Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Musicians road map.

So we consider the source. I am a music snob. Truly no holds barred, I will have heard some of the best singers, songwriters, conductors, composers, and true masters on stage, in churches, on street corners, in smokey bars,in hot basements, crowded community centers, dives, plazas, hotel rooms, tour buses, and my life is half done.

I love music and developed an ear early because I was lucky enough to have parents who loved and appreciated music, a knack for picking up instruments, and now a partner with my same ear for the sweetness.

Also pervert my sensibilities with a father who ran a kitchen in the most popular night club in Minnesota. A classically trained vocal performance mother with a poster of Rick James in her closet. And a Southern born and bred grandmother who would drag me to every orchestra concert she could, and also taught me every burlesque song she knew.

I was doomed to be the kid who played the ukelele at camp and had a collection of autographs of famous Old men like "John Ritter" and "Sir David Wilcocks" (who knew me by name and always sang one christmas songs to me and wrote it out to me on sheet music before he left to return to England saying "Keep music close")

Kool and the Gang, Prince, The Times, and Chaka Khan! I don't even remember who else. Combined with Susan Battle (The opera Worlds Naomi Campbell) Sarah Brightman (nicest woman in the world), Andrew Lloyd Weber, John Milfrod Rutter,and Sir David Wilcox.

These moments burn themselves into your memory and come back in waves hearing the familiar opening notes.

If you have been touched by it you know what I am talking about.

That feeling when you hear a musician, or performer start their set and the entire audience in gelled together into one cohesive heartbeat and one song glides seamlessly into another.

Everything around the audience and the musician disappears and you are led through a series of stories. Muscles in your arms and legs twitch involuntarily in beat to the rhythms, maybe tears come to your eyes or you have to fight not to sing along.

I personally hate it when you sing along. But I remember once at a Dead Prez rap concert. One of the most magical concerts I have ever been to. I was in the middle of the crowd dancing, singing along, and the lead artist stopped mid track and put the microphone out to the audience, and the audience spit the lyrics to the rap verbatim without skipping a beat. It was heart stopping how powerful it felt.

"Hell Yeah"

I actually really love this group because of the social commentary and how much the group and grown up personally and professionally. I had the chance to meet them and talk about growing up, being vegan, drugs, inner city youth, and even cancer. A great bunch of guys don't let this video make you think they are a bunch of Street thugs. You couldn't be more wrong.

No one was violent, no one was angry. Everyone was there with a mutual appreciation for a great group of rappers and a desire to hear them perform.

The first memory I have of being absolutely mesmerized was when I saw Placido Domingo and Sarah Brightman sing Hosanna in Excelsis Deo. Part of the great music piece "Requiem" If you never get a chance to hear this piece....

It was during a rehearsal, so I was literally front seat, third row, holding my mom's purse. She and her friend were in the background chorus for the performance with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Imagine a little girl hearing this, sitting by herself in a huge theater.

Needless to say it was the when the drums came in and Placido and Sarah started to encourage the chamber choir to dance with them and the full orchestra came in that I was literally stunned and didn't know whether to stand and dance or continue to sit their with my mouth hanging open.

Since then I have heard many musicians. Some great, many not so great and many that I will carry in my memory forever.

Its a curse, once you hear music that is divine and you receive the gift of being able to sort the good from the bad it is a musician lovers game of mousetrap trying to find musicians these days with something new and wonderful to offer.

If you have not checked them out I have become a huge fan of Muse. Particularly this song.

Musically having your chops, not afraid to take chances, drawing you into their music, and they deliver on CD and in concert. Concerts, remember those? When we used to go to hear music? Not to watch a magic show, or a skateboard demo, just to sit or stand in the audience with your fellow music lover and revel in music.

So this is my small synapses to today. Albeit brief, my play list on my computer is almost 3G and we have over 2 MP3 players, 7 shoe boxes of digital recordings, 6 CD towers of original recordings, and 20 vinyl records worth of music in the house.

I for one am by no means done seeing what the world will put out for me to discover.

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