Nope. Ain’t humpback whales making these tunes…


Click to enlargeKit Kovacs/Norwegian Polar Institute

❝ Spring is the time of year when birds are singing throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Far to the north, beneath the ice, another lesser-known concert season in the natural world is just coming to an end.

A University of Washington study has published the largest set of recordings for bowhead whales, to discover that these marine mammals have a surprisingly diverse, constantly shifting vocal repertoire.

❝ “If humpback whale song is like classical music, bowheads are jazz,” said lead author Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory. “The sound is more freeform. And when we looked through four winters of acoustic data, not only were there never any song types repeated between years, but each season had a new set of songs…”

“We were hoping when we put the hydrophone out that we might hear a few sounds,” Stafford said of the earlier study. “When we heard, it was astonishing: Bowhead whales were singing loudly, 24 hours a day, from November until April. And they were singing many, many different songs.”

Click through to the complete article. I’ve been lucky enough to know a few folks working on research like this. A delight. A service to this planet and some of the species living here.

Neil Young Describes Fake President in 4 Words — “Trump has no balls!”

Never meet your heroes, they say. It’s an adage seemingly tailor-made for world-weary rockers, not known to be the most even-tempered of beasts.

So when Neil Young strolls into the room—a suite at the Four Seasons with a lovely view of the lake, mind you—sits down, locks eyes with me, and flashes a rascally smile, I’m overcome with relief.

❝ The 72-year-old is at SXSW in Austin, Texas, to promote the new experimental film Paradox. Written and directed by his partner of four years, the actress and activist Daryl Hannah, it stars Young as the mythical “Man in the Black Hat,” a cowboy-musician whose days are spent causing mischief and making music at a rundown stagecoach stop with his merry band of outlaws, including good ol’ Willie Nelson. Their lives are upended when an ethereal group of womenfolk arrive, destined to change their old ways.

In addition to starring in the labor of love, which premieres March 23 on Netflix, Young created an entire 21-song soundtrack album for the film. And you get the feeling from speaking with him that he wouldn’t have done it for anyone but Hannah.

RTFA. Some people still believe in love – even when it hasn’t always worked out. In their past.

1,300-voice choir sings a protest song dedicated to our Fake President

Choir! Choir! Choir! has never been afraid to get political. Over the years, Toronto’s tireless drop-in choir has had some choice words for Rob Ford, Vladimir Putin and, most recently, Donald Trump.

Recently, they doubled down their anti-POTUS efforts with a massive protest singalong. Choir leaders Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman originally planned to sing MILCK’s breakout hit, “Quiet”…at the choir’s regular Tuesday and Wednesday night sessions at Clinton’s Tavern, but there was so much interest that they decided to upscale their efforts. They booked the Phoenix Concert Theatre, sold more than 1,000 tickets within a day…and invited MILCK to join the party.

Watch the video above to see what happened.

Country roads, West Jamaica

❝ For the first time in years, I’ve taken to wearing a headset, listening to music, on part of my morning walks.

❝ The first set is usually the Amazon Music All Jazz playlist – tailored by my thumbs up-and-down. Folks like Miles and Monk and Mingus back from the era when I could hop the train down to NYC for the weekend and cruise jazz clubs, sleep in Washington Square Park without either being arrested or mugged.

The second playlist I named Groundation after my favorite contemporary Reggae group – though much of what I listen to is as old as my jazz favorites. This morning’s second set of walking our fenceline ended with Toots and the Maytals – and the best thing that ever happened to West Virginia.