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…

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  during 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…