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…

Rollercoasters, Yoga, and Other Practices in Discomfort

I haven’t dealt much with fear. I was raised practically. When I was younger I was afraid of rollercoasters. My parents convinced me as a child  to try a small, but very rickety old wooden coaster from the 1920s. Aside from being jostled in the uncomfortable seats, I felt coerced, and completely without control. I…

RiFF RAFF ONLY MADE 4 MiLLiON LAST YEAR, STiLL WEARS DOPE PEACH TUXEDO

I’ve often wondered how much of Riff’s ironic behavior has turned over in his head into a real lifestyle, and maybe I give him too much credit, but I really feel like the Pantherettes are meant to be a sarcastic kind of cliché groupie. I like their status of essentially being bodyguards…

On the Chronological Irrelevance of Music in Period Dramas

Today I celebrated the return of Peaky Blinders  by texting my friends, “PEAKY BLINDERS,” but I don’t think that’ll cut it as a whole blog post. So instead I’ve contemplated the edgy and engaging soundtrack and realized how intriguing I find the implications of musical anachronism. One scene in particular  in the first episode of…

Flesh Without Blood Without Redeeming Qualities

Author’s Note: I wrote this review in January for an exercise in writing about something  with a negative slant.   My first contact with Grimes was in stills from the 2013 MTV VMAs, wearing the same Versace pants as 2 Chainz. Here she was caught in the bane of a female star’s existence, wearing the…

Singing to Succulents

It’s Friday night and I’m waiting for my dough to rise so I can make pizza. This is the kind of person I am. Not to say that I’m a homebody, but I am also the kind of person who’s installed Steam on her computer just to grow a pot of virtual succulents. Viridi is…

Beck and Flume Casually Throw Together a Masterpiece

We love Beck here. I’m always delighted, and somehow perpetually surprised by his versatility. Now, he’s partnered with Flume on the closing track on his LP  Skin. The first time listeners heard the track was Wednesday on Zane Lowe’s radio show hosted by Apple Music, called Beats 1. The track comes sandwiched between short, charming interview…

Alphabooks

My first post is not about music, but I’m the captain now. My friend Alexa inspired me with her post Books You Should Read, A to Z: A Response to Rookie’s May 9 “Dear Diary”, in which she lists 26 titles with brief and endearing synopses. Brevity being both attractive and elusive to me, I…