Category Archives: Music

Mid-Week Music Break

The obscure work that I had in mind for this today is not on Youtube :-( so, something else, something better actually.

I have been really loving Andras Schiff’s recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas #’s 19, 20, 9, 10, 11. Well, I couldn’t find one of those either except for the Lecture-Recital videos. (That’s the way my day is going so far.) So I just picked something off the first page of search results. Honestly, I like this less than any of the aforementioned sonatas but hey, it’s Beethoven.

Mid-Week Music Break

By the 1980s I had mostly stopped paying attention to popular music. The decline (that’s how I think of it) actually started in the mid-70s. I can remember a brief conversation with a high school friend in late ’75 or early ’76 about the music that year not being as good as the previous two years. It got even worse (from my point of view) after I graduated from high school. It was hugely disappointing that the genre that had been so soul stirring just a few years earlier was becoming increasingly blah. I eventually switched to classical music and found all the excitement I had been missing and more but that would not be for a few years yet.

Throughout the ’80s I kept listening to the same radio station and by “listening” I mean “having the radio on but not really listening,” but there were a very few songs in that decade that did get my attention. This was one of them. I hadn’t even thought about it in well over a decade and then I heard a bit of it on a TV commercial.

Like many songs I could never understand the lyrics except for a few lines that stand out. The lyrics are included on the Youtube page for this video. I’m still not sure what this song is about but it’s still fun.

Creepy Country Songs

My dad liked country music so I grew up with it. It is really not hard at all to find creepy country songs. Many of them bothered me, even when I was a little kid, with the way they seemed to be sympathetic to murderers, drunks, and cheaters. But anyway, check out this list of 10 Creepiest Country Murder Ballads.

I haven’t listened to country music since the 70’s (except for the “background music” at Atwood’s and a few other local stores and I don’t pay any attention to that) so there are only four songs on the list that I’m sure I’ve heard. I might recognize one or two others if I listened to them. (Which I’m probably not going to do)

Found here at the end of a post full of much better music. (IMO)

And He Sings Too

I had heard that Mike Rowe sang opera but I hadn’t heard the whole story before.

And here’s how you sing The Star Spangled Banner if you can’t hit the high notes.

Tunnels of Music

Here’s another one from an extremely fascinating series of videos. I posted the one of Flight of the Bumblebee last week. Here’s another one. It’s even more fun toward the end where it gets busier. And there are a few others: Beethoven, Mozart, Debussy.

Classical Music Effects

For the record, I don’t believe in The Mozart Effect and even if it’s true, I think trying to convince people to listen to classical music for some beneficial effect is wrong and detrimental. So I found this hilarious:

LISZT EFFECT: Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says anything important.

BRUCKNER EFFECT: Child speaks v-e-r-y slowly and repeats himself frequently and at length. Gains reputation for profundity.

WAGNER EFFECT: Child becomes a egocentric megalomaniac. May eventually marry his sister.

MAHLER EFFECT: Child continually screams–at great length and volume–that he’s dying.

SCHOENBERG EFFECT: Child never repeats a word until he’s used all the other words in his vocabulary. Sometimes talks backwards. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child blames them for their inability to understand him.

There are several more, and don’t miss the comments because there are even more.

Note: I first saw some of these on Facebook then Googled it to find more.

Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. If you’re my age you probably learned in elementary school that Franklin talked to the French, “discovered electricity,” invented the lighting rod, and wrote a few wise and witty lines, such as “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And that was just about all. But, as adults, we have learned that he did quite a bit more than that. One of his many inventions was the glass armonica.

And here is a modern composition for glass armonica and orchestra.

Better Than Blue

It can be a little embarrassing to admit that you like Elvis Presley. There’s a good chance that someone will assume that you are one of those people. And some of his best songs are neglected in favor of the more catchy, and in some cases annoying, songs. Take, for example, Blue Christmas. (Please!) I absolutely hate, loathe, and despise that song. Maybe if they didn’t play it so much around Christmas. It is not really a Christmas song. It’s a broken-hearted love song that just happens to mention Christmas. (not to mention that the background is seriously annoying which might be the worst thing about it. I usually like Elvis’s background singers but on this one they sound like… well, I can’t think of anything else that bad right now.)

Elvis recorded at least one whole album of Christmas songs but Blue Christmas is the only one you ever hear. Unless you go looking for them yourself. This is one of my favorites, even though I don’t entirely agree with the sentiment. If every day was like Christmas, Christmas would no longer be special. In fact, I think, in some ways, all the wrong ways, every day is like Christmas. Kids no longer have to wait for Christmas to get toys or special treats. Most kids get toys and treats throughout the year, often as bribes to “be good”. And we adults don’t wait to treat ourselves either.

But anyway… sorry for the rant. Here’s the song. I love the gentleness of it.

Fall

I know I said I wasn’t going to post anything today but then I read this about the Buffalo Philharmonic and I was intrigued by Kelly’s description of the orchestra as “rather like dark chocolate, deeply rich and complex,” so I went searching on Youtube and found this seasonally appropriate piece that I had not heard before.