Recently in Music Category


| No Comments

Love it - mashup of rap and bluegrass  —  they are having way too much fun:
Youtube channel here: Gangstagrass   Website
Lots more there

And anyone that does a theme song for Pi Day gets my unconditional love:

Well crap - RIP Gordon Lightfoot

| No Comments

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

Canadian folk music icon Gordon Lightfoot dead at 84
Canadian folk music icon Gordon Lightfoot, whose evocative and poetic songs are etched into the musical landscape of Canada, has died at the age of 84, according to his longtime publicist Victoria Lord.

Lord says Lightfoot died at a Toronto hospital on Monday evening. The cause of death was not immediately available

Born in Orillia, Ont., Lightfoot was hailed as Canada's folk troubadour for his soulful music and stirring lyrics. In songs such as The Canadian Railroad Trilogy and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, he explored the country's history, geography and culture.

"He is our poet laureate, he is our iconic singer-songwriter," said Rush singer Geddy Lee in the 2019 documentary Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.

"If there was a Mt. Rushmore in Canada, Gordon would be on it," said Tom Cochrane, in that same documentary.

Played a bunch of his music when I was living in Boston.  Really good way with words.  Epitome of singer/songwriter.


| No Comments

I love electronic music and synthesizers. 
The music out of Germany in the 1960's and 70's was wonderful.

Nice history at Reverb:

The Synths and Electronic Gear of Krautrock
Something incredible happened in Germany in the late 1960s. A generation of young people, equally determined to not follow in their parents’ fascist footsteps and not copy American and British styles of music, set about creating their own. This was not an organized movement like punk or rave, but kismet. Musicians all over the country simultaneously decided to forge something new from the cultural ashes of their country.

It wasn’t a unified movement: there were as many ways of going about this as there were bands doing it. Novel ways of playing, such as improvisation, were common, as were unusual tunings and rhythms. This embrace of the new went beyond how they played their instruments and encompassed the actual instruments themselves. Certainly there were bands playing standard instruments like guitar, bass and drums, but others gravitated towards the new electronics that were emerging, including nascent synthesizers, drum machines, and effects. There were no rules—if it could make a noise, it could get thrown into the mix.

It was also often a sound honed in the studio, away from prying ears. David Stubbs, the author of the excellent book on Krautrock music, Future Days, explained it to me like this when I reached out: “Attaining an independent studio space was of the utmost importance to early Krautrock bands including Faust, Can, Kraftwerk—a space in which they could operate independently of the mainstream, commercial rock/pop conveyor belt, construct their own sound, West German in origin, from scratch. Electronics naturally played a starring role in this initiative. (Producer Connie) Plank was of great assistance but also the likes of Kurt Graupner, who devised ‘black boxes’ for Faust at their Wümme studio in 1971-2, enabling them to ‘jam’ and splice together their sounds in unorthodox ways.”

Much more at the site - nice essays about the various bands and the equipment they used.

Terry Riley interview

| No Comments

One of my favorite composers. His 1969 release A Rainbow in Curved Air knocked my socks off.
Got me interested in minimal music and synthesizers.

The people who did this have a lot of other videos that look incredible - going to be spending a lot of time here.

Check out The Louisiana Channel

Their tag-line is: On the arts, featuring the artists. New videos every week.

Getting off to a good start - 2023

| No Comments

Looks like 2023 will be just as much of a dumpster fire as 2020, 2021 and 2022
From the Beeb:

Jeff Beck: British guitar legend dies aged 78
Jeff Beck, one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, has died at the age of 78.

The British musician rose to fame as part of the Yardbirds, where he replaced Eric Clapton, before forming the Jeff Beck group with Rod Stewart.

His tone, presence and, above all, volume redefined guitar music in the 1960s, and influenced movements like heavy metal, jazz-rock and even punk.

Beck's death was confirmed on his official Twitter page.

"On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck's passing," the statement said.

"After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss."

Speaking when he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time in 2009, Beck - said: "I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible."

"That's the point now, isn't it? I don't care about the rules.

"In fact, if I don't break the rules at least 10 times in every song, then I'm not doing my job properly."

