Wind and Willow

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been wondering what would prompt a new post. I was beginning to think it would take the Fray’s new album coming out. No chance. After listening to the EP from ‘Wind and Willow’ I’m here to point you to them. This wonderful, married duo from North Carolina inspires with awesome parts and beautiful harmonies that make you want to marry someone musical. Their songs are complex from several perspectives. The lyrics are mature and the vocal parts are (for an EP) surprisingly together and forward. The acoustic parts (played by Mark) are refreshing, layered and varied. The other instruments played by his wife, Sarah, are unexpected and fun and really bring a lot to the music.

I’m making the formal suggestion to all my friends that they should do themselves a favor and go and listen to the EP and then support the talent by getting a copy for themselves. Wind and Willow should be in your musical arsenal because they’re relatively new and that puts you ahead of the curve and they’re on their way up, so knowing about them and having their stuff makes you cool. If you needed a reason to listen to their great music- There it is. Here’s their website

Record Store Day

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

I mentioned it earlier this week. Record store day was founded in 2007 and is celebrated across the united states. Its a chance to celebrate your vinyl obsession, or be introduced to one of the coolest ways of listening to music. Many bands release vinyl albums on record store day- Nirvana does a limited edition vinyl every year, this year death cab is releasing their album (due out in  a couple of months) on vinyl tomorrow. I think its a great way to get people to buy records, and support local stores.

Get out tomorrow, socialize and buy some vinyl

Local scene

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

I live in a great music community, sometimes I take that for granted- in fact, it feels like everyone here plays in a band. I guess I’m jaded. Maybe I’m just always around a lot of musicians, so thats all I hear about- no matter how you look at it, they’re here. I bet they’re where you are too. So you should go check out what they have to offer. Leave the produced, mixed and mastered tunes on your computer/phone/iPod and go socialize with some friends over your beverage of choice and enjoy some local music, wherever you are. If you don’t know where to start, start at your local dive- or check your paper for listings about concerts. They’re out there- and the weekend starts tomorrow night- thats prime-time for your local musicians to be firing it up. If you were looking for an excuse to go out on the town this weekend, I just gave it to you.

Metronome

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

Rhythm is important, in every style of music whether its discernible or not. I have a lot of respect for people who have really great rhythm- for the rest of us, please take the time and effort to learn. This is often done with the help of a metronome . If you don’t want to go and buy one- make use of the free ones online. Listeners to your music everywhere will thank you

Vinyl

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

A friend and I were reviewing the merits of Vinyl in an early celebratory

A thing of beauty

discussion of the up-coming record-store day (which will take place this saturday) and, as I’ve discussed tapes in this forum I decided to weigh-in on the issue.  Phonograph records (Gramophone/vinyl) first-off, sound beautiful. They do, there’s a life in the record that comes through. Secondly- they’re classic- what girl doesn’t have respect for a guy with a decent record-collection, a record player and a little bit of knowledge under his belt. Thirdly, and least on my list of being important, Vinyl could be said to be making a come back. As evidenced by this record-day celebration that has been going on for about 4 years now is gaining serious momentum.

Vinyl spins in three main speeds- 78rpm, 33rpm and the smaller 45 rpm. Vinyl is what my dad spun when he was an on-air DJ back in the day. He loves recounting the skill it takes to slip a needle in while you’re introducing the track and have it come in where you want it (this is single-turntable style) or having the luxury of a dual turntable to spin records on. The vinyl dance DJ’s have a signature style thats still being copied by todays digital media DJ’s and if that doesn’t tell you something, it should.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing a real record on a real player-

Not a great idea, unless the record is already pretty destroyed

If I saw this in your house, we'd have a discussion about your lack of taste

you should look into it. Oh, and melting records down into little bowls is not that cute. stop.

Headphones

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

I love headphones- who doesn’t? They allow you to escape from the noise around you into a world of your own music, audio books, whatever you might be listening to. However, headphones earbuds and the like, while serving as somewhat of a status symbol and canceling out the noise they are somewhat overused. Not so much everywhere- but in certain places. Take for instance, currently- I am seated at a bay of computers and the person next to me is listening to techno through his earbuds and- were it staying in his earbuds- that would be fine. Alas, it is not. His rambunctious choice of music is being forced upon me. Mostly the dramatic ends of the spectrum so that I am hearing a lot of ‘highs’ from the tracks. I am not particularly concerned for the fact that he’s damaging his ears, nor for the fact that I look down on the type of music that he listens to, I digress. I am concerned with the impact on our basic human interaction.  Headphones have done wonders for modern society- making it easy to avoid people in almost every situation in life. Just put earbuds in your ears and no one will bother you. This is akin to wearing sunglasses, indoors. You never have to look at any one in the eyes. Looking people in the eyes is a wonderful thing. As is having genial conversations with people that you have never seen before, and may never seen again. I used to wear earbuds and not plug them in to anything- just so I could hear people talk about me. It happens- try it sometime.

Headphones litter the world around us and have even found a place in coffee shops, in what used to be a place of conversation, a place to catch up or talk to a stranger about the book they’re reading and listen to the low-key ‘coffee-shop music’. Now you even occasionally  get dirty looks from people when you have a conversation in a coffee shop, sometimes it feels like a library- except for the grinding of beans and the hiss of steamed milk. Its borderline criminal. The worst infraction that I have seen with headphones, however, was a couple strolling down the beach- not enjoying the sound of the waves or conversation with eachother but the sound of whatever was coming up through those wires and into their ears. I was quite taken aback as I feel that the sounds of waves on the shore might be my favorite sound in the world. Step back, occasionally remove the earbuds from your ears and take the sunglasses off your face. Join the world

Classical

9.9.2010 § Leave a comment

Guitar- not music in general. Classical guitar is a style played with a smaller bodied guitar, with nylon strings. The guitarist sits in a different position, with the guitar more between his legs than on one leg and he usually grows the fingernails out on his right hand. This position allows more access to the fret, and his fingernails allow a more defined note and method of picking. These, of course are generalities and do not encapsulate all classical guitarists. These guys are usually the best of the best and the foundation of a lot of other guitar stylings are laid on classic ground work. In a conversation recently with a friend who is a great guitarist I made a gentle jab at the classical seated position. That was when I found out that he had started out as a classical guitarist and actually had a degree in classical. Maybe next time I’ll be more careful about what I say.

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