Confucius has an oblique comment on this very (slippery) subject.
In the Rectification of Names Confucius states: "If the language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if what must be done remains undone, the proprieties (li) and the music
(y�eh) will deteriorate; if the proprieties and music deteriorate, justice goes astray; and if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. " (Analects , XIII,3)
So as we consider redeploying the troops, extraordinary rendition, or no child left behind we might consider if our musical chooser has been warped by our verbal context. I listened to my parents 'big band' music and wondered what was the thread of their nostalgia. I Loved the Jefferson Airplane before the Beatles hit the scene, and now realize
that the nostalgia reminds me of when my hormones were flowing like rivers.
Music can be so elevating. And yet are we living in a echo chamber of what Bob Dylan
described as "Tell your ma, tell you pa, our loves are going to grow, oowah, oowah."
I wonder if there is any place for four part harmony in our popular culture?
Why must I go out of time to find ..... Satisfaction?
Will music come back with social import, and inspiration now that we will have a president that can speak in complete sentences?
OK, I'll start this list off. I love that after a heavy news cycle in the past months with hot-button political issues, collapsing economies and increased global tensions we can stop and talk about the music~
Gershwin?s Rhapsody in Blue...perfect. Stirring and triumphant, yet contemplative.
Waiting - John Mayer, a declaration that our generation has become voiceless and at the same time the most put upon because of the mounting pressures of political turmoil that we are going to inherit, so we are waiting for the world to change.
Days Like This - Van Morrison, it's the song that would play at the end of the movie of my life.
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer. Just for the fun of it. If only our nightclubs could stop playing techno and start playing the oldies, but goodies.
Crossing Oregon from west to east, after you leave the Bend 'burbs and enter the desert, perhaps on a warm full-moon summer night in a Volkswagen starship microbus, you might put on a piece titled "Hocus Pocus" by Focus, a Dutch group. There are no lyrics, but there is whistling and howling. For best effect, roll all the windows down and crank the volume up to warp drive.
This is an odd kind of evocative music, especially for road trips. Too loud and robust for anyplace but the empty highway. It goes well with vintage Steppenwolf. Drive all night on the lonely ribbon of road, and just as the sun tints the horizon, put on an 8-track of Dylan or Paul Horn playing flute in the dome of the Taj Majal. Pull over and make love by an Oregon river. Do all this before 1980. Trust me, the music will stick with you to the end of days. And when anyone asks, "What kind of music moves you?", you'll have a yardstick, a reference point. On a scale of one to ten, that music at that time was an easy twelve.
What a great topic! I agree that it's nice to discuss something that's not a terrible downer on a Friday. I have so many different soundtracks for so many different areas of life. Here are a few:
Working Out/Driving to the Gym - Daft Punk
Afternoon at work to keep my energy up - Upbeat Indie Rock Mix: Feist, Vampire Weekend, The Kooks, Beck, etc
Cooking Dinner - Classical Music (Beethoven's 9th is my favorite)
Bedtime - (not really music...but) The BBC World Service...there's something soothing about news in a British Accent
The Invisible hear Herbie Hancock or Miles Davis blow by on the wind as they commune with ghosts of their ancestors revivified. In this music are encoded thousands of years of earth, soul, passion, suffering and ultimately, the unfaltering transcendence toward a complete way of being.
Quite simply, Wilson Pickett's Higher and Higher is always a sure-fire way to pick up my mood and make me feel like singing and dancing no matter where I am and how horrible of a day I have been having. As cheesy as it sounds, this song does in fact lift my soul "Higher and higher".
Do you mean Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher"? I can't find a version by Wilson Pickett...
Soundtrack of life... wow, good topic for a day like this: my challenge is to keep my post short enough not to kill the thread (don?t laugh, I love music and am almost always listening to it, either to suit the mood or to create/change it).
