Friday, September 16, 2011

First things first...

Hello new readers! My name's Sam, and I'm here to write about music. I don't think I have better taste in music than anyone else, I've just been a fan and performer most all of my life and figured that I would start writing about it: records I like, experiences I've had, shows I've been to, bands I'm into - pretty much anything I can think of that's related to music.

What kind of music? All kinds! I like pretty much everything. I used to say I liked everything but country and opera, but in college, I was on the receiving end of a one-two punch that wiped out that assertion.

The first punch came in my electronic music class. We were watching a film that showed some people going through the steps of attempting to electronically reproduce a section from the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's "Magic Flute". To start with, the myth behind that piece of music is impressive. The legend is that Mozart was angry with his sister-in-law who was to perform the piece and wrote it to be very difficult to perform, thinking she would fail and be embarassed. Upon the staging of the opera, she performed flawlessly and Mozart was elated. Unfortunately, I can find no substantiation of this story. :) The film we watched detailed the challenges in recreating the piece electronically from scratch, shaping the soundwaves and the attack & decay of the notes, and then adding touches to mimic the rough edges of the human voice - humans don't produce pure tones. Anyway, the short of it was that the film impressed upon me the range and versatility of the human voice. My aversion to opera melted away in my elation, much like Mozart in the myth, when I found that the genre is a celebration of voice.

(The video below is the entire scene in the original German, the vocals start at 2:12. The most amazing part to me comes around 2:50-3:00)



The second punch was rather unexpected as well. My sister and parents were fans of country music. I was a college music indie snob and wouldn't have any of it. They were particularly fond of Garth Brooks, the biggest star in country at the time. I dismissed him out of hand as well. One vacation I was home with the three of them and they wanted me to watch the Garth Brooks concert that was on TV and I relented because I didn't have anything better to do. What ended up surprising me (aside from his vocal talent) was the showmanship he displays. He's having *fun*, and he wants his audience to have as much fun as he is. The video below showcases some of that. I think it's from the video special I watched. You can see that it's the early 90's in the clothes & hair, and some parts are cheesy (lady, don't grab his butt...), but the man can put on a show, you have to agree.


GARTH BROOKS - FRIENDS IN LOW PLACES by rawestern

So now, I don't rule out any type of music. I'm sure I can find something to appreciate about anything you throw at me. It might take some digging, or repeated listens, but I'll get there. :)

A bit more about me - I was a college radio DJ, which I have fond memories of as the purest form of entertainment. It was like listening to a bunch of records with your friends, none of whom happened to be in the room with me. My radio name was Sam The Butcher (it's a Brady Bunch reference). I've also been in a few bands, and I'm proud of the work I've done with them. Below is a picture of me in the studio recording with the best band I was in, Tucker.

So please, feel free to comment, agree with me, disagree with me - whatever you like. Let's just talk about music.


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