Friday, August 26, 2011


I checked out a friend’s band last night….being out late on a Thursday nite just to be at work by 8 AM is not incredibly smart.  But it was WORTH. EVERY. MINUTE. The guys were on point, the jam was fun and it was good to be in a live music atmosphere again.  I hope that this weekend you get a chance to do the same.  I love the radio - actually that's a lie, I think radio has been sold out to corporations. So let's change that to I love recorded media - mp3s, m4as, even my vinyls, yada-yada-yada...but there's nothing like live music. If I can clean up my recordings, I'll post a sample.

Got a great little heart-jolt when I came home afterwards…there was a nice little snake waiting for me.  Silly city-girl that I am, I thought it was just a really fat earthworm….until it slithered away from me into the living room.  I’m surprised y’all didn’t hear me scream.

In honor of the now dearly departed snake,  and the good times I had with friends, here’s my fave Travis Tritt song, T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oldie of the Day - It's Probably Me

This second entry under Oldie of the Day isn't quite as old as the 1st one featuring Johnny Adams, but I like it just as much. 

I hope by now in your music nerd-dom you've come across Sting and Eric Clapton (if not, get on it!). And I'd love to know how many of you remember this song from the Lethal Weapon soundtrack.  I saw all those movies, but I didn't really come to love this song til just a while ago.  Perhaps I was too young back then to appreciate it.  It features Sting, Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen and David Sanborn. There's something about Sting's voice that makes it easy for me to listen to him all day.  And this is one of those perfect Sunday-afternoon-drive songs....or mellow Wednesday-afternoon songs :) 


Monday, August 22, 2011

Better Late Than Never

A little late getting this entry out - it's been an interesting day.  A couple hours left in it, and I'm ready to vampire-like alertness tonight. 

Anyways, last night I was reminded of the importance of giving different styles of music a chance.  To actually live by the stuff I spout here.  Remember my first blog entry, "At Last"?  I said that any self-respecting music nerd and/or musician will deliberately expose him/herself to everything - to new experiences, new artists and new sounds. 

There's this new-to-me DVD of Wynton Marsalis, Congo Square, which I checked out a couple weeks ago thanks to Netflix. [brief description: "Congo Square" is the ground-breaking 2-hour co-composition by Yacub Addy and Wynton Marsalis that celebrates the historic Congo Square in New Orleans. The only place in America where African slaves were allowed to perform their own music and dance in the 1700s-1800s, it established the roots of American music by providing a means for African music to enter and mingle with American forms."]

I am not typically a fan of African music, but figured I needed to stretch a little.  And I remained true to that a couple weeks ago --- I did not like this performance. Lost interest in 15 minutes and switched to Psych.  Well, last nite while hanging out with some musician friends, we began to watch this. And I wanted to leave the room. Yep, that's how much I didn't like it the first go-round.

And.....I am soooooo glad I didn't leave.  By halfway through the performance, I was totally mesmerized. And the Finale was Amazing!!

Pay attention to the ENERGY here - everyone's moving, singing, dancing....just totally LIT from the inside out.  What started out a little slow-moving to me built to an awesome climax at the end.  And Mr. Marsalis is dancing?? What the heck?  This. was. FUN!  When is the last time you or I did anything THAT fun? I tell you what...I've got some stuff planned now. I suggest you get to it...

Friday, August 19, 2011

You've Got To Move

I don't consider myself much of a dancer.  I wish I could really move, but the most I can do is look cool.  You know, that cool stance you get, with a little smooth move to the left, to the right, to the front, to the back. And my face looks like "watch out now, I am DOING it!"

Yes, there are certain songs that  We all have at least one.  You know, that song that you recognize in 3.7 seconds and you almost lose control of the car dancing in your seat. Sometimes, it's a song that we're ashamed to admit that we like (dougie anyone?).  Sometimes - hmmm, I think most times, it's a song connected to good memories.

So here's two for today, a little far apart in the music spectrum but hopefully you'll like anyways...

Morris Brown by Outkast (fyi a little language)

Lady by Lenny Kravitz....yeah, pretty much get out of my way when this comes on (and this video proves pianists can rock out too).

Hey, it's the freakin' weekend --- enjoy yourselves!

*What song makes you "jam on it"?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


You know, I really don't like to feel rushed, or being stressed out. Unfortunately, the past couple days have been a little stressful.  I find it ironic that this happens just as I'm trying to follow the advice in I'm reading a book suggested to me by my dear friend Sharita.  At the very beginning of this book, The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide, the author Ted Zeff talks about the importance of beginning your day stress free.  In other words, for the perpetual procrastinator like me, it means avoid the snooze button, get up, get dressed and spend a few minutes in calm before heading out the door.  Yeah, I've never been really good at that.......EVER.  Ask my mom.

