Thursday, October 26, 2023

And Now for Something

Yes. It's been awhile.

Sometimes doing virtually nothing is a time-consuming task. But here we are, now, so...

The McMusical Calendar

Saturday, November 4
The Birddog Blues Band plays Blues (what else?) at The Fharmacy in Lake Mills from 7 to 10 pm.

Yup. That's all for now.

But wait! Surely there must be some other pearls of wisdom, some tidbits of titillation to offer you.

Okay. How about this?

Year's end approacheth. Soon, November. And then December. And then... Damn! Another year gone by. And, leastways around these parts, that revelation dawns in a cold, gray light. Winter in Wisconsin. Some love it. More don't.

I see it as an opportunity to read some books, be it with the intent to entertain (myself) or to tackle the big, eternal questions, or to wrestle with the current  sorry state of the world.

Take last year round about the turning of the calendar. I was on a quest. Music. This thing that I have bathed and showered in and raced after and swum in and floundered in for, how long? What is music? Why is it? How is it? How is it that I can play and sing some songs, tunes and ditties, but I can't answer the big mysterious musical questions with authoritative certainty?

So I turned to books (bless you, public library system). Three of 'em: 
This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Like Says About You, by Susan Rogers; This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, by Daniel J. Levitin; and How Music Works, by David Byrne.

Susan Rogers wants to explain why your favorite songs are your favorites. She got cred: before she became a very successful record producer, she was longtime sound engineer for Prince. And now she's a professor of cognitive neuroscience. She writes an easy read and offers good reasons to stop apologizing for your musical guilty pleasures, and to back off dissing music you don't like.

Daniel Levitin was a professional musician before he went all egghead PHD on us. He goes a lot deeper into the science of it all than Rogers, but even if some of his reference fly over your head, it's still a fascinating trip.

And, even if The Talking Heads aren't your cup of tea, David Byrne is a brilliant dude with a lot to say about music and his experiences listening to it, writing it, and performing it. Recommended.