Seasonal Dependency

It’s a relatively tough existence being made of water. Water in of itself is most likely used to the drill; a liquid drop, a collective puddle or a cumulative roaring ocean in moderate climes, converting to steam and evaporation in hot and dry temperatures, and taking on solid form as snow and ice in the bitter cold. But what about lifeforms made up primarily of water? Approximately 60% of an adult human is made up of that hydrogen/oxygen combo, and 3/4 of the surface of our planet is water. And none would disagree that both humans and the Earth are having a bit of a tough go of it, although much of that rests on the former.

But imagine being made of 98.5% water (plus a combined 1.5% scarf, carrot and charcoal) and being dependent on both a willing human and a suitable temperature range to even exist. Toss in the fact that they’re an annual species whose life expectancy only spans a single season, and that there is no accounting for taste when mom only lets you use the household’s most expendable scarf to adorn your snow creation, and you can see why snowmen and snowwomen across the country have a bit of the blues.

Cartoon by DCMunford.

DM end sno-man



Audio Challenge:

A fun sonic quiz for any Rolling Stones’ fans. Hear the intro to 100 Stones’ tunes and try to type in the answers as quickly as you can recognize each track, simply using lower-case letters, no punctuation and only needing the first two words of the title to help you speed through the list that much faster.

There’s also a bunch more of the audio quizzes on the site, including 100 Classic Rock Songs, 100 80′s Rock And Pop Songs, 100 Rap & Hip-Hop Songs and more. Good for a quick break from coding, SEO and design work, or just to have a blast testing your musical knowledge while the clock is ticking… 100 Rolling Stones Songs Audio Quiz

Ladies and Gentlemen, Septuagenarian Keith Richards

Oh yes he did. The Human Riff turned 70 today.

And what a ride it’s been. For his body, for music, and for all of us. Happy Birthday Keith.

His use of silence/space, the 5-string open G Tele, playing milliseconds behind or ahead of the beat, the multitude and breadth of styles he could inhabit, the infectious grooves he could create, the heart and ‘tude he’s brought to the table all these years.

Continue reading

Midnight Picnic Once Upon A Time; Suzanne Standing

Through the morning as I’m listening

To the bells of the cathedral
I am thinking of your voice…

And of the midnight picnic
Once upon a time
Before the rain began…

And I finish up my coffee
And it’s time to catch the train.

-Suzanne Vega, “Tom’s Diner”

Talk-sing-whispers. Suzanne Vega burst onto the scene in 1985 with her eponymous debut on A & M Records. My friend Giles turned me onto it over the holiday break that year while we were both in town visiting family and friends in Pittsburgh. It was a refreshing change-up at the time for acoustic music fans, and indeed the public at large, to hear something like “Marlene On The Wall” on the radio. Amidst a musical landscape dominated by synth pop, hair ‘metal’, modern R and B, a burgeoning alternative rock and post-punk scene, rap and more, came a record of quiet observations and introspective verse delivered in a half whispery singing style atop a finger-picked acoustic guitar. Qu’elle difference! A sparse but sharp set of backing musicians fleshed out the arrangements with a modern feel, mixing in atmospheric electric guitar and keyboards.

Her smash followup, 1987’s “Solitude Standing”, featured “Luka”, “Tom’s Diner” and a bevy of great songs including “Wooden Horse (Kasper Hauser song)”, “Ironbound/Poultry Parts” and the Homeric references of “Calypso”, presented live below from a July 2011 performance in France:

Continue reading

The Continuing Adventures of Mick Taylor

Now he’s even singing along with his guitar, ala George Benson. In the middle of a Dylan medley, no less. If this kid keeps coming up with new ideas and playing slide guitar like that, he’s definitely gonna make a name for himself.

Here’s Mick Taylor, March 7, 2013, in Madrid scattin’ and sliding through “Blind Willie McTell”, leaning into “All Along the Watchtower” and then taking it home. Wonderfully provided by jorjunkel:


Listening Notes: Pink Martini, Retro Reverence…

Musings on the strange state of elevator music

by Bryan Davis


Earlier this year I went to a Pink Martini show. A serendipitous moment whereby I had no real plans to go but was downtown in Durham, N.C., enjoying dinner out with my wife, and we decided to go for a walk toward the arts center. I was supposed to have been in DC that weekend for the Swervedriver concert but droves of public transportation-hoarding cherry blossom watchers had decided to buy up every last seat heading to Washington. I remembered that Pink Martini was playing here in town that night since a friend had told me that he would be going.