Anyways, after blah-blah years on this earth, I've decided to try and follow this practice.  I know it's good, and it'd be great to get in some devotion time early in the morning.  And I did it this week---ONCE.  After that, my mornings have sucked, my days have been crazy, and my nights not as restful as I wanted.

Now, part of the "dramatic" nature of the creative or sensitive person tends to exaggerate things, so I guess I need to pull on my reins here.  It's only Wednesday.  My week will get better.  And because I've made a decision to do better, my actions will, in time, line up with my goal.  My goal - not to spend so much time RUSHING.

In the midst of my crazy yesterday, I needed to hear some music. Yeah I know, there's a shocker.  I remembered a song by 4th Avenue Jones, Overloaded.  But I'm not gonna put that clip here.  I want to share their song, Rush today. 

I absolutely LOVED this group back in the day --- great combo of hip-hop/rap, rock and just straight-up talent.  And I'm disappointed that they've broken up.  This week I also learned about a friend's daughter who is heading off to college.  Actually, some of my former students are also heading off to college.  And I'm sad.  Life keeps moving, and if you're not careful you fall out of touch with people.  Sometimes that's ok - it's that whole "life has its seasons" thing. 

But....I don't want to waste my time and emotional energy being so stressed or rushing around about stupid stuff that I don't spend it on what I love.  On what is beneficial and life-giving for me, and for those I care about.  I make the decision today to spend less time *rushing*.  More time being thoughtful, having fun, conquering the stupid things I like God intended me to live.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Dropped In...

Hope everyone had a great weekend! 

I got to make a little music with friends this weekend, which is always fun.  Our impromptu session included writing a gospel cover to the Beatles' Yesterday.  Pretty danged good, if I do say so myself :) But we can't take total credit - stole the idea from a clip I saw of the Winans family on Oprah (many, many, MANY moons in big hair, close-cut fades and shoulder pads).  Y'all should youtube it...even if you're not a Beatles fan, or not a Winans fan, I think the music nerd in you will appreciate it.

So today's entry includes a cover....the song is Just Dropped In.  The actual original recording was done by Jerry Lee Lewis, but I've included the Kenny Rogers version since he was next in line and it was a hit for him.

The "cover" here is by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. Ok, another new artist to me - just caught them one night on Austin City Limits. And freakin' loved the show - Sharon Jones IS an entertainer.  Again, y'all should make sure to check her out.

All together now: "GRRROOOOVYYYY BABY!!"

*Side note - the joy of having music nerds as friends is when they send you music that you end up loving. Shout out to Alison, my fellow dungeon-mate!!

*PPS - Exactly how high do you have to be to write "tripped on a cloud, fell 8 miles high, tore my mind on a jagged sky"? Just askin'....

Friday, August 12, 2011

Don't Be Skerred

Happy Friday!

For those going out dancing tonight – especially salsa dancing – here’s a couple selections from a guy I just happened onto this year, Alex Wilson– music educator, latin jazz musician and AMAZING pianist, etc., etc.  [not to be confused with the blues guitarist Alex Wilson]. 

I don’t even know how I found this clip the first time…I was probably caught up in some itunes-Rhapsody-youtube-google vortex.  I REALLY hope someday to see him live, and I want to get my hands on some of his music ed. materials.  From what I can gather, he seems to find the accessibility of music – in this case latin/jazz – extremely important.  I for one find salsa and jazz wonderful to listen to, but I can see how these genres can seem a bit intimidating.  I know I would find it intimidating to perform them. But I believe the key to discovering new music, or stretching your ear and your tastes, is to put yourself in those uncomfortable situations.  Find what’s out there, what’s the latest buzz or rumor.  Or get lost in the youtube vortex.  There are ALWAYS artists-educators, like Mr. Wilson, that are put here to excel at their craft AND serve as a gateway for listeners. 

Here's how I got hooked earlier this year – his cover of the Chaka classic, Ain't Nobody.

And here’s a slower pace selection, incorporating a little latin jazz – Rio De Janeiro Blue (FAVE part at 3:16).  

Y'all have a great weekend!

*Chime in your opinions on these songs - I'd love to hear them!
*Was (or Is) there a genre or artist you wanted to check out, but was a little scared at first?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oldie of the Day - Reconsider Me

I happened across this singer while checking out some interviews on NPR’s website.  From what I remember, this was pretty neat interview idea they had...something about Valentine’s Day, and the love songs that other singers recommend.  This particular time, it was Tom Jones giving his list.  Side note: – how many of you are like me and cannot think of Tom Jones without doing the Carlton dance?


Mr. Jones' first selection was from this artist, Johnny Adams, who was completely unknown to me.   The song is Reconsider Me. 