A genuine genius.  The heavenly choir just got an amazing lead guitarist.
And yes, you read the statement correctly:  "After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis"

Musical keys - an interesting list

| No Comments

Different keys as well as the Major and Minor variants have different emotional weights.
A bit of history and a list from 1806 - from the School of Music, Western Michigan University:

Affective Musical Key Characteristics
The association of musical keys with specific emotional or qualitative characteristic was fairly common prior to the 20th century. It was part of the shared cultural experience of those who made, performed and listened to music. When Mozart or Beethoven or Schubert wrote a piece in a Ab major, for example, they were well aware of this was the 'key of the grave' and knew that many in their audiences were as well. We lose a part of the meaning of their music if we are ignorant of their affective choices. Although these characteristics were, of course, subjective, it was possible to conceive of each key as unique because each key actually sounded distinct within unequal temperaments. When equal temperament became the dominant tuning after 1917, the aural quality of every key became the same, and therefore these affective characteristics are mostly lost to us. (See Piano's Ivory Cage) One of the most influential descriptions of characteristics shared in German-speaking cultures in the late 18th and early 19th century was from from Christian Schubart's Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkunst (1806):

C Major
Completely Pure. Its character is: innocence, simplicity, naïvety, children's talk.

C Minor
Declaration of love and at the same time the lament of unhappy love. All languishing, longing, sighing of the love-sick soul lies in this key.

D♭ Major
A leering key, degenerating into grief and rapture. It cannot laugh, but it can smile; it cannot howl, but it can at least grimace its crying.--Consequently only unusual characters and feelings can be brought out in this key.

C# Minor
Penitential lamentation, intimate conversation with God, the friend and help-meet of life; sighs of disappointed friendship and love lie in its radius.

D Major
The key of triumph, of Hallejuahs, of war-cries, of victory-rejoicing. Thus, the inviting symphonies, the marches, holiday songs and heaven-rejoicing choruses are set in this key.

D Minor
Melancholy womanliness, the spleen and humours brood.

Fascinating - especially that so much of this was lost in the switch to equal temperament.  One of the things that I love about synthesizers is that it is a trivial matter to change the tuning.  Got a musical idea?  Try it in a different key or different temperment. I used to be really interested in pipe organs (built one in my basement during high school and apprenticed with a builder for a summer) and doing this would be impossible.  Fun time to be alive...

Thou shalt break them

| No Comments

Just wow - from Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Link The quality of their audio is superb. Be sure to check out their other videos - you will not be disappointed if you love the music of that era.

The Sound of Silence

| No Comments

The Definitive Version:

Very cool drone work - JAWNY

| No Comments

Music video - balloons are CGI but excellent FPV drone flying:

The Brother Brothers

| No Comments

Heard this on my favorite radio station (WDVX) earlier today.
Identical-twin brothers singing close harmony. Their channel:  The Brother Brothers
Great sound, great song, great performance:

Two hours of Bluegrass heaven

| No Comments

Billy Strings and his Dad - City Opera House in Traverse City, MI

Crap - RIP Dave Smith

| No Comments

Bad day for electronic music - from MusicTech:

Dave Smith, founder of Sequential and ‘father’ of MIDI, has died at 72
Dave Smith, the founder of Sequential and whose contributions to MIDI development were instrumental to the world of music, has died at the age of 72.

The synth pioneer’s passing was made known in a statement from Sequential, shared to its website. At press time, no cause of death was given.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died,” the statement read. “We’re heartbroken, but take some small solace in knowing he was on the road doing what he loved best in the company of family, friends, and artists.”

Smith’s passing comes just shortly after it was announced he was collaborating with fellow engineer Tom Oberheim on a brand-new synth, the Oberheim OB-X8. The collaboration was to be the second between the two synthesis pioneers, after 2016’s OB-6.

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is used everywhere:

In 1981, he began collaborating with Tom Oberheim and Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi on a language which would allow instruments from all makes to communicate with one another. At the 1983 Winter NAMM show, that technology was unveiled as Musical Instrument Digital Interface – or MIDI for short.

Today, MIDI is ubiquitous in not only synthesizer keyboards and drum machines, but DAWs, guitar pedals, controllers, plug-ins and much more. It was the groundwork of which MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) was built, powering modern, touch-sensitive controllers such as the Roli Seaboard.