Ok, took me years to rediscover what?s now called Irish Traditional music, but if I were stuck with just one genre that is where I would stay now. I?m especially fond of what is now called Celtic Christian (perhaps because I play that myself on flute and whistles). But at some level, almost anything mellow with a ?sean nos? presentation or an aire thick with uilleann pipes/flute/whistle will resonate in all but the most animated moods (for an accessible example of the type, listen to Atlan?s ?The Cat That Ate the Candle?, ?An Feoch�n? or ?Dobbin's Flowery Vale?). I also admit a huge soft spot for traditional voices like Maire Brennan, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (of Altan), Joanne Hogg (of Iona), and Mary Dillon (of Deanta).
Perhaps I should note that within more mainstream tastes, I?m as likely to listen to Christian contemporary as any other genre, especially Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. I still have a soft spot for Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, and the queen herself, Billie Holiday, but admit that I don?t listen to them often anymore. Other old favorites would include the likes of Genesis, old Santana, Alan Parsons Project, America, Steely Dan, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, and Led Zeppelin. Let?s just say I have a broad range of interests.
Of one accord!
Have you tried Patrick Ball for celtic, meditative music-very soothing
Best song to run to: John Lennon - Instant Karma
Anybody else have favorites for a good jogging pump up?
Mighty Mighty Bostones?a full album keeps me running for a good hour without knowing that the time has gone by.
Then I switch to the Beatles for a cool down stretch and muscle toning.
If I could only have one album (CD), it would be Van Morrison's "Greatest Hits". The first track"Bright side of the road" and the last track, "Dweller on the threshold", make for perfect bookends.
Christmas songs...they are just magical year-round. I have never known a time when John Lennon's "So this is Christmas" where everyone nearly stops what they are doing, join hands and sing in unison.
Pure Joy is Cheryl Lynn, "Got to Be Real."
I've been a DJ for several years now, I'm 31 living in Portland, OR. When I'm in a mood to escape, be it flying through space or at a hallucinogenic, prehistoric jungle dance party with the animals... I listen to a style of electronica (techno) called psytrance. It's usually around 148bpm, heavily synthesized, trippy, and extremely complex. You can listen to samples at www.psyshop.com. Here's one of my favorites http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/tip/tip1cd046.html (try Party Animals or Unreal). There's also psy channels on services like Shoutcast, etc.
I'd like to hear clarinets come back into popularity, I really like their sound.
Isaacson dogs BB King as "canned". King is a national treasure. I can tell a music snob when they have to put down artists to define their tastes. True music lovers know everything is subjective. If you grew up in Mexico you'd love Norteno or Frontera music. It all depends on your experiences. And as Bob Marley said so well, "if you have a fever to play music you can play music." Britney might not be my cup of tea but you might love her.
All Pearl Jam, all the time.
I know this show isn't about "soul" music.... but truly, soul and funk music moves me up, up, up....Some favorites:
Anything by Sam Cooke, such as "Let the Good Times Roll"
Otis Redding: "I've Got Dreams to Remember"
Stevie Wonder: "Sir Duke", "Superstition"
Curtis Mayfield: "Move On Up"... so uplifting, literally.
A favorite by local (former) artist Eliot Smith is "Independence Day".
Also.... ever heard Nina Simone's "Aint Got No - I've Got Life"?? What a great, earthy, inspiring song...
And for sheer joy of having a body and a booty that moves, who can resist the grooves of George Clinton and Parliament? "One Nation Under a Groove"
I find it interesting to see what music my 4 year old son responds to automatically. I've seen him go from being in a full-on tantrum, to completely silent and riveted by Billy Joel's "Pressure." Certain songs trigger his imagination...the first time he heard Dvorak's New World Symphony, he dubbed it "The Rescue Song" and in his mind, some great adventure was taking place during the music. The other day he heard some Irish punk rock (Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly) and has been requesting it ever since because it reminds him of "pirate music."
One of the most "uplifting" songs I have ever heard is "Music is Power" by Richard Ashcroft, lead singer of The Verve. Even the name evokes a sense of empowerment...the words are almost prophetic and you can't help but feel energized after listening to it. I sometimes have to listen to it 2-3 times in a row.
