Monday, February 28, 2011

Hanson...and Sheryl Crow?

I'm not much of a fan of Chris Evans' show in the morning on BBC Radio 2, but I have to admit that sometimes he plays some good tunes. That's reason enough to tune in at the office, as I begin my working day.

This morning, Chris played a song I hadn't heard in ages. He played Hanson's "MMMBop", from 1996. And I noticed something.

I have no idea which of the brothers was singing lead on "MMMBop". But I noticed, for the first time, that he sounds remarkably like Sheryl Crow on helium!

Give it a listen for yourself, and see if you agree with me.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Listening To: Sean Hutchinson's Still Life

While listening to London's Jazz FM on digital radio one night, I heard "Again, Again" from drummer Sean Hutchinson's new CD. It caught my attention big time. After getting the EP (it only has 6 tracks), my attention was firmly held.

Hutchinson, along with bassist Bridget Kearney and Omer Klein on keyboards, has created a great jazz vibe with a lot of texture and energy. It's an intriguing listen. All six tracks are notable, although I will admit a fondness for the first track - the one originally played by Jazz FM.

I have to add that Kearney's bass is absolutely outstanding. It's terrific to see this much mature talent in such a young woman. I can't wait to hear more of her work.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tricks that iPods play...

I haven't written here in ages, I know. Music has always been such an important part of my life, and I should write about it more often (whether anybody is out there reading or not). So here goes...a little story about what my latest little iPod is doing to/for me.

I lost a very important person in my life at the beginning of the year. I'm now realizing that I've been grieving about the loss even more than I had expected to.

The person I have lost is my Aunt Blanche, my mother's only sister. I was extremely close to her my entire life. I made a last-minute trip over to the States to see her last December, as it was unlikely she would live along enough for John and I to see her when we make our US trip this year. And it's a good thing I did, because she died only a few weeks after I saw her.

While in Ruidoso, NM, where she was living, I made a pilgrimage to their WalMart for some supplies. And that's when I saw the new generation iPod Nano. It's a teeny little thing. Just right to use during commuting or exercising, I thought. So I bought one and brought it back here to England with me.

I had a song stuck in my head during much of that December American trip. The song was Cee Lo Green's "It's OK". I love that song, and I "soundtracked" it all the time while I was away. I finally decided that my subconscious was trying to tell me that I was doing the right thing to have made the trip.

Now the story in Green's song has nothing at all to do with losing an elderly and beloved relative. But there are some interesting phrases in it, besides the relevant title phrase, like: "I still think of you...", "...until I lost this legendary woman", and "...without you I'm still alone". So the song makes me think of Aunt Blanche...and the tremendous sense of loss I am feeling.

Here's where the little Nano comes in.

Over Christmas, once I was back home, I put together a playlist of about 200 songs to shuffle while I'm on our new treadmill. Those of you who use MP3 players while exercising understand what I did. You put onto your little music machines those songs which have a pace that motivates you to keep going when your body suggests you should stop. I had decided that the little Ruidoso Nano was perfect for use on the treadmill, and one of the songs on that playlist is "It's OK".

And out of those 200+ songs I shuffle when exercising, at least once a week "It's OK" shuffles up...and it always shuffles up as the final song for the treadmill matter how far (or long) I've elected to go that session! It's like a little parting gift for the work I've put in. And it makes me cry, every single time.

Do you suppose that iPods can be haunted?