The sound of the Prophet is unique - lush.  It was a very practical performance synth.  He will be missed.

Better known as Vangelis.  From The Guardian:

Vangelis, composer of Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks, dies aged 79
Vangelis, the Greek composer and musician whose synth-driven work brought huge drama to film soundtracks including Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire, has died aged 79. His representatives said he died in hospital in France where he was being treated.

Born Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou in 1943, Vangelis won an Oscar for his 1981 Chariots of Fire soundtrack. Its uplifting piano motif became world-renowned, and reached No 1 in the US charts, as did the accompanying soundtrack album.

Self taught and he developed his own system of notation.  Here is one of my favorite videos - he sits down and does a five minute full orchestral composition:

One of a kind - he will be missed.  Here is his last interview.

New music - Blackberry Smoke

| No Comments

Just learned about Blackberry Smoke.

Been exploring various bands from the North Carolina area and there is some amazingly good music happening there.  These people are two hours to the south near Atlanta, Georgia.  Great version of a Tom Petty classic:

Sweet Florida

| No Comments

Lisa and I were first looking at Florida but the summers are just too hot. North Carolina is a lot better in terms of climate.  Still looking at getting a winter camp down there though - love the people and love the winters and the politics are spot on.

Lynyrd Skynrd just did a campaign song for Governor DeSantis:

Crap - RIP Mira Calix

| No Comments

From Music Radar:

Remembering Mira Calix, acclaimed electronic musician and visual artist: “I almost can’t believe how lucky I’ve been”
Acclaimed electronic musician and visual artist Mira Calix has died, her label Warp Records has confirmed. 

“We are devastated to learn about the death of our dear Mira Calix (born Chantal Passamonte),” said Warp in a statement.

“Mira was not only a hugely talented artist and composer, she was also a beautiful, caring human who touched the lives of everyone who had the honour of working with her.

She did a lot of really beautiful work.  Film and dance scores too. Personal website here: Mira Calix

51 is way too young.  No word as to cause but can not help but wondering if it was vaccine related.  Too many questions.

RIP - Bobbie Nelson

| No Comments

Older sister of Willie - a really nice obituary at Texas Monthly:

Sister Bobbie Grounded Willie Nelson in His Music—And His Life
No musician has sung, played, and written more different kinds of American music than Willie Nelson. And no musician was more important to Willie than his older sister Bobbie, who died March 10. She was 91. The two played together for an astonishing eighty-plus years, from the time they were children in tiny Abbott, Texas, to their last show at the Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels on October 9. Through all those performances—in their humble living room growing up; at Austin’s scrappy, surreal Armadillo World Headquarters in the seventies; at the later, near-nightly triumphs in storied halls like London’s Royal Albert—Bobbie grounded Willie. She gave him security and direction. Sometimes she led him; other times he led her. They shared something sacred that everyone else could only admire. “When we get into music,” she once said, “something happens. There’s magic between me and Willie.”

But while fans have long appreciated the wonders the two created onstage and in studios, few outside Willie World know how pivotal Bobbie was to his life and career. At shows, she was the quiet one, sitting demurely at the piano bench, focused on the keys, and interacting little with the crowd, her long, dark hair spilling out from a wide-brimmed black hat across her embroidered shirt. Each night Willie would draw attention her way, moving to the piano and watching intently while she played her showpiece, the instrumental “Down Yonder.” Casual fans likely thought he was being polite; Bobbie never made a big show out of what she was doing. But Willie would tell you she was the most important person onstage. The myth of Willie Nelson—the Austin renaissance after years of frustration in Nashville, the ensuing five decades of continued creative rebirth and international stardom—is a true story and one of the world’s favorites. But none of it would have happened without Sister Bobbie.

Really thoughtful and well written. A life well lived.

An interesting instrument - the Carnyx

| No Comments

From the website:

Music experts create replica of Iron Age Celtic horn used in warfare
Musician John Kenny, performed with the Carnyx, at the opening of the European Association of Archaeologists' (EAA) Annual Meeting at the Hunterian museum in Glasgow yesterday (Wed).

The Carnyx, is a wind instrument of the Iron Age Celts, used in warfare between 200 BC and 200 AD.

