1. Monk: The High Priest of Jazz →

    Among all the jazz musicians of his generation, none was reported “further out” than Monk. Tales of his strangeness drifted through the stale and noisy air of every jazz joint. The hipsters, taking his name for an obscure joke, called him “The Mad Monk” or “The High Priest of Bop.” They made much of his clumsy dances, his fondness for silly hats, hit gift for cryptic and whimsical statement. (In response to the question “Why do you play such strange chords, Mr. Monk?” he once told a disc jockey, “Those easy chords are hard to find nowadays.”) It was always assumed that he could be found in some dark back room, a remote, if not imaginary, figure, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

    But all the while, oblivious to the smell of boiling cabbage in the corridor, he has remained on West 63rd Street, a sentimental man with kind eyes and a full beard, playing his blunt and angular jazz on the grand piano in his kitchen.

  2. explore-blog:

The sound of a fiddle, visualized by Born of Sound. More stunning music visualization here.

    explore-blog:

    The sound of a fiddle, visualized by Born of Sound. More stunning music visualization here.

  3. theatlantic:

The Geography of America’s Music Scenes 

Numerous U.S. cities have staked claims as leading music centers. Seattle had its grunge, Chicago has electric blues, and Nashville its twang. Detroit was the birthplace of both Motown and the hard-edge distorted indie rock of The White Stripes. Austin has Stevie Ray Vaughn, Willie Nelson, and a host of legendary singer-songwriters. Then there’s of course New Orleans jazz, brass, and funk; San Francisco’s psychedelic sound; and the reverb-soaked rockabilly that is inextricably associated with Memphis’s Sun Records.

Read more. [Martin Prosperity Institute]

    theatlantic:

    The Geography of America’s Music Scenes 

    Numerous U.S. cities have staked claims as leading music centers. Seattle had its grunge, Chicago has electric blues, and Nashville its twang. Detroit was the birthplace of both Motown and the hard-edge distorted indie rock of The White Stripes. Austin has Stevie Ray Vaughn, Willie Nelson, and a host of legendary singer-songwriters. Then there’s of course New Orleans jazz, brass, and funk; San Francisco’s psychedelic sound; and the reverb-soaked rockabilly that is inextricably associated with Memphis’s Sun Records.

    Read more. [Martin Prosperity Institute]

  4. O.M.F.G.  Ry Cooder - Let’s Have A Ball Complete.  I have been looking for this for… oh, ‘bout 20 years!!!!

    (Source: youtube.com)

  5. In April 2012 Copenhagen Phil (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) surprised the passengers in the Copenhagen Metro by playing Griegs Peer Gynt. The flash mob was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk. All music was performed and recorded in the metro… (via TYWKIWDBI (“Tai-Wiki-Widbee”): One more flash mob (Copenhagen Metro))

  6. 100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll) (by Chicago Music Exchange)

    … and all in one take!

  7. theatlantic:

    Remembering Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn’s Quiet, Sweeping Influence

    The bassist usually doesn’t get much attention. Occasionally, a flashy player hogs the spotlight with slapping, popping, and soloing, but it’s usually just a quiet guy holding down the low end and staying out of the way. For many listeners, Duck Dunn probably seemed like the latter sort of rudimentary player. That’s probably the way he would have had it, too. But it would be a mistake to think of Dunn, who died in his sleep at 70 Sunday, as a background player. In fact, he is probably the most influential bassist of the last 50 years, with an impact in every pop genre save country.

    Even if you’ve never heard of Dunn, you’ve heard a lot of his playing. That’s him easing into Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” Those are his monster arpeggios chugging along under Wilson Pickett’s “Midnight Hour.” It’s his syncopation at the bottom of Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’.” And that’s him in The Blues Brothers, too. As a member of Booker T. and the MG’s, the house band at Stax, he played on most of the great Memphis soul hits. […]

    But it’s not just the inevitable head-bopping that accompanies the classic Stax sides that makes Dunn an immortal. It’s his influence.

    Read more.

  8. theatlantic:

    Levon Helm Was Perfect

    Levon Helm wasn’t a flashy player, merely a perfect one. The best musicians often give the impression that they make music conform to their own rules rather than the other way around, bending it to their will and converting the counterintuitive into the suddenly obvious. Watch this incredible performance of Van Morrison’s “Caravan” and pay attention to what happens at around 0:17: The Band start the song just a bit too fast, and three bars in Levon slows the entire thing down, in the blink of an eye, like an expert jockey atop a world-class thoroughbred. By conventional rule, spontaneously slowing down or speeding up a song is a cliché of bad music-making, but here it works. And of course the tempo he slows it to is exquisitely, achingly right.

    It wasn’t all mysticism, of course. He was a technically monstrous player of unsurpassed versatility, one who could turn challenging music into something that sounded effortless. Other great bands have played difficult material, but on Steely Dan records the music sounds hard, wearing complexity on its sleeve with a sort of punk defiance. The Band’s “Jawbone” goes through more meters than Con Edison but sounds utterly natural: The Carter Family at a cookout with mid-’60s Miles Davis, everyone getting along, Levon working the grill.

    He could sing a little, too. For all of his prowess at the drums, most of the world will remember Levon Helm as the voice of “Ophelia,” “Up On Cripple Creek,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The Band boasted an embarrassment of vocal riches, and while Levon lacked the extraordinary expressive range of Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, his may have been the most indelible sound of the three. Listening to that worn and cozy voice was like being told a story around a campfire, after the humidity has broken and the mosquitoes have gone to sleep. Come upon “The Weight” on the radio at the right moment, and the entire world stands still.

    Read more.

  9. evade the noise™: How to Listen to Music →

    evadethenoise:

    Soni listening to music

    We like to think of ourselves as “serious” music listeners here at evade, but after reading this article we’re starting to doubt ourselves. The good people at The Atlantic have some helpful tips on just how to listen to music. Here’s the 7 main points (all of which come from the book Music: Ways of Listening, published in 1982):

    1. Develop your sensitivity to music. Try to respond esthetically to all sounds, from the hum of the refrigerator motor or the paddling of oars on a lake, to the tones of a cello or muted trumpet…On a more complex level, try to relate sounds to each other in patterns: the successive notes in a melody, or the interrelationships between an ice cream truck jingle and nearby children’s games.

    2. Time is a crucial component of the musical experience. Develop asense of time as it passes: duration, motion, and the placement of events within a time frame. How long is thirty seconds, for example? A given duration of clock-time will feel very different if contexts of activity and motion are changed.

    3. Develop a musical memory. While listening to a piece, try to recall familiar patterns, relating new events to past ones and placing them all within a durational frame.

    4. If we want to read, write or talk about music, we must acquire a working vocabulary. Music is basically a nonverbal art, and its unique events and effects are often too elusive for everyday words; we need special words to describe them, however inadequately.

    5. Try to develop musical concentration, especially when listening to lengthy pieces. Composers and performers learn how to fill different time-frames in appropriate ways, using certain gestures and patterns for long works and others for brief ones. The listener must also learn to adjust to varying durations.

    6. Try to listen objectively and dispassionately. Concentrate upon ‘what’s there,’ and not what you hope or wish would be there.