Music

Musical Notes: Love is a Stranger (Eurythmics)

Friday…again..wow…and already halfway through January. So…I’ve decided to share one of my favourites. Been on my list ever since I can remember. I remember being introduced to this through my father’s massive record collection waaaaay back when I was a youngster. Listening to it brings back all sorts of wonderful memories – of family, my youth and all sorts.

Enjoy! And have an awesome weekend. Here is Love is a Stranger by Eurythmics.

The above is not my video. I have no claims to it at all.

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Musical Notes: Love Runs Out (OneRepublic)

Wow…another Friday. The last one of the year. Where did 2017 go??? Anyway, to end off the week, I’m giving you a song that only recently caught my attention (yes, yes, where have I been?). It is not often that I hear something on the radio and actually listen to it. This comes from a band that I knew existed (and probably will recognise some of their other pieces if I heard them) but never really took much notice of.

Here it is…Love Runs Out by OneRepublic (hope I’m writing that correctly):

Of course I’m not the owner or uploader of the clip above.

Musical Notes: Lost in a Heartbeat with Lord of the Lost

Friday again? Time for some music. I always enjoy rock musicians incorporating a “classical” feel into their works. Here is German band Lord of the Lost with Lost in a Heartbeat. Their Swan Songs album is well worth listening to…a classical sounding and acoustic album. It is wonderful listening to some of their original pieces from a different musical angle. Great work!

 

Musical Notes: Nah Neh Nah (Vaya Con Dios)

Wow, another Friday has arrived and this piece sets the mood for the weekend nicely.

Vaya Con Dios, despite sounding like they could be a Spanish band, were actually a Belgian band. Having officially disbanded in 2014, most of us probably associate singer Dani Klein as Vaya Con Dios.

Nah Neh Nah never fails to give me a great feeling.

Enjoy.

Whiplash…I know the feeling

The ability to totally understand the emotions of a character in a movie is rare. Yes, we empathise, but how often do we really, truly come close to “I know how you feel”? Of course we can never know exactly how anyone feels as we are all different but we definitely have levels of understanding based on experiences. For once, I can say, I know. I have been there. I’m on about Fletcher (J.K Simmons) shouting at Andrew (Miles Teller) “You’re fast”, “Now you’re slow” and on and on. Most people don’t understand this…really, really, understand this. I do: It was inevitable that on those days when screeching resonated down the passage from behind that scary closed door, you were about to be in for a similar experience as the poor sod finishing off their piano lesson. I dreaded lessons on those days because no matter how I tried or what I did, I too was playing either too fast or too slow or just not quite getting it and when I eventually got it right, I had no idea what I had done different to the previous 30 or so times. In my novice opinion (as was made clear to me then), that last correct attempt was no different to the first incorrect one. But, something minuscule, inaudible to my ears must have been. Yes, agreed, the second attempt was usually exaggeratedly too slow resulting in a highly irritated “Lovey…” accompanied by eye-rolling and some additional comments on being such an amateur or that now I’m just being ridiculous. The 3rd attempt was naturally then way too fast but I had to do something, anything, to get through this hour of hell. Gosh, thinking back, I’m so glad she was perched next to me and didn’t see the glistening eyes. She definitely would have increased her fire-breathing had she had the slightest idea that “I am upset” as Andrew puts it. So yes, Whiplash really hits home. Very hard. For some of us, not so much fiction is it? Even I ran off to the practice rooms to really pound those torturous bars into my brain only to play them even worse during the following week’s repeated torture session. Interesting enough was that until the day before the exam the particular section that was considered shocking and worthy of failing was suddenly “beautifully played…Lovey”.

The question raised is how far does one go? I’m definitely not the one to take it to the same extremes as Andrew did. His goal was to be the best, no matter what. But then why shouldn’t we aspire to be the best? What’s the point of doing something half-heartedly? Doesn’t mean you have to be the best but at least make the best possible attempt you can. Personally, I don’t think it is all Fletcher‘s doing. If Andrew wasn’t that way inclined to start with, no matter what Fletcher did, Andrew wouldn’t have done it. The point is, he accepted it in some masochistic pleasure.