It was a type of bronze trumpet with an elongated S shape and the bell is styled in the shape of an open-mouthed boar's head.

John, a pioneer in the field of music archaeology, is a Professor at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Good Lord - Imagine being a Roman soldier far far from home, going to sleep knowing that tomorrow morning you would be doing battle with a group of semi-mystical Celts.  Imagine waking up and hearing 20 of these eachoing through the woods and fields. A roar of people.  A stamping of feet.

Wondering if one could be made from PVC pipe - tuba mouthpiece, figure out something for the bell...  Hmmm...

Used to subscribe to the Journal of Experimental Musical Instruments for many years.  The internet archive has all 80 copies - fascinating reading.

Just wow - History Repeating

| No Comments

Well crap - R.I.P. Dr. Lonnie Smith

| No Comments

One of my favorite Jazz musicians - his website has a nice trailer for a forthcoming documentary.
New York Times has an ok obituary:

Lonnie Smith, Soulful Jazz Organist, Is Dead at 79
Lonnie Smith, a master of the Hammond B3 organ and a leading exponent of the infectiously rhythmic genre known as soul jazz, died on Tuesday at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 79.

His manager and partner, Holly Case, said the cause was pulmonary fibrosis.

Mr. Smith, who began billing himself as Dr. Lonnie Smith in the mid-1970s, could draw an audience’s attention with his appearance alone: He had a long white beard and always wore a colorful turban. (The turbans apparently had no specific religious significance, and he did not have an advanced degree in anything and never explained why he had adopted the honorific “Dr.”) His playing was every bit as striking.

He began his career at a time when organists like Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff were blending the sophistication of jazz with the earthy appeal of rhythm and blues. Mr. Smith was very much in that tradition, but his playing could also display an ethereal quality that was all his own. His music later reached new generations of fans when it was widely sampled by hip-hop artists.

Lots of his music on YouTube. Heavenly choir just got a lot better accompaniment.

Now this looks like fun - Bespoke Synth

| No Comments

From here: Bespoke Synth

I love this line from the product description:

In a way, Bespoke is like if I smashed Ableton to bits with a baseball bat, and asked you to put it back together.

Their pricing matrix is fun too.

Well crap - RIP Charlie Watts

| No Comments

From Rolling Stone magazine:

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ Drummer and Inimitable Backbone, Dead at 80
Charles Robert “Charlie” Watts, the Rolling Stones’ drummer and the band’s irreplaceable heartbeat, has died at age 80. No cause of death was given.

Watts’ publicist confirmed his death in a statement. “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” it read. “He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier [Tuesday] surrounded by his family.” The statement referred to Watts as “one of the greatest drummers of his generation” and closed by requesting that “the privacy of his family, band members, and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”

Watts’ death comes several weeks after it was announced that the drummer would not be able to perform on the Rolling Stones’ No Filter Tour of U.S. stadiums. “Charlie has had a procedure which was completely successful, but his doctors this week concluded that he now needs proper rest and recuperation,” a rep for the band said in a statement at the time. “With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks, it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming.”

80 is too young. Sad - the band is a cultural icon and Watts had quite the career with other musical endeavors.

One more for Dusty

| No Comments

La Grange - fun story behind the song

Thanks for the wonderful music!

Well crap - RIP Dusty Hill

| No Comments

ZZ Top basist.  Really good musicians.  Their songs sound similar to me so getting through more than an album side is a bit of a chore but each song by itself is a polished gemstone. They were the first major band to use the pentatonic scale for blues.  Billy's guitar tone is incredible.

From their website:

Dusty Hill has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX
We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature, and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top'. We will forever be connected to that "Blues Shuffle in C."

You will be missed greatly, amigo.

Frank & Billy

Roling Stone has a nice obituary.

Great news that they got their pee-pees slapped. From Music Radar:

Electro-Harmonix wins copyright infringement case against Mooer
New York pedal co Electro-Harmonix has won a court case against Chinese effects company Mooer for infringement of EHX’s copyrighted software.

The case revolved around Mooer’s Mooergan and Tender Octaver pedals, which included exact copies of the software used in EHX’s C9 Organ Machine and Micro POG.

