Posts tagged music

Good Morning! Here’s a Great Way to Start Your Day

Fire on the mountain, c’mon!

Relevant, from the New Yorker: DEADHEAD

Born In The USA: Independence Day Thoughts
David Brooks put together a solid piece of opinion writing in the New York Times last week. The article’s first 300 words focus on a trip Brooks took to see Bruce Springsteen play on tour in Europe.  So, suffice it to say, it wasn’t your typical Times opinion piece. 
Describing the tour, Brooks mentioned a powerful scene he witnessed at a concert in Spain:

The oddest moment came midconcert when I looked across the football stadium and saw 56,000 enraptured Spaniards, pumping their fists in the air in fervent unison and bellowing at the top of their lungs, “I was born in the U.S.A.! I was born in the U.S.A.!”

"Did it occur to them at that moment," Brooks asks, "that they were not born in the U.S.A.?
At first glance, this appears pretty incredible. Just think of it: a packed stadium in Spain bellowing a patriotic American rock anthem. But “Born In The U.S.A.” is not a simple song. In an essay entitled Faith, Fandom and Bruce Springsteen, a former college professor of mine, Jeff Cowie, looks at the song in the following way: 

Few songs expose the tension between the power of the America story and its seamy underside better than Springsteen’s biggest, and most misunderstood, hit, “Born in the U.S.A.” Nearly lost in the tidal wave of sound pouring from the thundering guitars and the hoarse, grinding voice chanting the title lyric, is a quiet tale of despair. The story of a Vietnam vet searching for work and dignity amid the declining fortunes of an American dream gone awry is almost completely drowned out in the dominant chorus of patriotism.

That said, one of the beautiful things about the United States is how it can at once be loved and criticized with equal vigor. Yes, things are not perfect, but the belief is that they can be made better and, with persistence, they will.
It’s fitting then that Springsteen would embed his criticism through the lens of optimism. “Born In The U.S.A” is just that- an upbeat and joyous rock anthem with lyrics that say things aren’t great but, taken together, the overall message is that things can get better. 
I think that’s an essential attitude for any Democracy. It’s why the lyrics resonate here, and elsewhere. Just something to think of as we approach July 4th. 

Born In The USA: Independence Day Thoughts

David Brooks put together a solid piece of opinion writing in the New York Times last week. The article’s first 300 words focus on a trip Brooks took to see Bruce Springsteen play on tour in Europe.  So, suffice it to say, it wasn’t your typical Times opinion piece. 

Describing the tour, Brooks mentioned a powerful scene he witnessed at a concert in Spain:

The oddest moment came midconcert when I looked across the football stadium and saw 56,000 enraptured Spaniards, pumping their fists in the air in fervent unison and bellowing at the top of their lungs, “I was born in the U.S.A.! I was born in the U.S.A.!”

"Did it occur to them at that moment," Brooks asks, "that they were not born in the U.S.A.?

At first glance, this appears pretty incredible. Just think of it: a packed stadium in Spain bellowing a patriotic American rock anthem. But “Born In The U.S.A.” is not a simple song. In an essay entitled Faith, Fandom and Bruce Springsteen, a former college professor of mine, Jeff Cowie, looks at the song in the following way: 

Few songs expose the tension between the power of the America story and its seamy underside better than Springsteen’s biggest, and most misunderstood, hit, “Born in the U.S.A.” Nearly lost in the tidal wave of sound pouring from the thundering guitars and the hoarse, grinding voice chanting the title lyric, is a quiet tale of despair. The story of a Vietnam vet searching for work and dignity amid the declining fortunes of an American dream gone awry is almost completely drowned out in the dominant chorus of patriotism.

That said, one of the beautiful things about the United States is how it can at once be loved and criticized with equal vigor. Yes, things are not perfect, but the belief is that they can be made better and, with persistence, they will.

It’s fitting then that Springsteen would embed his criticism through the lens of optimism. “Born In The U.S.A” is just that- an upbeat and joyous rock anthem with lyrics that say things aren’t great but, taken together, the overall message is that things can get better. 

I think that’s an essential attitude for any Democracy. It’s why the lyrics resonate here, and elsewhere. Just something to think of as we approach July 4th. 

ONE FORTY PLUS: I have no idea how to introduce this post, so I’m skipping the first...

jhnmyr:

I have no idea how to introduce this post, so I’m skipping the first paragraph.

During rehearsal on Tuesday, it came to mind that I should see my throat doctor because something didn’t feel/sound right. I went in for a visit on Wednesday and a scope of my vocal cords revealed that the granuloma…

John Mayer, the guy who got me to join Tumblr, won’t be singing again anytime soon. Mayer announced today that he will be sidelined indefinitely due to a return of a growth on his vocal cords.

My first words on Tumblr- “Kudos to John Mayer

Cut Copy: Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution
As you may know, I love using this space as a way to get the word out about music that deserves some recognition. Cut Copy, an upbeat electronic band out of Melbourne, is quite deserving. Seeing these guys light up (no pun intended) The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey was really something. Next time you’re looking to for a way to further boost your mood, listen to a few tracks off of thier newest release: Zonoscope. It doesn’t get any better. 

Cut Copy: Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution

As you may know, I love using this space as a way to get the word out about music that deserves some recognition. Cut Copy, an upbeat electronic band out of Melbourne, is quite deserving. Seeing these guys light up (no pun intended) The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey was really something. Next time you’re looking to for a way to further boost your mood, listen to a few tracks off of thier newest release: Zonoscope. It doesn’t get any better. 

Moby in Brooklyn 
A few months ago I had the chance to catch a discussion and performance by Moby at the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while but have been caught up in, well, life. The DJ slash electronic music extraordinaire spoke candidly about why he left NYC (not weird enough anymore) and about his photography, which he recently complied into a book to go along with his album Destroyed. Moby’s photos are erie, lots of shots of empty rooms and waiting areas interspersed with crowds spanning as far as the eye can see. But that’s life on tour, said Moby, as he described the epic peaks while performing and the desolate valleys while moving city to city. 
The treat, of course, came at the end where Moby’s band came on and played a number of heartfelt acoustic versions of his most popular songs. Here are a few (highly recommended) videos of the performance to check out for yourself: 
We Are All Made of Stars 
Porcelain
Natural Blues

Moby in Brooklyn

A few months ago I had the chance to catch a discussion and performance by Moby at the Brooklyn Museum. I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while but have been caught up in, well, life. The DJ slash electronic music extraordinaire spoke candidly about why he left NYC (not weird enough anymore) and about his photography, which he recently complied into a book to go along with his album Destroyed. Moby’s photos are erie, lots of shots of empty rooms and waiting areas interspersed with crowds spanning as far as the eye can see. But that’s life on tour, said Moby, as he described the epic peaks while performing and the desolate valleys while moving city to city. 

The treat, of course, came at the end where Moby’s band came on and played a number of heartfelt acoustic versions of his most popular songs. Here are a few (highly recommended) videos of the performance to check out for yourself: