• Combustion

    12. Mär. 2008, 7:01

    (This post originally appeared on my blog on March 12th, 2008.)

    Music alone is often not enough to catch your attention. I hear a lot of good music all the time, but I couldn’t possibly come to love and know all of it. I find what makes the difference between the music that crosses the threshold and that which remains unnoticed is often merely fortune and circumstance, which determines whether or not we are given the opportunity for that music to resonate with us. Hearing a song in one situation might not leave an impression, but hearing it another time when it has a direct connection to your experience or current events in your life can leave a permanent mark.

    A friend sent me a few songs by Meshuggah last night, urging me to listen to them. I listened to a couple before going to bed, and the instrumentals seemed really cool, though the vocals were a bit of a turn off. I figured it’d be the type of thing I might revisit occasionally. Then, I got into a really, really frustrating situation while I had the music playing in the background. I put on my headphones and let it blast.

    The threshold has been reached.

    Combustion will be forever etched in my memory.

    Future Breed Machine was hard on my ears at first, but the controlled insanity took hold of me in the moment. ObZen was an extension of my rage and frustration. It was hard to maintain control.

    This is why I believe musicians should make their music available and downloadable. If I can’t listen to the music with ease, I’m not going to listen to it nearly as often and opportunities for connection like this will be missed.
  • An Evening at the Central

    6. Dez. 2007, 11:09

    (This post originally appeared on my blog on August 30th, 2007.)

    Last night, I was at one of the greatest local music concerts I've ever been to at The Central. Maneli Jamal, Sean Pinchin and Robyn Dell'Unto each blew my mind in turn, in their own unique ways.

    I've actually had the privilege of sharing the stage with both Maneli and Sean in the past on several occasions. When I heard they were playing a show together, I knew it would be good. I'd never heard of Robyn before, but I figured that if Maneli and Sean had decided to play a show with her, she must be good. What an understatement.

    Maneli and Sean will change the way you think of the acoustic guitar. Maneli is a virtuoso and with his rare two-hand tapping technique he can make music on his own that four other competent guitarists couldn't produce in a collaborative effort. When you first witness a live performance, you'll find yourself staring at him trying to figure out if all that sound is really being produced by two hands. Sean plays lap-style guitar with a slide for most of his tunes. The combination of his guitar playing and his voice is absolutely hypnotic; the two instruments are made for each other. When he plays alone, the sound is so full that you constantly get flashes of a full band playing behind him, yet it's pure and personal in the way that only a man and his guitar can be.

    Or a woman and her guitar. From the moment Robyn started singing, she had my full attention. Her playful stage banter quickly gave way to heartfelt and passionate expression. Simple and beautiful acoustic guitar provides the backbone for her powerful vocals and lyrics. It's hard for me to describe the emotion she conveys and I don't think her recordings alone can give you a true sense of what I experienced at the concert (though they're good - buy them!). You have to witness it live to really understand what I'm trying to say.

    Same with Sean and Maneli. No matter how good their recordings are, witnessing it in person is another experience altogether. (Check out their websites for upcoming shows!)

    That said, I'll leave you with some lyrics from one particular recording of Robyn's that I can't stop listening to.

    This is not a love song
    You know I'm sorry
    You know it's hard for me to do that
    With no symphony or proverbs
    Just a melody to move you into sleep
    And dreams of me...

    - from Dreams Of Me by Robyn Dell'Unto (listen to it here)