Good - No idea how large Mooer (or the corporation behind it) but the award was said to be in the six figures.  Enough to be noticed and maybe enough to deter future copycats.

Well crap - Mills College closing

| No Comments

Mills College closing?
Say that to anyone interested in experimental music and watch the tears flow down their face.
From the New York Times:

Is the Music Over at Mills College?
Even the concert hall at Mills College is different.

Looming at the back of the stage is a huge, bright mural of a forest opening onto a deep blue lake. The ceiling is painted in geometric patterns and vivid colors. Frescos of Gregorian chant scores flank the stage.

We are not in sedate, monochromatic Carnegie Hall. No, Littlefield Concert Hall at Mills, in Oakland, Calif., is a vibrant, even eccentric place, where it is clear from the surroundings that music outside the mainstream is not simply tolerated, but celebrated.

“There was a real atmosphere of comfort and support for whatever it is that you wanted to do,” the composer David Rosenboom, who led the music program at Mills in the 1980s, said in an interview.

Now that program and the electronics-focused Center for Contemporary Music, together among the most distinguished havens for experimental work in America over the past century, are facing possible closure. On March 17 the college, founded in 1852, announced that ongoing financial problems, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, would mean the end of its history as a degree-granting institution made up of an undergraduate women’s college and several coeducational graduate programs.

Pending approval by its board of trustees, the school’s final degrees are likely to be conferred in 2023. The statement announcing the proposed closure alluded to plans for a “Mills Institute” on the 135-acre campus, but the focus of such an institute — and whether it would include the arts — is unclear.

You might not recognize the names of the graduates but you certainly have heard their music:

It has been an astonishing run. The school’s faculty over the years has been practically an index of maverick artists, including Darius Milhaud, at Mills for three decades beginning during World War II; Luciano Berio, who came at Milhaud’s invitation; Lou Harrison, who built an American version of the Indonesian gamelan percussion orchestra; the “deep listening” pioneer Pauline Oliveros; Robert Ashley, an innovator in opera; Terry Riley, a progenitor of Minimalism; the influential composer and improviser Anthony Braxton; James Fei, a saxophonist and clarinetist who works with electronic sounds; and Maggi Payne, a longtime director of the Center for Contemporary Music, Mills’s laboratory for electronic work since the 1960s, when Oliveros was its first leader.

Among the alumni are Dave Brubeck, Steve Reich, John Bischoff, William Winant and Laetitia Sonami; several former students ended up returning to teach after graduating.

“What Mills College had was unique,” said Riley, who taught there from 1971 to 1981. “I have never in my travels encountered another institution like it.”

Crap - I hope that they are able to preserve their archives.  They have an incredible collection of musical instruments and recordings. They were the source. The fount. Mills had always been on my horizon. A place for a pilgrimage.  Never got there though.

Well crap. RIP Harold Budd

| No Comments

One of my favorite ambient composers. Nice obituary at exclaim!

Harold Budd Has Died
While details remain scarce, reports have emerged that ambient legend Harold Budd has passed away. According to multiple social media posts from close friends and colleagues, including Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, the composer died last night (December 7). Budd would have been 84.

As of press time, Budd's official channels have not confirmed his passing, so details surrounding his death remain unclear.

His work:

By 1976, Budd began to work with fellow ambient pioneer Brian Eno, with the pair joining forces to craft what would become Budd's proper debut album The Pavilion of Dreams. This led to his Eno collaboration Ambient 2 (The Plateaux of Mirror), which was released in 1980. The record was then followed by 1984's beloved album, The Pearl, which found Budd and Eno joining forces with frequent collaborator Daniel Lanois.

Throughout albums like these, Budd went on to develop a slow and sustained style of piano playing he called "soft pedal," though he frequently voiced his disdain with being categorized as "ambient" — a label Budd found limiting.

Budd went on to work with other notable collaborators throughout his career, such as with Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde on their joint effort The Moon and the Melodies, which was released via 4AD in 1986.

This led to Budd striking up a longstanding working relationship with Guthrie, with the pair going on to release multiple collaborative albums over the years. In fact, earlier this year the pair released the album Another Flower.

A real talent - I love ambient music.  He will be missed.