Listening to him, you can tell Tom Jones patterned his singing style A LOT after Mr. Adams.  I love the power in his voice, the richness and the ease with which he nails high notes.  When I heard this on NPR, I immediately hopped on youtube to find more recordings.  (Another good song is There Is Always One More Time.)

This sure does make me wanna pull out my record player and play a few vinyls.  It also reminds me of my blue Fisher Price record player as a kid. Yes, I said Fisher Price :)

I’m struggling to think of any men aged 40 or younger – especially in secular music – that can tear up a mic in similar effortless manner like that today. 
*Readers, any suggestions?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, Monday....

Yet another hot day, and I was all set to complain about it in magnificent fashion. I woke up, quickly got dressed for work, put out the trash and got in the car and sped off, thinking hey I may actually get to work a little early.  Then I realized - I have NO shoes on. HA! I was wondering why I felt so free and summer-ry. Don't worry, I was only about 5 minutes late to work.  I definitely was "flying low" as my dad likes to put it.

I don't have anything on my mind today, no serious musings really.  And I recognize I don't have anything to complain about.  I have family and friends that love me; the AC that went out last week has been (temporarily) fixed; I'm fed, clothed and healthy.  And while I don't make a full-time living as such, I do get to spend quite a lot of time as a musician.  Honestly, my life is good. 

So, my song for today - 2 selections, in honor of the servicemen and women who lost their lives this past weekend. 

First - If You're Reading This  by Tim McGraw. I still can't get thru this song without crying. (Side note: See how one can command an auditorium full of people with simplicity - guitar, strings and lyrics that actually say something.)

Second - for their families, and for anyone else going through a tough time - You Are Not Forgotten by Israel Houghton & Jonny Lang, both artists I love.

I hope that - in the routine of our lives, forgotten shoes, bills, relationship squabbles over nothing - we don't forget those who make such sacrifices for our country.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bring Me My Rocking Chair

Sooo, here I am in the Midwest, literally BAKING in 100+ degree weather and no relief in sight.  And what pops into my head – yep you guessed it, a song. Of all things, "Rocking Chair" - the Louis Armstrong version from the documentary, Jazz on A Summer's Day.  

Why this song? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe because in this kind of heat all a person wants to do is NOTHING.  But, either way, I like the song. Love the ending.  Actually, I like his entire set from that concert. So here it is: ("Rocking Chair" is about 5:08 into this clip.)

Which brings me to two observations for today’s entry….#1 – Music nerds have a soundtrack for their lives.  Just ask one, and he'll/she'll be happy to share it with you!  #2 – Louis Armstrong was a giant and an elder to younger musicians at this point of his life, and STILL had this internal fire for making music.  Yes, he was moving slower, his coordination maybe a little slower too, but music still moved him.  “Moved” is such an over-used term.  How about "energized".  It brought the sparkle in his eye, the joy on his face, the humor in his banter with bandmates & audience. The flame never died.  It’s how I want to be when I get old. Shoot, it’s how I want to be now.

*What song fires you up?

Monday, August 1, 2011

At Last!

Hello!  Finally, after Congress-like deliberation and delay, I’ve joined the blog-sphere!

Why Music Nerd Musings? Because I wanted a venue to express whatever music-related thought I have, post the song running obsessively thru my head, or just vent.  I also want to connect with other music lovers and musicians, and check out what they’re listening to, so please feel free to post your comments. Let’s just keep it respectful.

So here's my musing for today….

A few weeks ago I found out 2 fave groups of mine were putting out new albums – Burlap to Cashmere and Dawkins & Dawkins. EXCITED! And then I thought “oh! I need to check out Alfie Boe’s new one too!”  [Alfie Boe – great UK artist, currently tearing it up as the lead in Les Mis].  Then I thought, well that’s about as far about in the music spectrum as one can get.

Do I lean towards a particular genre? Sure. I grew up on black gospel and R&B.  But I also cut my teeth on pop and CCM.  As I got older, I ventured into the classical arena (especially because of the piano), jazz and rock.  And in the past few years, I’ve even acquired a bit of taste for *gasp* country. 

Good music is just that…good.  Good for the ears, and good for the heart. In my humble opinion, if you call yourself a musician or a music nerd, you may lean towards a particular music style, but you deliberately expose yourself to everything - to new experiences, new artists and new sounds. Whether you like that new sound or not, you still appreciate the gift, the value, and the hard work behind the music. And who knows? Whether it’s Fred Hammond or Linkin Park, Wynton Marsalis or Willie Nelson, Rogers & Hammerstein or Alison Krauss, in time you'll have something else to add to your music-nerd collection.  Sounds good to me.

Do you have any extremes in your music collection?
What is your definition of "music nerd"?