Absolutely the toughest marching drummers ever

Most folks don’t know that an early part of the years I spent as a musician were my high school years – especially in marching bands. Though I also played in the horn section of a University concert band at the same time, I played simultaneously in two separate high school marching bands. One played all their football games on Friday nights. The other on Saturday afternoons. Conflict between the two only came up once a season. Plus I still helped out once in a while with the P.A.L. band I’d marched with since 7th grade. 🙂

All I can say is these folks really rock. Close to traditional formation staging; but, everything else is over the top.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Celebrate!

Yesterday morning, just before dawn, Helen woke first. Rolled over and said, “Happy Lunaversary!” She got me.

Since the day of our marriage over 25 years ago, we always celebrate our lunaversary. Even if it’s just that first minute of waking, one of us will remind the other that this is the day over hundreds of months ago that we stood with friends and family to be together in love.

So, yes, it’s the best kind of game that reinforces memories and good times and tough times – and the growing together we have experienced. Learning and sharing.

I think Ziggy Marley says it pretty well.

Dick Dale, Surf Rock origins

❝ Most musicians have a mild hatred of scales because we were all forced to practice and memorize them without anyone ever telling us what the hell they are…

Dick Dale wasn’t just borrowing the Byzantine scale for his surf anthem. “Misirlou” is a remake of a vaguely Middle-Eastern traditional song, possible Egyptian or Turkish, first recorded in Greece in 1927. The whole melody finds its way into the Dick Dale version.

As it further turns out, Dick Dale’s connection to the scale isn’t crazily random. Dale was of Lebanese descent on his father’s side and grew up playing the tarabaki drum and hearing music based on these scales, which he then incorporated into his surf music.

What goes around, comes around.

Singing mice and human conversation

❝ In the understory of Central American cloud forests, musical mice trill songs to one another. Now a study of the charismatic creatures reveals how their brains orchestrate these rapid-fire duets.

The results…show that the brains of singing mice split up the musical work. One brain system directs the patterns of notes that make up songs, while another coordinates duets with another mouse, which are carried out with split-second precision.

❝ The study suggests that “a quirky animal from the cloud forest of Costa Rica could give us a brand new insight,” into the rapid give-and-take in people’s conversations, says study coauthor Michael Long, a neuroscientist at New York University’s School of Medicine.

The video sound in the article doesn’t always work. Sorry.

Music isn’t made the same way, anymore

❝ It’s Grammy time, and as always, watching the awards ceremony…will include a subtext of cross-generational carping: “They don’t make music the way they used to,” the boomers and Gen Xers will mutter. And they’ll be right. Music today, at least most of it, is fundamentally different from what it was in the days of yore — the 1970s and 80s.

❝ Last year, the industry celebrated a sales milestone. The RIAA certified that the Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),” was the best-selling album of all time…the album, released almost exactly 43 years ago, was the first to be awarded platinum status…an evocative reminder that songs were once commodities so valuable that millions of people would even buy them in repackaged form. It was also a taken as a quiet victory for people who believe that music today is too loud…

❝ By “too loud,” I don’t mean you can’t crank the Eagles, if that’s your thing. I’m talking about loudness as a measure of sound within a particular recording. Our ears perceive loudness in an environment by reflexively noting the dynamic range — the difference between the softest and loudest sounds…A loud environment in this sense is one with a limited dynamic range — highs that peak very high, and lows that aren’t much lower…Compression boosts the quieter parts and tamps down louder ones to create a narrower range…

RTFA. For there has been and continues to be a war over sound. The sound landscape has never been more varied – from the audiophile with big bucks and peers and who can only afford to supplement the CDs they still buy, radio stations they listen to streamed online — to walking around music fans from hip-hop to classical listening through earbuds.