VST's - the gateway drug

| No Comments

For musicians and other audio geeks - VST stands for Virtual Studio Technology - from InfoGalactic:

Virtual Studio Technology
Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is a software interface that integrates software audio synthesizer and effect plugins with audio editors and recording systems. VST and similar technologies use digital signal processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware in software. Thousands of plugins exist, both commercial and freeware, and a large number of audio applications support VST under license from its creator, Steinberg.

VST plugins generally run within a digital audio workstation (DAW), to provide additional functionality, though a few standalone plugin hosts exist which support VST. Most VST plugins are either instruments (VSTi) or effects, although other categories exist—for example spectrum analyzers and various meters. VST plugins usually provide a custom graphical user interface that displays controls similar to physical switches and knobs on audio hardware. Some (often older) plugins rely on the host application for their user interface.

VST instruments include software simulation emulations of well-known hardware synthesizers and samplers. These typically emulate the look of the original equipment as well as its sonic characteristics. This lets musicians and recording engineers use virtual versions of devices that otherwise might be difficult and expensive to obtain.

VST instruments receive notes as digital information via MIDI, and output digital audio. Effect plugins receive digital audio and process it through to their outputs. (Some effect plugins also accept MIDI input—for example MIDI sync to modulate the effect in sync with the tempo). MIDI messages can control both instrument and effect plugin parameters. Most host applications can route the audio output from one VST to the audio input of another VST (chaining). For example, output of a VST synthesizer can be sent through a VST reverb effect.

Sorry for the long introduction but needed to get a thorough explanation so you can understand this meme:


I am a big analog and modular person - concur 100%

From TMZ:

Eddie Van Halen -- the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen -- has died after a long battle with cancer ... TMZ has learned.

Sources directly connected to the rock star tell us ... he died at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and Alex, Eddie's brother and drummer.

We're told in the last 72 hours, Eddie's ongoing health battle went massively downhill -- doctors discovered his lung cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.

As you know, Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he's been in and out of the hospital over the past year -- including last November for intestinal issues -- and recently underwent a round of chemo.

Last year we reported ... Eddie was flying between the US and Germany for 5 years to get radiation treatment. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago.

Don't kid yourself - it was the cigarette smoke.  Crap - 65 is way too young.

6:44 of pure joy - crank the volume and rock out:

I present: Saxsquatch

| No Comments

Lots of material on YouTube - here is "In the air tonight"

And the website: Saxsquatch

Willie Nelson

| No Comments

Great collection of stories by two dozen people who have worked/played/partied with the legend. From Texas Monthly:

“That’s Just the Way Willie Rolls”
When Texas Monthly set out to create a special issue celebrating Willie Nelson, we knew it wouldn’t be enough just to assign new stories, comb our archives for favorite old profiles, or even rank and review all 143 of Willie’s albums. So we reached out to some two dozen of Willie’s longtime friends, fans, and collaborators and asked them to share one favorite Willie story. From “Whiskey River” writer Johnny Bush’s memory of a portentous moment on tour with Willie back in 1962 to current producer and songwriting partner Buddy Cannon’s description of what it’s like to work with Willie right now, this collection of anecdotes offers an inside look at what Willie’s like when the spotlight shuts off.

Fun stories - the guy has had an amazing life.


| No Comments

Ran into a reference to this yesterday and will be checking it out. PaulStretch is a tool for stretching out audio samples well beyond any "normal" quantity. It is not used for musical applications such as pitch correction - instead, it devolves the sound into an interesting rhythm or timbre.

Paul's Extreme Sound Stretch was first developed by Nasca Octavian Paul, a fork has been started by Xenakios and some development has been done adding new features and revising the UI.

Looks really interesting - will be checking out once I get the music room up and running.

First Ennio Morricone and now Charlie Daniels - from the Tennessean:

Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Daniels dies at 83
Charlie Daniels, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame best known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died Monday morning after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.

Daniels' death was confirmed by his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He is survived by his wife, Hazel, and son Charlie Daniels Jr.

By the time the Charlie Daniels Band topped the charts with “Devil” in 1979, the instrumentalist, singer and songwriter had long established a remarkable, multifaceted career in Music City. As a session musician, he played on three of Bob Dylan’s albums — including the revolutionary “Nashville Skyline” — as well as recordings for Ringo Starr and Leonard Cohen.