Just over 10 years ago I left my 4 children and wife in New York after my job left me and came to Oregon to begin a new career and prepare the way for them to come after me. About 10 weeks into that effort when I felt that I had a chance to actually succeed I was listening to the last concluding choral of the Bach St. John Passion, at the spot where the text says "Erhoere mich!" (Hear me!) when out of no where I found myself singing, shouting the words at full volume, and was shaken for hours afterwards, and can't listen to it today without remembering that time.
I sympathize with David Miller's feeling regarding the Bach Chaconne - only for me it DOES suffice to make me believe in a god. I consider it at the pinnacle of cultural achievements of our species.
The music that really gets me going is pretty much anything by Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor has one of the most incredible voices. And I'm not some 20 year old although I've been listening to NIN since the early '90's. But one of my all time favorite albums is Machine Gun Etiquette by The Damned, always brings a smile to my face, oh the memories....
Music is amazing help for working out.
My most recent favorite...kick it into full gear song... is Rodrigo y Gabriela's version of Stairway to Heaven. There's a point where the music really transitions into a pulsating powerful rhythm and I've found myself crying in the middle of the street.
When thinking about politics, "Compared To What", from Les McCann & Eddie Harris "Swiss Movement".
Romantic, from Delibes "Lakme", the Flower Song duet with Sutherland.
When I want to get all wound up to do something like on the way skiing, "American Patrol" By Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.
At the top and ready to start a particularly challenging ski run, Wagners "The Flight of the Valkyrie".
About men's music for a wedding, the first minute or so of "Wedding Day At Troldhaugen" from Edvard Griegs Lyric Pieces on piano by Leif Ove Andsnes.
About the sadness of love, loss, and consequences, from The Black Family CD "The Black Family", The Ploughboy Lads.
Road trip: "Mrs Potter's Lullabye" by Counting Crows. It rolls right along at the speed limit.
Angsty interludes: "Against The Wind" by Bob Seger. Corny, but so singable, it always lifts me out of my funk.
Reflective moments: "Symphony No. 6 'Pastorale'" by Beethoven. For me, no other music so ably communicates the simple joy of existence.
Feeling manic? "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. Rapid-fire instrumentation barely keeps up with her soaring vocals.
I "discovered" Blues while living in Japan. At the time, I had a few guitar-playing friends who were enamored with the genre. One day while jamming, they hit upon this amazing riff that was the best example of 'swamp blues' that I'd ever heard. Does Eric (or anyone) have recommendations for artists who play Swamp Blues?
Bruce Springsteen has never failed me whether I'm happy, sad, or anywhere in between. The power of the lyrics and the way the sounds build and fall with the story always move me. I've heard Thunder Road a million times, but each time I hear it I still feel like I'm flying down a road with the windows down toward something better.
My daughter Johanna is a singer/sonwriter living in Portland. Several years ago she came up with an infectuous chant/song called Free to Decide. Back in Corvallis she shared the song with friends in the women's acapella group Absolute. They created an arrangement and added it to their repertoire. Johanna recruited Absolute to back her up when she recorded the song on her CD If I Could Fly.
Free to Decide is one of those songs that feels like it was written by nobody--and everybody. The simple lyrics celebrate the power of rhythm, song, earth, breath, community, and the freedom to chart our own destinies. Its intertwining melodies and hypnotic rhythms touch me deeply. Like many such songs, it's especially powerful when you sing along.
My Song is Iris by the GooGoo Dolls. No song encapsulates the heartbreaks and lonelyness that has infected my life. It's a song of desperation, The lyrics are so lonely that they aren't even looking for anything beyond just having people know the singer exiist. When my life is at it's darkest, this is the same way I feel and it helps me remember I am not alone.
I support Rhapsody in Blue and anything by the Beatles (a Seattle station used to play all songs A-Z on new year's day) and for comforting the soul:
Willie Nelson, Stardust.
Break up song: Rickie Lee Jones, First Album, "Company"
Back in the 90's, laying on my friends rug in the afternoon and listening to Guided By Voices "Alien Lanes" over and over again. There is a special thing happening there in all of that muddy home recording that few bands ever achieve. "Motor Away" is a high point in the record. Please to enjoy.
