The following people are all celebrating their birthday’s today! How many can you name (click on the image to see the answer). If you get all 18, you’re a real pro. (Honestly, I probably would have gotten about 10 correct).
In the meantime, I’ve been listening to “Rave On”, a new Buddy Holly tribute album (which NPR is streaming free here). While not normally a tribute album fan, or even a Buddy Holly fan, it was the fact that my man Jon Brion collaborated on it that got me first listening to what I soon determined to be an extraordinary collection of covers. One of the criticisms that I had previously leveled against Buddy Holly (and in fact, music from the 50’s in general) was that, to my ears, much of the music sounded exactly the same. After all, how much can you do with the chords I, IV, V, and the occasional VIm? Yet, as these artists demonstrate, there is lush variety in the music of rock n’ roll pioneer Buddy Holly.
Says who? Lots of people, but Paul McCartney, Graham Nash, John Doe, Patti Smith, Cee Lo Green, She & Him, and My Morning Jacket says especially well.
We’re done with state testing. Conceivably, this should mean that things should be slowing down. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. A few anecdotes from the week.
Monday: Voluntarily subjecting myself to another morning of frustration, humiliation, and four-putts, I enjoyed another round of golf with representatives from the English and P.E. departments. On this beautiful morning we were treated to several fly-overs from a squadron of WWII-era aircraft, likely participating in one of the Memorial Day events occurring around the city. WIN
Wednesday: I must be crazy. I must be absolutely insane. On Wednesday, I interviewed for a 5-week summer fellowship with our district headquarters. It boiled down to three questions (unfortunately, not these three). First time I’d actually worn a tie in nearly a year. ???
Thursday: One of my students unwisely decides it’d be a good idea to imbibe a bit before arriving to class, then proceeds to vomit all over the classroom floor. Brilliant. Ironically, earlier in the week I had been wistfully remembering the days of carpeted classroom floors (unlike my tile); now, I consider myself lucky. More than being angry with this student, I was mostly sad because I’d seen her make so much progress in the year that I’d had her. FAIL
Friday (Part 1): Coachella tickets for next April went on sale today (yes – more than 10 MONTHS in advance). I sit in a waiting room for several hours but score 1 for each weekend. WIN
Friday (Part 2): Our drama teacher roped me into writing a 60-sec song for a TV commercial (for a doll) he’s doing with his drama students. It ended up being a pretty fun song, and he got a quintet of 7th graders to sing along. Very fun. However, in retrospect, I’m realizing that it sound fiendishly similar to this:
So last week, it was the Dillards that I had “discovered” thanks to the ever expanding musical possibilities offered by the internet.
Now it’s Jerry Reed, whose incredibly dirty guitar licks coupled with a healthy dose of cynicism creates an absolutely astounding piece of music, rivaling anything ever recorded by equally poignant Randy Newman.
All of this begs the following question: Do our musical tastes expand, or do they become more nuanced?
Had you told me even 5 years ago that there would be “country” music that I would possibly find appealing, I’d have likely laughed it off, yet that is the reality that I find myself staring in the face today.
Perhaps it’s that I’m finding certain themes present in all types of music: honesty, passion, enthusiasm, and some freakin’ amazing chord changes.
1960’s + progressive bluegrass = pure awesomeness.
While perusing the internet for a very specific Beatles cover song, I happened upon a band that appears to have fallen into the “vastly underappreciated” category. Queued up in my Rdio player, the sound and fury of the Dillards was instantly overpowering.
I’d never been much of a “bluegrass” fan, especially growing up, but discovering a fresh sound in this previously untapped musical genre is nothing short of astounding for me.
Readers, what are some of the musical discoveries you’ve made in genres you’d previously written off?