Tag Archives: Music

pencil vs. camera

Or, the genius of Ben Heine. Originally, I was going to show you two or three but it was impossible to choose. I wish we were able to do something like this in art class. Well really, I merely wish I had art class. I digress. You can see more of Ben’s awesomeness here.

Also I love this girl. She posts covers of all the best artists (in my opinion) under the name “unaffectedbytheaccepted.” Here’s my current favourite:

 

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slow club

I found this lovely duo while listening over at 8Tracks (check me out!) and I just can’t get enough. I would try and describe them but it’s already been done – all too well.

“Could they be the UK’s answer to The White Stripes? Charles and Rebecca are Slow Club. They hail from Sheffield and are a sort of one man band. Only with two people. He strums guitar and sings and she plays drums and all sorts of weird instruments, like water-filled glass bottles, spoons and the back of a wooden chair. And sometimes an organ called Miles. Not something you get to see and hear every day. The effect is rockabilly and somewhat folksy but thankfully their songs are fairly jolly affairs without a bit of teenage angst in sight.”
[The Independant On Sunday]

“In a city still jam packed with derivative monkey bands, Slow Club stand out. Call them ‘folk’ if you must, but songs such as ‘Sunday’ and future single ‘Me and You’ are so gut-wrenchingly beautiful that the term sells them short. No, singing percussionist Rebecca and guitarist Charles are more than folking troubadours, they’re a musical revelation. Tonight in a jam-packed theatre ‘Sumer’ is pure heart-bursting pop, propelled by odd absurdist chair and table thwacking. Equally brilliant is debut single ‘Because We’re Dead’; imagine Nico playing with Bob Dylan if they were raised in Sheffield. Don’t call this club Slow, call it special.”
[NME Radar Gig Review]

But don’t take their word for it; listen yourself! Here’s a song they did for Bandstand Busking.

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itzhak perlman and me


He came on stage with those arm supports that aren’t quite crutches but definitely more than walking sticks. The audience watched in half-awe, half-pity as he slowly staggered across the stage. The concertmaster trailed behind holding his own violin in one hand and nervously clutching Perlman’s Stradivarius in the other. Finally reaching centre stage, Perlman laid his walking sticks aside, stepped onto the platform, loosened his bow tie,  rescued his violin, smiled at the conductor, and started playing. His posture was horrible. His shoulders slouched and his left hand flattened on the fingerboard as if permanently glued there. His hair was frazzled and entirely uncombed. And for the duration of the piece he never, ever looked at the conductor or any of the orchestra for that matter. In appearance, he was the worst soloist you could imagine.

But just listen to him play.  It was as if he was playing for himself, or perhaps a secret lover, injecting so much emotion but all within his own world. His eyes were closed for most of it leaving the audience free to stare and stare and – in my case – drool. (Even members of the orchestra were ignoring their music to gaze in awe.)  The intonation was perfect (as was to be expected) but so were his dynamics and double-stops and impossibly high shifts.  It was surreal.

If you haven’t heard of him, I’ll give you a taste. This is the piece I’m playing for my RCM exam this year. (And I have great confidence that it will sound nowhere near as good as this version.) I digress.

Now, prepare to be amazed.

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rainy days and miss marling

Haven’t posted about music in a while so thought I should. Though it’s August the weather where I live has been rather gray today. Kind of a nice dreary though. I don’t mind a little rain when I can sit inside with a cup of tea and a good book. Well, I guess that last requirement has been failing me. (So far every time I crack open dear old Oscar Wilde’s Dorian I seem to fall asleep. Yes, literally.) But Miss Marling has more than made up for that. I’ve been hooked on a lot of happy, poppy music lately (think Kate Nash, Matt & Kim) and the softly melancholy sound of Laura’s voice along with her barely-there guitar comes as a very refreshing surprise. On a day like today, with all the rain and gray skies, I would go for “New Romantic.”

I’m guessing you have to be in the right mood to fully fall in love with this song, but if you’ve ever been in love and then gone through the pains of losing it, I’m sure you’ll understand. If this is the case, please do this for me. The first time you listen, don’t try too hard to catch the lyrics (she does mumble through them quickly so it’s not a hard task). Instead, just sit and let the sound wash over you. I know that sounds cheesy but just do it. If you’re feeling really nostalgic, you might think about that boy who made you so happy you were scared to lose him. And the devastation of realizing how easily you could have prevented it when you actually did (lose him, that is). But only if you’re feeling nostalgic. The second time through, listen for the lyrics. Somehow, inexplicably, the words manage to be perfectly naive while insightfully mature. She’s lamenting the loss of the innocence of her first love! … And yet remaining calm as she realizes that she will never treat romance in the same way ever again.

“And I’m sorry to which ever man should meet
my sorry state,
watch my steady lonesome gait and beware.
I would never love a man
’cause love and pain go hand in hand
and I can’t do it again.
I would never love a man ’cause I could never hurt a man,
not in this new romantic way.”

Anyway, sorry to drag everyone’s mood down. I guess you could blame it on the rain instead if you were feeling generous.

*Little update – I figured out how to embed Vimeo videos into a post (yah!) so hopefully that will overcome the annoying “embedding disabled by request” message.

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hey jude

Best Beatles cover yet.
(Love the little bow at the end…and the head bobbing throughout!)

And also, just in case you were confused by that cute
(but sometimes inaudible) rendition:

Here‘s the legendary original (did you know it reached number one on both the British and American charts?) in case toddlers in diapers are not your fancy. While we’re on the topic (sort of), what is your favourite Beatles song? Favourite baby cover? Also, can someone please explain to me how singing a sad song when you’re feeling down will make you feel better? Na, na, naaaaa! I don’t understand!

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the bird and the bee

This past week I discovered the wonder of “The Bird and the Bee”. (The band, that is.) I just couldn’t keep their music to myself, so I engaged in a number of embarrassing episodes in order to spread the songs! At school, I chased people down hallways, holding out headphones and demanding that they “listen to this!” After receiving a few confused looks, I thought maybe the internet would be a better (aka less embarrassing) way of spreading the music. Please listen below! (I bet you’ll be clapping along within seconds.)

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the dreamer

“Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.”
Oscar Wilde

 

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