MJ Monday-Music: Needing Silence

Sometimes, a person needs silence. That need, in today’s society, is treated as an aberration. I love music. I have eclectic taste. But sometimes the music has to stop.

My day job is working in an office. A cube farm. Phones ring and telephone conversations are constant. The climate control system roars most of the day. And yet if there is even a nook of silence in all that, someone will call out, “Hey! Turn on the music!”

I have often said there was no music in the 80’s. I was only slightly wrong, and I can prove it. The only radio station we can get (the office location is in a low spot) plays music of the 80’s, 90’s, and forward. It is owned by a huge, national company, and the playlist is set. The same songs play every day. Every. Single. Day.  Apparently only 30 or so songs survived from the 80’s and 90’s. I rest my case.

Years ago, when I worked in retail, the store playlist would drive the employees crazy because of the repetition. This radio station playing in my current workplace does the same thing. At least to me. The only difference is the play list is mixed up. “Shallow” isn’t always followed by “Drops of Jupiter” or “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”

Heaven is really a place where a woman can hear herself think.

MJ Monday-Music: Instrumental Jazz

Jazz triggers theta waves – inducing states of artistic and spiritual insight – which can assist dealing with complex issues.

I own several instrumental jazz CDs because lyrics can be distracting and jazz is very . . . fluid. The music is moody. Best of all, it’s depends on improvisation. The music demands the musician be swept into playing what is in her soul. Creative reservoirs are tapped and set free.  Just like when an author is in the flow of writing.

MJ Monday-Music: Simon & Garfunkel/Paul Simon


Paul Simon wrote a good portion of the soundtrack of my life. From The Cyrkle’s hit  “Red Rubber Ball” to his solo album Graceland, I was a fairly steady Paul Simon fan. (I lost track after Graceland. I’m not sure why.)

My favorite years are, of course, the Simon & Garfunkel years, and his first two post-Garfunkel solo albums (he recorded a solo album before S&G “hit”, The Paul Simon Songbook).

In high school I wrote a term paper comparing the lyrics of Paul Simon with those of Bob Dylan. I found many parallels.

Even now, when I am officially older than dirt, I continue to sing snatches of his lyrics as situations warrant. One of my favorites is “I’ve got the paranoia blues…” which is from his first post-Garfunkel solo album,  Paul Simon.

A younger generation was recently introduced to the power of his lyrics when Disturbed covered “The Sound of Silence.” Does it make me a traitor to admit what Disturbed “did” to the song is far more powerful than Simon’s version?

 

 

MJ Monday-Music: Echo in the Canyon

Lately it seems as if my musical “patterns” have been in sync. We watched Ken Burns’ Country Music and loved it. I instinctively knew my folk rock preference had deep roots in “country” music and folk music.  We then watched Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue. I had seen the original tour when in came to Rochester, NY back in the mid 70s (7th row center). There was overlap between the two documentaries, and I’m not talking only about Bob Dylan.

My husband, who somehow knows when things are on TV, saved the best for last: Echo in the Canyon. Wow. Bob Dylan’s son Jakob interviewed many of the music icons of my youth, then re-recorded their songs with the help of other modern day artists. There may have been a tour. His goal was to remain as true to the originals as possible. My favorite moment was when David Crosby pointed out that up to that time, rock & roll lyrics were all about “he’s my boyfriend doo wop doo wop.” Artists such as Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne changed that when they “created” folk rock, where the words meant something. They introduced poetry into song lyrics. Crosby quote a line from “Mr. Tambourine Man” to make his point. It was a blatant suck up to Dylan Minor, but it worked because it was true.

Wow. I purchased the sound track. It’s a wonderful listen.