Monday, December 26, 2011

Music and humanity

I've been thinking lately about what music is & how we process it as human beings. What is it about music that moves us and why does one piece touch us profoundly while another leaves us unmoved? I'm not sure if it's possible to actually answer this question, it could be something that is better off left undicovered for fear of reducing it's magic. Imagine being able to reduce the beauty of art to a mathematical formula?? How boring. But the idea is interesting and worth considering to some degree. To get us started on this subject, attached is a beautiful talk on classical music by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, Benjamin Zander. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did & it gets you thinking not only about how you listen to music but also about life itself.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day 2011. It's been a good year & I have a lot to be grateful for so my thanks goes out to God for everything I'm lucky enough to have and experience every day, particularly my health, my family and my friends.

Here's a little Christmas ditty from the fantastic Wellington two piece Rock'nRoll band 'The Hasslehoff Experiment'.. Ho ho ho...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mojo Cafe - 16 December 2011

Do It Right
The Old Man & The Sea
Heavens Above
Poison Tree
Let Me Count The Ways I Love You

Played Mojo Cafe again on Friday night, it got pretty crazy busy and was standing room for those who didn't arrive early. Considering I've been asked to host three nights in 2012 it was reassuring to see how easy it is to fill the place.

Anyway my set went ok, I had Matt sit in on the first two tracks. The first being an instrumental which he learned the piano accordian to accompany me on. Pretty phenomenal effort to get that instrument down in three weeks, and the second he did some percussion and vocals on the choruses of 'Do it right' which was the highlight of the set for me, along with the final track. Debuted a new song which I've tentatively titled 'Heaven's above'. I think it's a good song but I don't think I played it very well for it's first outing on Friday, I want to try it on my electric and dirty it up a bit, I think it would suit that more than straight acoustic guitar. I also had a few issues with my voice, I've had a pretty nasty cough for the past month which resulted in my vocals being pretty scratchy. I got through ok but have definately sung better.

Overall I give the show a 6.5/10, some good moments, the old man and the sea, do it right, mixed with some average, but I'm happy with it. Any time I get to play is worth it and I got to play with some of my Uke crew for the final song. I had three lined up to play but unfortunately one had to drop out at the last minute. Still, the other two (Angie & Ty) came through and we had a nice little hand clap thing going with the crowd:

Love that tune..

PS: If you're digging the shirt, it's from the awesome Duncan & Prudence - Newtown, WGTN. Alright!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where did you sleep last night?

As a Nirvana fan I was aware that the final song from their unplugged session, 'Where did you sleep last night?', was a cover of a Leadbelly track but I had never taken the time to check out the original. I know, shame on me! Well, I finally got around to picking up a cd and it's been a really pleasant surprise. I've been on a bit of a blues crusade lately, Son House, Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson, Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson (more on him another time) & I find Leadbelly to be a lot poppier than the other artists. You can hear it in this track, the basic strum, the chord structure , verse/chorus/verse, it's all pop. This may have been what attracted Kurt to him in the first place, as Nirvana's music is basically just high end pop artfully hidden behind noise, but I guess we'll never know.
Anyway, I put this track up because I think it's hauntingly beautiful in a way that only these old blues tracks seem to be. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do: