Blog Posts on Music

'Til There Was You

It began with a whisper of rain. You could hear wind in the leaves, trees creaking, a distant roll of thunder. The band took the stage and just started making noises, reacting to each other, exploring the pleasures of sound.

Dead Shark

Remember that line from "Annie Hall," the one about a relationship being like a shark? "It has to constantly move forward or it dies," Alvy Singer observes. "And I think what we've got on our hands is a dead shark."

The Path of the Musician

I just finished an article for the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra's newletter about musical entrepreneurship.  I soon found myself being reminded of how we musicians "do it" to make a living.

Live from Hochstein welcomes new host & rebroadcast!

Today Classical 91.5 and the Hochstein Music School welcomed Chris Van Hof as the new host of Live from Hochstein.  Chris began learning the ropes from temporary host Brenda Tremblay, and very quickly was ready to take the reins.  Today, Chris welcomed the Kilbourn Saxophone Quartet to the Hochstein stage for a program of 20th Century music.  Listeners heard Jack Marshall's Goldrush Suite, Astor Piazzola's Cafe 1930, and Faustin & Maurice Jeanjean's Quatour pour Saxophones.

Swing Ticket

Any undecided voters have surely heard enough about Obama and McCain by now, so as a public service, here's a stump speech from a very promising write-in candidate

The Well-Tempered Clavier

"To me it means molecular harmony. To my father, it means a broken sewing machine. To Bach, it means an experiment in writing for every available key. To Bach's wife, it means money to pay his wig maker. Who's right? Individually, we all are. Generally, none of us are."


I got a crash course in organ donation a few days ago. There were some interesting medical and legal details but it was a simple bit of terminology that stayed with me. The removal of the kidneys or the heart or the lungs from a dead person for the purpose of transplantation is called "harvesting." I thought about digging up potatoes. I thought about the long hours of careful tending that lead up to a bountiful harvest...sowing the seeds, plowing the field. I thought about the Neil Young song Harvest, with that one line about "your mother in so much pain."

Siren Song

Chinese folk music wasn’t on my list of expectations going into the Austin City Limits Music Festival, but it definitely ended up on my list of highlights. We started Day 3 with Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck (AWATSQFBF for short). They're in the midst of a US tour, but nobody here knows the words to Taiyang Chulai. When the group toured Tibet, thousands of school kids sang along to the traditional melody.

Mud Booger Plague

This guy walks into a bar, sits down next to a girl and introduces himself as a professional serial lady-killer. “I’m already dead,” the girl responds.

That scene, from the Old 97’s tune “Barrier Reef,” helped kick off Day 2 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. After wandering a bit through the morning, our strategy was to stake a claim at the AMD stage and stay there. The line-up: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Robert Earl Keen, John Fogerty and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.