In 1974, he launched the first “Volunteer Jam,” a regun all-star concert that has continued for nearly 50 years. Daniels joined the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Crap - 2019 was a rough year for me and I was looking forward to 2020. Dammit. Six more months to go.

Well crap - RIP Ennio Morricone

| No Comments

One of my absolute favorite contemporary composers. From the New York Times:

Ennio Morricone, Oscar-Winning Composer of Film Scores, Dies at 91
Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose atmospheric scores for spaghetti westerns and some 500 films by a Who’s Who of international directors made him one of the world’s most versatile and influential creators of music for the modern cinema, died on Monday in Rome. He was 91.

His death, at a hospital, was confirmed by his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma, who said that Mr. Morricone was admitted there last week after falling and fracturing a femur.

One example of his work:

91 is a good run but still. Damn.

Some metal from Japan

| No Comments

Ran into these people - been playing for 30 years! Ningen Isu

Good stuff - English subtitles available. Click on the tool icon (the little gear) to turn them on. English website.

Well crap - RIP Richard Penniman

| No Comments

Richard Penniman? Known as Little Richard - from the Rolling Stone:

Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, Dead at 87
Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, adding that the cause of death was cancer.

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”

One of the founders of modern rock 'n roll. A legend.

Florian Schneider? Co-founder of Kraftwerk - from The Guardian:

Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk co-founder, dies aged 73
Florian Schneider, who as one of the founding members of German group Kraftwerk changed the sound of pop music forever, has died aged 73 of cancer.

Some history:

After three albums with Hütter in the mid-70s, Kraftwerk released Autobahn and expanded to a quartet. The album was composed primarily on synthesisers, and its highly original sound and witty lyrics made it a hit, reaching the Top 5 in the UK and US.

Adding ever-more sophisticated synthesisers and drum machines, and with Hütter’s distinctive vocals, the group went on to release a series of albums that became hugely influential on pop music, particularly the four-album run of Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978) and Computer World (1981). They described their music as industrielle volksmusik: “folk music of the factories”, as translated by David Bowie.

As well as being forefathers of the synthpop that would dominate the 1980s and beyond, the title track of Trans-Europe Express was sampled in 1982 by Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force for one of the earliest hip-hop hits, Planet Rock, while Computer World was hugely influential on the house and techno music that emerged from Chicago and Detroit that decade.

Their work also brought them into the orbit of the Berlin-dwelling Bowie and Iggy Pop – in a TV documentary, Pop recalled that he and Schneider once went shopping for asparagus together. Bowie’s track V-2 Schneider is thought to be a tribute to him.

Really good music and very influential to other musicians. Listened to them a lot - still do. Their use of synthesizer was not the cliche beeps and boops that many other musicians do. They understood the nuances of the instrument.

Just wow - JS Bach

| No Comments

Been a huge Bach fan all my life - his music is simply sublime. A genius.

Here is Sheila's YouTube channel
Tip of the hat to Maggie's

Two musical instrument companies have your back.

First Korg:

KORG will provide iKaossilator for iOS and Kaossilator for Android for free for a limited time
Schools, workplaces, and meetings worldwide have been requested to close by their respective governments and so many people are studying and working from home. To help you with a musical way to occupy your mind we have decided to make the Kaossilator app for iOS and Android free of charge for a limited time (iOS version : through March 31, 2020. Android version : From March 13 to March 20, 2020).

The Kaossilator apps are tools that let you create music by using, moving and swiping a single finger – and you don’t need any musical knowledge to get started. Many users worldwide have been enjoying their Kaossilator app for many years because it is fun, educational and satisfying!

And second, my favorite, Moog (iOS only ☹):

Minimoog Model D Synthesizer
The Minimoog Model D App is a mobile transmutation of the world’s first portable synthesizer, the Minimoog Model D®. Optimized for use on all 64-bit iOS devices, anyone can jump in and play with over 160 included presets or lay fingers to the controls and begin exploring vast magical realms of creative potential.

Nice of them to do this - lots of people self-quarantining.

May 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Music category.

Military is the previous category.

Other... is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9