The Basics of Modernism

The following is a transcript (written by me) of a presentation of modernism (focusing on modernist texts and further research) to students at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. The included section is an introduction that, read alone, can provide a good preliminary overview of the wide-reaching, unifying theories of modernism as it applies to art, literature,…

A Great New Binge Watch To “Get Down” With

Combined efforts from Baz Luhrmann, Nas, Grandmaster Flash, and more have brought a small but powerful piece of old-school hip hop to Netflix in a neat little package called ‘The Get Down’. The plot explores landscapes of hip hop, disco, graffiti, and politics in the late 1970’s Bronx, with a clear figurehead in each parallel plot and Ezekiel “Zeke” Figuero at the crux of it all.

New Release: Pierce Fulton’s “Make Me Blue”

The fresh and playful “Make Me Blue” stands out in Pierce Fulton’s current repertoire of in-your-face dance music, and puts him on the map for more alternative fans who still like to get down to a fun electronic groove. This new track is an alternating string of sparsely yet elegantly filled swathes of vast sonic…

Best of Summer NAMM 2016

The ever-expanding world of music products offers everything from the lowest-level entry point to the music industry to the pinnacle of musical luxury, true works of playable art. The unique physicality of music making knows no greater celebration than the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show. To share just a few items that made…

Easy Polyrhythm and Polymeter

I’ve had a lot of confusing conversations about polyrhythms and polymeters because they’re so difficult to hear. Stumbling over the verbiage doesn’t help. Here’s a very simple explanation of each, and if you find yourself wishing for background info on rhyhtm and meter, click here. Where are polyrhythms and polymeters found? These are techniques that…

Glossary: Rhythm and Meter

Introducing the Attunement Glossary. In an effort to make theory more accessible and less daunting to everyone, I’ve started a Glossary page to reference theory I mention in blog posts, or just feel like sharing. Any time I update the Glossary, I’ll post the same content as a blog post, to make it known that…

Paul Simon’s Spiritually Schizophrenic Stranger to Stranger: A Listening Guide

Paul Simon’s new concept album Stranger To Stranger is a complex juxtaposition of styles and influences in a musical discussion of the differences between organized western religion, group spirituality, and untamed mysticism. Simon brings us on a schizophrenic tour of musical traditions and cultural references namely from the old American South, Brazil, and Africa. Here…

8 Practice Exercises for Any Kind of Music

Edit 06/13/16 1:20 PM: Added #7, now 8 total There are endless ways to practice a piece and they all depend on your own playing style and learning strengths. But if you hit a wall, it’s useful to have a repertoire of practice tricks. The following are some tips I’ve picked up in lessons that…

Hippo Campus Rocks Boston at the Middle East

(Photo from TheBayBridged.com) Hippo Campus is a young band, and it shows through their massive success in only the best ways. Though a great majority of the room had at least a few years on them, the four men of Hippo Campus have a commanding stage presence that more than filled the room – already…

DIIV Reminds Boston Audience How To Enjoy Live Music

(Picture from SPIN.com at Governor’s Ball) Concertgoers at DIIV’s June 7th show at the Sinclair in Boston got several shows for the price of one – not that they deserved it. An opener, a standup act, a story of inner strength and persistence, a tragedy, and finally, the underdog’s victory. In this mood-swing-ridden identity crisis of…