It always found it interesting that people like to wallow in their sadness and listen to music that possibly makes them probably feel worse. 2008 was a tough year for many people. I found it more therapeutic to listen to bands/musicians that don't take themselves too seriously. Some refreshing new bands that put out albums in 2008, were MGMT, Jamie Lidell, and Vampire Weekend. Some of the upbeat songs by these artists are: Time To Pretend, Another Day, and Oxford Comma.
When I think of the Star Spangled Banner it's Jimi Hendrix.
And of the conductor who told his band-orchestra to always play it your best because someone might be hearing it for their first time. A good slogan to live by.
For reflection and the sould: Bach's Unaccompanied Suites for Cello - any or all of them - recording artist not that important here - any who attempt them have what it takes in my opinion. Also good is Vaughn Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
For a long walk: Beethoven's better piano sonatas; Schumann's Fantasy in C; Brahms' Sonata No.1 for Cello (and piano.) Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (From the New World.)
For high energy work or play: Wagner's Ride of the Valkeries is good (there is a solo piano transciption that just about blows my mind.) Some Led Zeppelin songs come to mind, although I can't remember the names. There's also a really great Queens of the Stoneage song that I also can't remember.
Songs for the Cello-Hamilton Cheifetz. Best regional classical CD.
Willie Nelson's "Blue Skies" from Stardust will always make me feel joy, even on the darkest of days. Willie's voice has a combination of sorrow and hopefulness that reminds me even when it's gray there is a blue sky behind the clouds.
Arvo P�rt: Spiegel im Spiegel
Cocteau Twins: Aikea-Guinea
Matthew Dear: Deserter
Sigur Ros: Seaglopur
Rose Murphy: A Little Bird Told Me
Frightened Rabbit: Keep Yourself Warm
Grand National: Drink To Moving On
Pachelbel's Canon in D is the most powerfully affecting songs I have ever heard. It just takes me to another plane. It manages to be mournful and joyful at the same time. I can't even describe the way in which it makes me feel as if I've been lifted out of my body. I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't had the same experience of this song.
"Cold Missouri Waters" tells the story of the smokejumpers who died on the Mann Gulch fire in Montana in 1948. I'm a firefighter and this song always makes me cry and gives me chills.
Music communicates to the soul in a way that simple words can't. Often, it doesn't matter if you can understand the words or even if the music has words to hear the message of a good song.
Well i have been listening for a long time but never posted or called. I am 29 years old and have been a fan of heavy metal music scince the album Master of Puppets (Metallica) fell into my hands and changed my life.
I listen to metal in every aspect of my life it keeps me moving to the future and makes me feel good.
Bands like metallica,megadeth,pantera,killswitch engage,shadows fall, & all that remains move me like no other style of music. I dont know why it does, i love blues and other types of music. I guess it just rocks!!
Taco Bell's Cannon Indie, as my mnemonic helps me to remember it, is a transcendental arrangement of notes. If they play anything at my memorial, I hope it's included.
"The message of a good song ..." Indefinable in words, yet we all know exactly what this means.
Protect your hearing if you can,
We in the day did not did not understand.
Silence is my favorite sound.
Music is no longer around.
Maddening, frustrating, hurts to hear,
the music is no longer clear.
No, silence is the sound most dear.
It is surprising that no one has listed any opera -- or apparently, any opera at all. Long ago, during long drives across Eastern Oregon and Washington, I used to play cassette tapes (!!!) of entire operas, particularly Verdi -- La Forza del Destino (The Push of Fate, literally) is wonderful while looking out over a wild and forbidding landscape.
Another Verdi opera that is overwhelming -- Don Carlos.
There are so many operas, and they cover all the human emotions -- for joy and fun, The Merry Wives of Windsor by Nicolai.
Also, classical sacred music == Bach's St Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass, Vivaldi's many sacred works, Requiems by Mozart, Verdi, Brahms -- and Schubert's Masses -- all of them.
And another work that has profound meaning for me -- Beethoven's Violin Concerto #3.
When I'm in a mood and need to feel better, I turn to Brian Eno's album Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks.
