjoy, not necessarily the thing you actually searched for.… Read the rest