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Monday, July 18, 2022


I have a bit of an obsession about Memphis and Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, but I've never been to either. Can't really explain it, but I want to go there. I will one day, but in the meantime, there are two songs I listen to over and over that keep me close.

The first is Paul Simon's brilliant Graceland. It's just a perfect song, with a fast-paced beat and excellent lyrics that make you want to hop on a plane.

The second is not quite as well known, but just as good. A few years ago I went to a Mary Chapin Carpenter concert (if you don't know her music, it's worth looking up). The warm-up act was Marc Cohn, a singer songwriter best known for his iconic song Walking in Memphis. Some of my favorite lyrics of all time.

Happy Monday!

Monday, July 11, 2022

What's a theremin?

Back in the early 1900's, a Russian physicist named Leon Theremin invented a musical instrument based on proximity sensors. In layman's terms, this means that the instrument is played without any physical contact. The performer on a theremin moves her hands between two metal antennas, which pick up the movement and turn it into sound waves. This is what it looks like:

I came across this instrument fairly randomly, and discovered a performance by Carolina Eyck, who specializes in the theremin. The first time I saw it, and didn't know what the instrument was, I started looking for the strings. But there weren't any! 

Here is her rendition of the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's Magic FluteA very different kind of music, but quite pleasant to hear.

Happy Monday.

Monday, July 4, 2022

The 4th of July (Jersey shore version)

There are so many pieces of music celebrating our 4th of July holiday. They tend to be, not surprisingly, different versions of patriotic music. Bruce Springsteen has a different way of looking at this holiday. One of his classic songs, and one of my favorites, is 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy). It has brilliant lyrics (consider, from the very opening, "the fireworks are hailing over Little Eden tonight") and a level of soft intensity that just makes you stop and listen. 

The song is from The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, Springsteen's second album. It features Danny Federici, the organist of the E Street Band, on the accordion. This version is particularly poignant because it is a performance from just before Federici's death in 2008. If you watch all the way to the end, you'll see a bit of a tribute to him.


Happy 4th of July (to my American friends). 

Happy Monday to everyone else.

For those of you really interested, "Little Eden" refers to Mrs. Jay’s Beer Garden, a biker bar found in Asbury Park, New Jersey (on the Jersey shore). In 1974, it was converted into The Stone Pony, a now legendary music club where Bruce Springsteen played some of his first concerts.