For me, it's a perfect dose of perspective to show me that "this too shall pass".
The track An Ending (Ascent) is the most perfect ambient song ever written.
As to teaching people to play instruments, that's good but I'd really like to hear all children taught how to sing properly, to express their emotions through their natural human voice.
I think something very important is lost when people buy and listen to music instead of participating in creating it. Humans ought to sing, alone or together.
Instruments are just imitations and extensions of the human voice, in my opinion.
I wonder how the Italian respect for singing is passed on and encouraged.
When my father died, I'd just gotten Yoko Ono's cd "Rising" and Lou Reed's "Magic & Loss." (mid-'90s) I love Ono and Reed, and grew pretty obsesssed with this music. None of it is directly about my feelings for my Dad or his death. But somehow it is all about the depth and width of great feeling such as mourning & grief and the contemplation of mortality and then life too. I still stop what I'm doing when I hear this music, but it is with depth of feeling, not sadness. I'm deeply grateful to Ono & Reed.
Sometimes I like John Denvers unrelenting and uplifting positiveness, though sometimes it is just too treacly sweet.
Kathleen's comment about the disappearance of live music in our daily lives struck a chord (no pun intended) with me. I'd forgotten the power of live music until I had the good fortune to attend two performances, one by "Sweet Honey in the Rock, a vocal group, and the other by "Wynton Marsalis", a jazz orchestra. In both cases, I was overwhelmed by the accoustics which are unmatched by recorded music.
I am a ravenous and irresponsible kind of music consumer. The kind who probably accounts for at least 65% of Mr. Isaacson's income.
The soundtrack to this winter has been supplied by NPR's album of the year, Portland's own Fleet Foxes. The ethereal melodies and Brian Wilson/CSNY-esque harmonies pair well with the naked trees and chilly in the air, no matter what the sun is doing. Play "White Winter Hymnal" to get the idea.
When I want to feel like everything will be all right, I listen to "Deliver" by Scott Law. He also has an album by the same name which comforts my soul. When my mood leans more to knee slapping, I listen to Scott Law's Honkey Tonk Homeslice album that he recorded with Billy Nerschi, formerly of Stringcheese Incident. With Scott Law's eclectic worldwide touring, his incredible playing (acoustic or electric guitar, mandolin), voice and song writing, we are lucky that he also performs regularly in Portland.
If you've not seen it, rent/buy "Tom Dowd and the Language of Music" DVD. http://www.thelanguageofmusic.com/
After my mother had ten children, she rented a piano and learned how to play it well. It may have been a link to keep sanity. I danced to How Much Is That Doggie in the Window, The Vienna Waltz, etc. When I became a mom myself, I bought a used player piano with 90+ rolls of music and loved the old songs like Blackbird, Always, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and The Blue Danube Waltz. I played the blues away and got into shape pumping the piano while the kids went off to bed, after the nightly chapter of Where the Red Fern Grows, etc. When I became a single mom of 7, I would go dancing for my own sanity. Music released troubles, and has a way of cutting through to the soul.
I discovered YouTube a short while ago, and learned I could find almost any song and artist. On my channel, Rare1walking, I began to create a Playlist of my favorite songs. Roy Orbison, Bobby McFerrin, Tom Jones song Sex Bomb ice-skated to by Plushenko, Annie by John Denver, Whitney Houston, and many more. Finding the old films like Flash Gordon, any of Bill Maher or Robin Williams' (Check out The Funeral with Robin and Carol Burnett) vids was really great, but music has always spoken to me. To be able to play a list of favorites in the background while I blog or work on the computer is pleasant. I don't have an IPod yet.
Current Events Comment: After this horrible period in our country with war, torture, loss of civil rights, utter corruption in the Justice system and Bush's wake of financial disaster, I'm not sure those losing their homes and jobs are singing much, even blues. It feels sort of like Rachel Carson's title, Silent Spring. Perhaps musical artists will be able to capture these times in their work and lead us in hopeful directions. Pamela Cohen
A lovely upbeat cheering-up and romantic song by Ernest Tubb, Waltz Across Texas.
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