Category Archives: music

Foo Fighter frenzy

Until this summer, it’s been years since I’ve paid attention to the Foo Fighters. They were always one of Chris’s bands, along with ones like Rush, King Crimson, Sugar, The Charlatans, Urge Overkill. Usually there were a couple of songs from each group that I liked, but for the most part, I couldn’t really listen to some of these bands for very long.  I’d try. How many times I’ve tried to listen to Bob Mould, knowing how much C loves him. But I just can’t, and that’s okay. There are plenty of musicians that Chris and I have in common, and plenty of hours of life for us to enjoy our own favorites.

Summer 2015, the renaissance of the Foo Fighters in my life. It began in July when the internet brought me the story of these wacky Italians who organized 1000 of their closest friends to play Learn to Fly together as a mass invitation for Dave Grohl to play them a concert.  Of course Dave agreed, in his own charming way. I loved the group video and spent some days thinking about what person or group I adore enough to make such an attempt. Honestly, can’t think of anyone. Though I once almost bought a $500 plane ticket to see Rodrigo & Gabriela again.

Anyway, listening to Learn to Fly just reminded me of how much I did enjoy certain FF songs. Which meant some evening sessions playing their old albums, and then Chris brought home a few episodes of Sonic Highways on Netflix. And for 3 nights this week, we learned about the music scenes of Chicago, Washington DC, and Nashville. I now have a fan-crush on Dave Grohl.  Did you know he grew up only about 20 miles away from me, in the greater Washington DC area?  Did you know he’s actually 2 yrs younger than me?  Needless to say, our paths never would have crossed during our adolescent years. His first concert was the Rayguns. Mine was the Beach Boys, followed a few months later by Shaun Cassidy.

Fast forward 40 years. Those first few episodes of Sonic Highways were great. I learned about how clueless I am about the DC rock scene, and all rock scenes for that matter. I’ve only been to the 9:30 Club once in my life, to see Adrian Belew and The Bears, maybe sometime in 1986 or 1987, after his King Crimson years. How did I even know about Adrian Belew, or King Crimson?  Chris, of course.

Sonic Highways taught me too about the Zac Brown Band, and Tony Joe White, and this thing called Go-Go music. Yes, that musical style was being launched during my childhood and teenage years in the DC area, and I was ensconced in my suburban neighborhood.

Zac Brown is playing next week in Saratoga Springs, less than 4 hours from where I live.  Road trip!

Musical swings in Montreal

This sidewalk swing-set music-making escapade seems like a wonderful diversion.  I can imagine the challenge of coordinating with friends may be even as fun as playing with strangers.  VDMN = volunteered dynamic musical notes.

via The Atlantic Cities

Matt and his dancing antics, back again

These videos  of Matt dancing around the world, in 20052006 and especially the 2008 one, have made me smile, laugh, and yearn to hold on to that sense of feeling at one with humanity. The imagery, the music from the 2008 one, the  vicarious and jealous thrill I felt at someone having the carefree opportunity to visit such places. If we only saw 2 or 3 seconds of a trip to a country, surely there were more than 2 or 3 days that we didn’t?

The 2012 version is now out, and I’m enjoying it as much as the rest.

I learned from Neatorama about the mini-history that Ethan Zuckerman had written for Matt’s videos. Intriguing was the story of the 2008 score which I’ve always adored. I shall purchase a (legal) copy of it, once my sleeping teenagers and their friends vacate the family room and allow me access to the computer with its master music library.

mapping cumbia in Colombia

A musical map of cumbia sources around Colombia, from Soundway Records. It’s hard to listen to these sound snippets without starting to move my feet and hips, as a dancing clod.   Colombia is my mother’s native country but I obviously inherited none of the rhythms!

entertainment maps

Movies:  a film buff has mapped 9000+ shooting locations that take place in 2000+ movies.  My university (Redlands) shows up for its cameo in The Rules of Attraction, a movie that I’ve managed to miss all these years.

Music: for people who associate music with specific places, a new map mashup lets people link to a favorite song snippet at a locale of their choice, world-wide.  Music + place = memories.

map of the Boss’s places

I never appreciated how much Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics focus on place, mapped here. He’s one of the few artists that I used to listen to constantly (freshman year of college?) but whose music still exists only on albums in my collection, perhaps never to be upgraded to digital. Time to visit iTunes for Born to Run?

via Nag on the Lake