I’ve been devouring songs this week, swallowing them whole, letting them course through my veins and radiate from my fingertips. They’ve been a solace in a week I think we can all agree has been truly terrible. The massacre in Las Vegas was horrific. The unimaginable happened and maybe hit particularly hard (for an event […]Read more "You belong"
The world has been intruding in a million different ways and I seem to have stopped writing, but I’m still thinking about songs, maybe more than ever. When everything is going to hell, a new song is a new world to conquer. Learning it forces you to get your head in order, to hang onto […]Read more "Moon after moon"
I work at home most Fridays and in our new apartment, I look forward to the soundscape. Sitting in bed with my laptop and my second cup of coffee, I listen: spring birds, purposeful footsteps heading down the sidewalk toward the subway station a couple of blocks away, school busses pulling up to the stop […]Read more "Etude"
John Hiatt is not a musician I know as much about as I probably should. I don’t think I could name you one of his songs without looking, though I’ve heard plenty. And this is strange, because he plays with people I love – Lyle Lovett, Ry Cooder. He grew up a few blocks from […]Read more "Now is the cool of the day"
I first decided to try to learn to play guitar about six years ago. I was living in Illinois, near the last stop on the Northwest train line from Chicago. We’d had a really bad storm that knocked out our power (and with it our access to our well water) and had gone to find […]Read more "13 Ways of playing “Blackbird”"
Yesterday, my husband handed me an article by New Yorker staff writer Vinson Cunningham on his love for Motown and Holland–Dozier–Holland (H–D–H). This passage jumped out at me: H-D-H always wrote and arranged the music first, and even without lyrics their compositions speak of romance that is wrenching and helpless, though not always sexual. There’s […]Read more "chicken/egg"
I don’t remember why I started listening to so much Sam Phillips. I was working on an article a year or two ago on music on the TV show Gilmore Girls, so that might be what started it, but I’ve been a fan since the late 1980s when she released The Indescribable Wow. “Holding on to […]Read more "The Sam Phillips Project"