I must say, I believe that the speech around Charlie Parker becoming Charlie Parker because Jo Jones threw a cymbal at him may have some truth to it. If Charlie Parker hadn’t been humiliated, would he have pushed himself and in doing so become great? Also the fact that Fletcher brought on Connolly as a motivator is a good strategy. Nothing like instilling some competition. I think it is our natural make-up to want to win or at least be good at things. Well, where it comes to our passions. Wouldn’t work for something we don’t really care about.

Looking back on my student days, I can laugh about it. But back then, it was by no means a laughing matter. In fact, the daily question piano students asked was “What mood is she in?” And each week we all swore we’d had enough and would transfer to another teacher. We never did.

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Musical Notes: Folsom Prison Blues – Russell Crowe

Did you know? Russell Crowe? He’s a musician too. Yep…and he does a darn good rendition of Folsom Prison Blues with “his” band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts or TOFOG. If you can get hold of the album Other Ways of Speaking have a listen to the last track “Swallow my Gift / Farm Noises / Folsom Prison Blues“. More specifically, the last piece of the last track i.e. Folsom Prison Blues. Good fun to listen with wonderful energy.

My DVD of A Good Year has some Russell Crowe music videos on it – great music I must say.

Here you go (although I prefer the album version):

Musical Notes: A Life Divided

One of the bands I find myself listening to quite often…A Life Divided. Here’s some mellow-ish (or maybe not) music for this Thursday. Hope you enjoy!

Oh…they do a really great rendition of Alphaville‘s Sounds Like a Melody. And The Last Dance is pretty darn good too. In fact, this is a band where pretty much all tracks on the CDs are good – none get the “skip” treatment when they come on. Their “latest” (2015) album is Human. Before that came The Great Escape (2013) and before that, Passenger (2010). I reviewed The Great Escape some time back but here it is again…Music Worth Mentioning

🎵Happy Listening🎵

Doesn’t Count

 

My Apology

 

 

Der Tastenficker…what a great read

Before we go on: Don’t be put off by the title…

I don’t normally care for books by or about celebrities but Der Tastenficker* is an exception. Probably because it doesn’t feel like an “autobiography” as such. It is quite refreshing hearing about life and experiences in the former DDR yet not going on and on about the negatives and politics. And for a change, not about a terrible childhood and how hard and depressing life was – that’s what most biographies and autobiographies seem to be about. I enjoyed that fact that minimal names were mentioned and that it wasn’t about the famous band he is in. In fact, I never felt like I was reading about Flake of Rammstein but about Flake (real name Christian Lorenz), a normal everyday person and his experiences. Overall, interesting and light to read. And lots of fun (pianos aren’t practical to take to and from rehearsal and camping trips can become quite a challenge). The “random” photos add something different. I devoured this book in a matter of days. And felt so positive when I’d finished. (I also had a totally different view of this man who always comes across as the underdog when on stage)

*I’d only noticed after I’d received this book that it is actually a numbered, autographed first edition. Not that it is important but, I guess subconsciously, it added a little special touch.

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Musical Notes: Bastian Baker

As with movies, so with music – I love discovering new artists (or, maybe not new, but new to me). Regularly hearing (and enjoying) someone called Bastian Baker on radio while relaxing these past few days, I naturally had to “look” up some more of his works. Born as Bastien Kaltenbacher in Lausanne, Switzerland, he has some music that I’ll definitely be listening to again.

Here’s “Tomorrow May not be Better” which is from his debut album of the same name followed by the one that drew my attention in the first place (“We are the Ones (#FF)”). Hmmm, maybe it’s just me but the first piece reminds me of Amy Macdonald (I thoroughly enjoy her music)…but I don’t want to compare. Enjoy!

 

Musical Notes: Amazing Christmas Pieces

I’ve just been over at Hamlette’s Soliloquy and came across her post My Ten Favorite Christmas Albums. My attention was drawn to The Piano Guys and wow…they are great. I love discovering new artists. Have a look at these two fantastic pieces (they’re only a taste of what’s available – I found myself looking them up for more works). Carol of the Bells is my favourite…wow…