The latest musical style for me to come into is jazz. I would be much more surprised it took me this long, but I’ve just frankly never had any exposure to it. Sure, everyone knows the names of some of the greats – Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie – but how many people actually sit and listen to them? In my life, pretty much no one I knew of until this summer. For it was this summer that an uncle of mine invited me along to the Newport Jazz Festival. For those who don’t know, the Festival attracts thousands of people over two days on a weekend in August, combining top-notch artists with up-and-comers. So needless to say, I jumped at the chance to go.
Sadly, it didn’t end up happening for us this year. Various complications led us to never get tickets, and it ultimately poured the day we were planning to go, so I suppose that all works out. However, once I got the invite I realized I was woefully unprepared for what I was going to experience, so I began to try out different artists and styles to see what was out there. Turns out, jazz encompasses a whole lot more than elevator music and the stuff that gets played while you eat a dinner at a wedding reception. And judging from some of the artists and bands I’ve heard, jazz can get weird. But, you know, when it’s good it can be amazing. Therefore, I’ve listed out a few of the albums I’ve been listening to pretty heavily lately. After the jump, you can see them and my thoughts on them.
So if you’re interested in really talented musicians doing really interesting things, I suggest clicking the link: Continue reading →
When I was growing up, my earliest exposure to music (outside of Sesame Street songs) was Motown and “Golden Oldies,” on B101 in Rhode Island. My mom would always listen to it, so my childhood was full of Beach Boys, Beatles, Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and a whole host of others that to this day I can probably sing along with (when I was 10 I think I knew all the words to “Kokomo,” for instance). When I hit high school, I began seeking music out, and went in three different basic directions.
The first direction was hard rock and metal. Korn (hey, I was 14 and “Follow the Leader” had just come out) and Rage Against the Machine were my entry into that territory. Metallica and Godsmack were soon after, and it kind of just ballooned out from there. When I think back to my first high school, songs by groups like those are what come to mind, for better or for worse. Of course, along with that came a lot of alternative rock, because the stations I listened to mixed it all together. So I could go from “Enter Sandman” to “Closing Time” pretty rapidly. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam…a whole host of 90s and early 2000s bands began showing up in my collection, and I would, yes, headbang to them, and discuss how awesome they were with my friends and all that. I never went fully down the path of “metalhead,” but I certainly was a big fan of a lot of the music I was hearing. Continue reading →
Turns out my little brother is going down a similar music path that I’ve gone down, starting at the same age, with the same bands. I wish I had someone like me to mooch all my music off of, the lucky punk.
I was going to write about how Cap’n Crunch in a Ziploc bag alongside a bottle of blue Gatorade makes a great (and mobile!) breakfast. Then I realized that for two philosophy posts in a row, the song playing on Pandora has a title that matches up with my post for the day.